More Midwest Pics

our Midwest trip also included stops in Pittsburgh, Indy (family wedding) and Chicago/Barrington (Chi for Hamilton for our 14th anniversary and Barrington at Kathy and Bills gorgeous country home with a swimming pool area that the kids love). Here are some pics!

Hamilton! Amazing. Great call on the matinee version 🙂 Elliott really wanted to go too (his friend had gone), but we didn’t find that out until afterwards. Great anniversary gift from my cute hubby.

We walked around Millennium Park a little after the show (before meeting friends for food) – this brought back super fun memories. N&E loved this fountain.

Yummy veggies from Nana’s garden. And Lala time too@

The Santucci crew (8, 6, 4, almost 2) came up to visit! Kate and I lived together with 4 other girls senior year of college.

E has been loving on Lala for almost 5 years (I think the feeling is mutual)

Two of my 3 most handsome (matching) boys. It was a super hot day, so E couldn’t wait to get this shirt off. Conor was probably being held by a fam member during this pic. I’m hoping Jordan (hint hint) posts a full-family picture in here – this is all I had from the wedding.

GB Packer swing in Bear Country! Oh yeah! (Check out the background for the great view of N&P’s pool overlooking the forest area)

Cousin time! Clayton just turned 6.

Conor is obviously loving his time with Aunt Jira, right before we left for the plane. You cannot tell but Aunt Jira is pregnant with #2 “Jelly Bean” (a boy), due in Nov. We’re excited to meet our little cousin!




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Last day with Nana and Pop

Here’s a quick photo before Poppy had to head out.  Shirts optional obviously!

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Conor – happy 6.5 months!

So, I’m two weeks late in Conor’s 6-month update.   Right before his half-birthday, we rented a cabin for two nights to get away over the 4th and then on his actual half-birthday, we went on a super long hike.  (Thank goodness our friend Todd from CA was with us – it was a 3-adult job!)

Weight: TBD – likely 23 – 24 lbs

Milestones:  Broke one tooth on the same day that Elliott lost his tooth!  (Reminds me of a Junie B. Jones book about the same situation, where she believes her younger brother gets her tooth via the Tooth Fairy)  Then the second one popped up with JNE left for their trip.

No crawling yet, though active tummy kicking.

Eating: Started with oats with breast milk.  Needed to quickly move onto sweet potatoes, carrots and green beans due to the road trip.  No shocker – he eats a lot of it!

Favorite song: Conor Conor bo Bonor, Banana fanana bo Bonor.  Fee fi fo Monor.  Conor.  And… “Shh… Shaking it fast”, Itsy Bitsy Spider (if sung by Natalie who happens to have a beautiful voice IMO)

Nicknames: “My favorite little buddy boy” (from Natalie), Big Papa (adopted by me from a song Jordan sings), Chunk Chunk

Favorite Things: Natalie (she is her #1 protector), Elliott (loves watching him do moves), bouncer, Foxy (a little mitten with a rubber end that Nana gave him), The Hungry Caterpillar soft book with rings (from JAC)

Yum… green beans

See my two teeth!

See my big brother’s missing tooth!

Happy half-birthday to me!

All good (half) birthdays include a nap, right!?!

Ah! Coming at you!

Hanging out on my Grandma Jean blanket (a tradition since Rachel was a baby 30 years ago) waiting for our Flamingo to start

Whoa – what’s happening!?!

Oh yeah…. loving my big sister and this bell rattle toy

happy baby pose with my big bro

Time with Mom at the Park… missing JNE. (Don’t forget to check out my chunky thighs!!)

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Midwest Bender – Green Bay

We are near the end of a two-week Midwest bender.  Jordan was right to say – its a trip.  Not a vacation.  (We’re tired but happy!)  I’ll do my best to post pics of all of it.

Wed 7/10 – JNE drive to Pittsburgh and stay with great friends from Notre Dame – the Baltruzaks.  (Mollie is Natalie’s first friend from when she is 5 days old.  Luke and Elliott hadn’t met yet, but became fast friends)

Thurs 7/11 – Drive to Indy and stay at Doug & Michelle’s.  Pool party with awesome and super fun cousins!  Hannah (recent college grad), Derek (sophomore in college) and Nathan (high school senior) were all there!

Fri 7/12 – Nana, Pop, and JAC come to Indy too.  Erin and Conor fly to Indy.

Sat 7/13 – Cousin Kyle’s and Meghan’s wedding!!!

Sun 7/14 – Day trip to South Bend to see the Kennedys and Busers

Mon 7/15 – Easy day at Nana’s.  Lala sleepover.

Tues 7/16 – Pool party at Nana’s!

Wed 7/17 – Anniversary celebration to Hamilton and drinks with friends

Thurs 7/18 – Becky’s birthday!  (Erin’s the same age as Becky for 72 hours.) Road trip to Green Bay!

Fri 7/19 – Super hot day.  Spent it at a pool with awesome slides.  STORMS – see below.

Sat 7/20 – Aunt Lisa’s birthday!  We had to bag our plan to go to the cabin b/c of the storms.  See below!

Sun 7/21 –  My bday.  Hang out with Mike, Aunt Lisa & fam.  Bay beach.  BBQ at Rachel’s.

Mon 7/22 – AM in Green Bay.  Drive back to Barrington.  Back in the pool and yummy bday dinner – salad nicoise.

Tues 7/23 – J leaves for MA.  Lala comes up again.

Wed 7/24 – ENEC flies home

Here’s the Green Bay portion of the trip.  Leah came in from Alaska.  We spent a ton of time with Becky (the baby lover) and her family.  We also got to see some of my cousins – Mike came up from Madison area and Rachel had us all over for a BBQ!

By far the scariest part of the trip was terrible thunderstorms turned into tornado / microburst.  Elliott was at his first sleepover up at the cabin an hour away – where a microburst hit and leveled trees about 1/4 mile away from the cabin.  He was with Uncle Rob, Aunt Leah, Trevor and Mackenzie.  Rob and Leah did an amazing job staying level-headed and protecting the kids from really knowing what was going on.  They sang songs during the loudest part of the storm – spoonful of sugar.  They slept close together inside the cabin, pulling together mats and cushions from the camper and in the cabin.  A tree fell on the roof and took out the power.  Jordan, Grandpa, Grandma, Natalie and I had a much easier time, inside a house that kept power and watching The Parent Trap.


Kenzie, you are a cutie!!

Great Grandma, meet my good friend Sophie

Nat and Kenzie played with Natalie’s first kitchen from when she was 1! N made a great kitchen set up for K!

Aunt Becky and Cam – I love my time with you esp. by the pool. Don’t you love my scuba suit?!?

Bath time is the best time! Thanks for buying me a Green Bay tubby Grandma!

Nat and Grandma made many specials treats – here are juice ice cubes. The biggest hit was Natalie root beer floats though!

Cameron is such a baby lover too – he cares so much for Conor! He never was too far away and was a great help by giving him toys in the car. (He was shocked that Conor threw 6 toys during a 27 minute car ride)

Two cuties!

Best buds at Bay Beach! (in front of the Tilt a Whirl)

Bay Beach was bouncin’…. so we played some camp games while in line. Even Grandpa!

Rachie hosted a BBQ at her beautiful house in De Pere! (Pic of little cousin Charlie – 6 weeks younger than Conor – is on someone else’s camera!)

More Aunt Becky time… too bad this fun, loving, extremely attentive auntie didn’t live closer!

BBQ Fun… Mackenzie (almost 4), Conor, Cameron (5), Natalie (8.5), Elliott (6), Charlie (4 weeks), Trevor (7.5), Peter (2)

We had such an amazing visit… all the way up to the last morning, dubbed Camp Grandma (with water balloons, hide and seek and tee pee / fairy house building)

Grandpa is a changed man over the past 15 years… he used to never smile for the camera and now look at that grin! 3 daughters’ weddings and 6 grandkids later!

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Happy Father’s Day

We’re spreading out the Father’s Day celebration.  We started last week with a trip to Collin’s Creamery, Jordan’s favorite local ice cream store.  You can literally see (and smell) the cows.  We came home with some extra pints.

On actual Father’s Day, Elliott had his final lacrosse game.  (Side note – he loves the gear and even wore his cup all day today… but he doesn’t so much love the game itself.  He is known for flashing me an “I love you sign” from the field, dragging his lacrosse stick on the ground and not hustling.)  I watched the first half, and then traded out with Natalie and Jordan for the second half.  The 3 of them went to church while I stayed home with a napping Conor.  (His name is right in the middle of family mass, which is by far the best mass to attend.)

Back at home, the kids gave him super thoughtful gifts.  Natalie had a booklet about him.  Elliott made them a picture of them together – and a matching Elvis t-shirt.  (Note to Jordan – insert picture from your phone when you read this!)  We also made him Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs envelopes with special messages inside for him to read each day he is gone.  (Unf, he forgot them on the coffee table, under a bag…. so I will just send him pics of what we sent him, which doesn’t seem nearly as fun.)

Shortly after my trip to the grocery store and a very transactional lunch, he headed to the Boston airport.  I will pretend I didn’t call him 3 hours later to get advice on a clash I was having with Natalie.

The part I’m looking the most forward to… is next Thursday, a date bike ride to Powder Brewery in CT.  Let’s hope for no rain.  I think we deserve it.

This afternoon, the kids and I made fluffy slime.  I’m getting better.  The slime I made with my mentee in Holyoke was way messier (same recipe).  We made some pictures.  Tonight, we read Star Wars.  I appreciate how Natalie listens to Elliott’s book choices and often, even if its not her top choice, she’ll get into them.  She even kept reading to Elliott while I sent downstairs to get some cookies out of the oven (for teachers and buddy appreciation since its the last week of school).

Conor had a terrible sleep day today – a couple times, he had poo in his diaper, which he hates.  And he also has learned to wiggle his way around in the crib a bit, either getting stuck on his side or perpendicular on the crib.  So, he had 4 naps – which meant he was still up for all of story time and cuddle time.  Cuddling with Conor and each kid was hilarious and fun though.  He was moving around SO MUCH.  He has a way of just inching his body different places and/or falling forward.  So, I was laying down with Conor propped up facing me, his back on my thighs.  He lunged at Elliott, pawing all over his face and even getting his fingers up Elliott’s nostrils.  (E found this hilarious of course.)  Similar situation with Natalie, although Natalie’s beautiful hair is tantalizing.  He grabbed a couple fists of it and tried to gum / eat it.  Natalie was just giggling.  True love.  She lets Conor get away with a lot more than she would let any of us get away with!

Okay, its 9:38pm and I still hear rustling upstairs. Ugh.  We’re having so many problems with Natalie going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Time to investigate.

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Happy 5 Months, Conor!

It’s 9 days after Conor turned 5 months and I don’t have his 5-mo pictures.  (Jordan took those and he is on his way to France now.)  But, better 9 days late than never….

Favorite Games: Peak a Boo, Row Row Row Your Boat, Chewing on Sophie the Giraffe or anything else, Raspberries

Milestones: Quarter roll, has good neck strength, everything in his mouth.  Just in the past few days, he’s started grabbing his toes and just tonight, did a tripod sitting up position.

Schedule: Usually three naps per day, with about 1.5 – 2 hours of awake time in between.  As his nap time approaches, he gets increasingly loud.  He has quite a screech.  He’s been sleeping 11-12 hours at night (knock on wood).  For some reason today, he’s been sleeping like a newborn, so he had 4 naps of 45 – 60 min. in length.  Boo.  That meant he didn’t go down until 8:30pm.

Dominant feature: Cheeks, of course

Friends: He’s met one other baby a handful of times – Ethan’s little sister Sarah.  Ethan is Elliott’s good friend from Montessori.

Sports: He’s watched Natalie play soccer.  He loves to watch Elliott run back and forth doing fighting moves (aka Star Wars, Transformers, Power Rangers, etc).


Thanks big sis for teaching me how to sit!

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Wishful thinking

All weekend, Elliott has been planning what police and mountain police lego sets he wants next.  He’s literally approached me a dozen times, with lego books in hand, with various plans for when he’s going to get which set when and how he’ll either earn the money or maybe get a gift. Unfortunately for him, he’s spent most of his birthday and Christmas money – he began the weekend with just $19.  I offered that he could earn an allowance this summer, but he wanted to start earlier.  So, he unloaded the dishwasher twice for me and got $1 each time, so he’s up to $21.  (He declined emptying two bathroom trashes for a quarter – what?!? only a quarter?!?)

Tonight, when we were cuddling before bed, he said “In my journal, I wrote that I got the lego police set.”

Me: “You wrote that you actually got it?”

Elliott: “Yeah, there wasn’t anything else from this weekend that I wanted to write about.”

Me: “Well, then you wrote fiction.”

Elliott: “Well, but yeah, but I didn’t want to write about anything else from this weekend.”

Me: “You could have wrote that you unloaded the dishwasher to earn more for the lego police station.”

Elliott: “I don’t want the word ‘dishwasher’ in my journal!”

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My youngest son is brilliant

It’s crazy how big Conor is getting!  Jordan was playing a game with him yesterday.  Jordan coughs and Conor thinks its hilarious, so he giggles.  So precious!  So, today, we walked to the park and we were swinging Conor.  He started pretend coughing too, so that we would cough!

Also, tonight, the kids were reading a Ricky Rocotta’s Might Robot book, and Conor parroted “robot” four times.  The first time was “ro ro bot,” which Elliott loved, since its a combination of Roro (his lovey) and a robot.  Of course, I don’t think he associated the sounds with an object, but still.  It also sounds like he says “hi” sometimes.

Also, today, Elliott was asking me what the highest currency note was.  We learned that they used to go up to $5,000.  When he found out that Hamilton was on the $10 bill, he goes “Hamilton – I know him.”  I said, “What do you know about him; I don’t know that much.”  He said, “He was George Washington’s man something.”  I said, “Do you mean right-hand man?”  Elliott: “Yeah!  That means he was like second in charge.”  And then we came across the phrase right hand man later on in the day too!

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Field Day

The Night Before…

“Mom, I’m not going to be able to sleep.  Tomorrow, is Friday Fun Day.  We start with choice, then we have 2.5 hours of field day, then lunch (with our family), then more choice, then the egg drop, then Popsicle social.  Would you be able to sleep if you were me?” – Elliott

Field Day was a blast!  It was pretty warm.  Siblings are on the same color team, so green team rules!  We met the kids for a picnic lunch – Conor blew out his cute green outfit I had for him, so I rummaged through his bigger clothes and found a Packers 18-mo onesie (from Lisa and Rachel).  I thought he’d be swimming in it – it was roomy, but def. not big.  Conor was popular with the 5th grade girls (and then 5th grade boys).

I came back for the 2nd grade egg drop at 2pm.  Natalie came up with her idea of a parachute and padded little box all on her own.  Her egg didn’t survive the fall, but it was close to doing so.

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Happy 38th Birthday Jordan!

Happy 38th Birthday Jordan!

My birthday present (which Jordan picked out and found himself) to Jordan was a hiking backpack for Conor.  Jordan tested it out around the neighborhood twice and for our big excursion, we drove a mile to Forest Park and hiked from there.  As you can see from the picture below, it worked well!  Jordan admitted Conor was quite heavy, so he’s going to build up his endurance carrying this chunky guy – who is only going to keep growing!

I also took him out to a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch – we biked there (my fav).  And, the other gift he wanted was me watching 3 episodes of the Hunger Games with him (not my TV genre, I was appalled by the first 6 min of violence in the first episode but am still sticking with it).  And, the family just went out for dinner at Max Burger tonight!  Natalie made him a chocolate pudding pie and Elliott is going to record (and dress up) Viva Las Vegas for Jordan (we’re just waiting on the Elvis t-shirt).   Conor allowed me to trace his hand for a card.

Weight: More than in college, but less than his wife at her maximum (pregnancy weight)

Height: The same as in college!  No shrinking yet.

Teeth: Still has them all, but grinds his teeth at night so he needs a mouth guard.

Hair Color: Brown, with a little more gray every year (but damn, it looks good on him – thank goodness, I’m not graying)

Schedule: Terribly erratic.  Always tries to go to bed by 10pm, but sometimes cannot sleep through the night and wakes up at 4am.

Special Talents: Carrying 2 kids up the stairs at one time, playing piano for everything from Justin Timberlake to Elvis, cooking dinner while on a conference call, and changing poopy diapers

Favorite Food: Peanut butter and lettuce

Favorite Drink: Kombucha or tea or Treehouse Brewery beer

Favorite Show: Any documentary.  Or, I guess, maybe Hunger Games – see birthday present section above

Favorite Book: I have no idea.  Some business or self-help book most likely.  He reads a lot of early chapter books. 🙂

Favorite Trip in the past Year: Saratoga Springs (with me- thanks Lala for babysitting!)  He found an amazing hotel (they treated us to a baby moon chocolate cake that we ate right from the box), walked around a cute downtown and college and experienced the springs.  Or… maybe Acadia with his BFF Tim.  Let’s pretend it was the trip with me, even though our trip was 20% as long as his Acadia trip, not nearly as strenuous or beautiful and involved a whole lot less alcohol (remember, I was pregnant!)

Favorite Trip in the upcoming Year if I was willing to go with him: Cannes, Florida (He has to go for work and has invited me a million times to join him at this amazing villa.  I’m pretty tethered to Conor, so I keep on turning him down.  Maybe we can convince the grandparents to pitch in and let us go to Europe for our 15th anniversary next summer – hint, hint as they are probably the only ones who read this blog)

I’d say he’s a keeper!

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