Cookie doodle

i have to soak up the days when he loves me this much.

Isn’t he delicious? This is the remnants of his pic day outfit.

And his fav place at o hare.

“Can you tell I am cleaning out pics on my phone?!? I ran out of storage.

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1st days of K and 2nd!!!

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Soccer Season

first weekend of soccer games. I’m proud of both kids. No complaints. They ran hard. They tried to get their foot in there. Lots of room for improvement but Coach Dad can help with that.

Nat was too tired to allow me to take a pic. She is on the U8 travel team. Elliott opted for Flash socks and undies to help him go super fast. Two benefits of having your Dad as coach – you get your fav number and your idea for a team. And is one of the ideas that gets put forth for voting. Intergalactic Scorpians beat out the Dragons. Reminds me of when Python was my camp groups name when I was 8. Coming from an all girls household I didn’t know what a python was and when I found out I thought it was a terrible name. I wonder if the five year old girls inn e’s team think the same.

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Mass Moca

? on our way to Mass Moca in the Berkshires. These kids are cracking us up.

Nat: I’m a witch! I’m a witch!

jordan: nothing about you is like a witch. Not your cuteness. Not your smile. Not the way you dress

nat: what about my wart? (A personnel wary that she has had on her thumb)

jordan: laughing  well maybe that  and your breath in the morning


then Nat was being silly and entertaining Elliott with a song: made in China (which is where her journal was made) after awhile, I turned down an imaginary volume knob


fro the back elliott said: you turned it the wrong way! And proceeded to get louder



once we got there, elliott wasn’t the biggest modern art fan  we were examining these huge swatches of color  I said purple made me think of eggplant and blue of the sea  elliott put his face within an inch of a red one  I asked what that made him think of he said the most boring thing of the world  totally serious







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Elliott’s Pre-K work

“The best part about me is my heart… because it give me life”

Those are planets. The Ethan and Elliott planet is closest to the sun. At the top, “those are just us”

I kinda forgot most of how I made this. Sorry.

We are retiring 3-year-old PK (left) and 4-year-old PK (right) folders! I love my dino-loving, super hero-ready

Although its nearly 9 p.m., Elliott is having trouble sleeping, so he snuck downstairs at exactly the right time, for me to learn more about these pictures.  Elliott asked Jordan and me why we aren’t in bed.  Jordan asked back, why isn’t he in bed.  Elliott’s response: “I’m sleepy but I just cannot sleep.”  I offered up that he could fall asleep in our bed – he had a huge smile and then asked if he could sleep with my fluffy pillow, which is a big body pillow that I had to buy due to Blueberry.  The kids both want “Fluff Fluff” (named by Natalie) and “Fuzzy” (named by Elliott) when I’m done being prego.

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Natalie’s 1st grade work

Page 1 of a story that Natalie wrote after her trip to Indianapolis in May

Pg 2 of the same story – check out that excellent pen(wo)manship!

A sample from Natalie’s journal – the best reading I’ve done all year. I’m ready for the sequel.

Since school starts on Thursday, we had to clean out our school bin and project bin.  Natalie swore we had already done it, but we discovered 10+ journal and compensation books, math workbooks, etc, so I think its safe to say we didn’t do it in June.  Her stack of “things to keep” was 40x higher than Elliott’s 1 cm thick of “things to keep”.  (I haven’t told her Dad this.)  I enjoyed her journal so much, that my bedtime reading later this week will be all of her stories!  She is very proud of her stories and poems and didn’t want to recycle any.  She hasn’t worked on her math workbook we bought a month ago at all – she hasn’t wanted to until tonight at 6:15pm, after a full day out, needing to eat dinner, shower, etc.  I do want to work with her on time and money though, as they didn’t do much of that in her 1st grade class.  Contrast with Elliott – who only has one page to go in his math workbook and asked me to email the school for him to work on long chains at school this summer (which he did 3 days).  Natalie definitely loves writing and drawing… Elliott loves math and make-believe wrestling/fighting.  They both like science.

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5 months

So, this is the first solo picture of Blueberry – s/he’s definitely a third.  This pic wasn’t nearly as well planned as the weekly chronicles of my growing stomach with Natalie, but it still counts.  What Blueberry misses in photos, s/he makes up in lovin’ from her/her two older siblings.  Natalie and Elliott talk to the baby a lot – in sweet voices and in super silly ones.  Elliott pointed out today that Blueberry is like a bat because s/he sleeps when I’m awake (aka during the daytime) and is awake when I’m asleep… and hangs upside down.  He is more right than he knows (esp. on the first part of that statement!)

I’ve gained about 15 lbs so far – even though the baby is just about one pound (across 15 inches!)  I’m not even sure what indigestion is, but I seem to have it most days after 12noon.  And my lower back hurts.  Apparently, people tell me I’m glowing… I think I’m tired with a double chin.  The joys of pregnancy.  I def. was never one of those ladies who loved being pregnant, but I do like feeling his/her kicks, which I’ve been able to do for about a month now.  (For Nat, I couldn’t feel the kicks until about 24 weeks – that tells you how blown out my abs are after 3 pregnancies.)  We’re excited to meet this little guy/girl…. in 4 (or a bit more) months.  Dec. 25th is the day.  (Our priest commented today how it would be great if the baby was here in time for the Christmas play… I love him.  I told him not to get his hopes up… that I was 4 and 7 days late with the other too, but that he could count on Natalie as an angel and Elliott as a cow for the play.)

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Dinosaur Date Day

Jordan had a super special date with Natalie to the ballet in the Berkshires, so I had to come up with a great one for Elliott. We traveled an hour south into CT to go to the Dinosaur Place. It’s mostly statues of Dino’s in their authentic size, plus a Trex tour (climbing area), maze and splash pad. Elliott insisted of taking a photo of he and every dino to show Dad. I think I have 30+.

First stop – volcanic explosion!

Check out those 3-foot claws! (and the adorable double I love you sign from Elliott – this was a pic he wanted to send to Jordan immediately upon taking)

I love you Triceratops. (He and I disagreed on whether this was an actual Triceratops replica or in the family of Triceratops. Either way, gotta love Ceratopsians!)

This heavily armored guy is in the anklosaur family but isn’t an ankylsorous. It was the only pic of the two of us… I don’t like it much b/c I feel like I look chubby, but I guess my stomach is the same size as his snout.

From afar, we thought this was Maiamosaur, who is always mentioned as a good mother dino. We were surprised to find this parasaurlophus is in the same family and also is known for taking care of her young.

Shh – don’t tell anyone we hopped on this 8-foot, 80-lb dino found in the CT River Valley, who had many characteristics of a carnivore, but was later found out to be an herbivore.

This last picture is going to be the picture Elliott brings to kindergarten.  It’s replacing a photo of him dressed up as an astronaut at the CT Science Center, where all you could see is his smiling face in a dimly lit room.  I have to say, I’ve learned A LOT about dinos and space in the past year from this kiddo.  I haven’t caught up to his knowledge on Transformer, I’m struggling to get as interested in this topic.

We ended the day with dinotracks ice cream (vanilla with fudge swirls, fudge pieces, M&Ms, cookie dough – YUM!) and chocolate lovers chocolate ice cream.  We definitely missed Jordan and Natalie, but what a fabulous way to spend the last Sunday of summer vacation.

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  1. The kids and I are headed to Green Bay. We are lucky that Jordan booked a work trip to Chicago on the same flight as ours- so he parked the car, handled our luggage, sit by the kids, etc. what a treat for prego me – 21 weeks with a back ache. But the kids are so good too!! They are old enough to 1) carry their backpacks and luggage, and 2) go in the bathroom stall on their own. Nat is even more helpful – watching our luggage while we are in the stall. And Elliott navigated our way from terminal B to F. Kids love O’hare. The lighted moving walkways. (They beat me to the end)- and the big Dino. We didn’t mind the 3 hour layover since we legit needed an hour to Cross between terminals and then we had a United lounge pass. (Wish we had those passes 8.5
    years ago during a 6 hour layover in South Korea!).

    We are excited for our GB plans! We are going to G and G’s cabin one hour north on Half Moon Lake. (Rumor has it there is an ice cream store near that sells Superman and Blue Moon ice cream – which can only be found in the Midwest). The kids LOVE Bay Beach – best priced carnival rides ever! It’s hard to spend more than $20 a family there on rides and treats! And I am going to take them to on of the pools where I used to be a lifeguard. It’s been converted to a mini water park. And…. Nat really wants to get her ears pierced! We are going to go the same place I went. (Confession: I got mine pierced the day after Becky did!).

  2. random cute comments
  3. Hey. Grandma. Have you ever had a nickname? Like slow poke or tortoise? – Natalie 

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Lunch Dates with Dad

I’m lucky enough to work from home and to see the kids in passing at certain points during the day.  It’s awesome to get quick hugs, see them building fairy houses outside through my window, or to hear them playing.  But I decided this week that I should do an informal lunch date with each kid.  We’ve always had dates in the past, but they’ve been less frequent and are usually a big production (museum, out-to-eat, etc).

Natalie enthusiastically accepted her lunch date invite from Dad.  Elliott flat out rejected me.  I sweetened the deal to say we could watch some Star Wars scenes, which he’s never actually seen.  That did the trick.

Tuesday – Natalie date

Natalie’s lunch date was a bike ride to Forest Park.  It’s about 1.5 miles there and back, and not the easiest terrain.  She clearly was sooo excited to be doing this, and her level of excitement was an ironic reminder of how short this window is where she would rather have a picnic with me than anything else in the world.

Of course, Natalie wanted to first put on sun screen and, as always, She handled the biking like a champ, and it was a perfect day to picnic.  Forest Park is one of the prettiest parks I’ve ever been, too, which is surprising given that Springfield is not a pretty town.  We biked past where our family had its picture taken in the fall foliage, biked past ducks, and eventually came to a little man-made waterfall (more like a dam) where we set up our picnic on a big cement block thing.

It was great to be so unrushed in our conversation together, to casually chat, and sometimes, to even sit in silence and just be together.

At the end of lunch, we had carrots races, throwing carrots into the dam and seeing which made it to the bottom first.  Then, we biked a bit further and came across a man watching a baby snapping turtle cross the road.  The guy was a wealth of information about snapping turtles, and he even prodded it with a stick a bit so we could see just how fast they can snap.

We biked back home which meant going up a VERY steep hill.  Natalie can’t stand up on a bike yet, and I was pretty impressed how far she made it up the hill.  Major quad workout!  She pushed herself hard, and as you can see, was pretty wiped out when we got home.

Dad. I’m pooped! That was some intense bike riding!


Wednesday – Elliott date

As mentioned, it took some cajoling to get Elliott to agree to our lunch date – meaning, a bribe of watching a video.  He decided he wanted to take our picnic to the backyard and we would eat in our fort, which is part of the swingset.

Our date began with me unpacking our food as we sat in the fort, only to look one foot way to see Elliott, pants down, preparing to pee off the edge of the fort and down the slide like a waterfall.  I said, “Dude, you can’t pee down the slide!  Especially not when you are about to eat food!”  I had just enough time to point him to the right so he didn’t hit where we slide down, but it was still a graceful arc of urine to start our date.

We ate lunch and had a nice time chatting.   Elliott is hot and cold on conversation though.  Well, really, he often doesn’t say a lot UNLESS he is talking about transformers.  Then, he can go on 15 min soliloquies about autobots, decepticons and energon (most of which you cannot understand).  I’m comfortable with silence, so we spent some time just sitting, chewing, and being together.

We talked a bit here and there, and at one point, we started talking about “blueberry,” our new brother/sister.  Here is how that conversation went….

  • Elliott: “Blueberry is so lucky that she’s attached to Mom.”
  • Jordan: “Really?  She’s just in their in the dark all the time.  She never even gets to eat.  Would you still like to be attached to Mom if you couldn’t eat?”
  • Elliott: “Yes.”
  • Jordan: “Ok.  Well, Blueberry never gets to watch shows.  You wouldn’t want to be attached to Mom if you didn’t get to watch Autobots would you?”
  • Elliott: “Yes.”
  • Jordan:  “Ok.  I guess it is kind of like taking a really long nap in a big jacuzzi with Mom’s heartbeat right next to you.  Yeah, that doesn’t sound so bad.  And Blueberry never feels any pain.”
  • Elliott: “Yeah, yeah..mmmm..yeah..mmm….but Mommy does!”

Haha.  The kid cracks me up.  After we finished lunch, we watched some Star Wars clips.  I realized that I’ve only seen the original three Star Wars and like half of the next one.  Elliott loved the light saber fight scenes in particular, and it’s clear that I’m going to be catching up on all these when he’s older.  I was also surprised because we were watching a scene from the 6th or 7th movie – one I haven’t seen – and a plane was flying around.  He goes, “That’s the Millenium Falcon.”  I pulled back in my memory bank and realized, yes, he was right.  I said, “How do you know that?”  He says, “I’ve seen it on a Lego set that I want.”


Pretty great to get to hang out with these two.  Erin and I are so lucky to have such amazing, fun, and interesting kids.  I know/hope they will always love us, but it’s pretty great to also have them want to spend so much time with us.

On that note, here’s a picture of Elliott this morning.  He woke up early.  Erin was out on a walk, so this is him sitting on our front steps, eagerly awaiting her return.  I’d say that sums his relationship with Erin up pretty well.

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