Morning, as Owen is getting dressed for work.

Conal: You look cute?

Owen: No, I don’t look cute.

Conal (concerned): You look cute?

Owen: No. I don’t look cute.

Conal (smiling, head cocked to the side): You look cute?

Owen: OK, yes, I guess I look cute.

Late morning, after combing Conal’s hair and washing his face.

Conal: I look cute?

Me: Yes, you do. You look very look cute.

Conal: I awfully cute.

Me: Yup. You sure are.

Conal (smiling, head cocked to the side):  You cute, Mama.

I guess we’re just a bunch of cuties. In Conal’s mind at least!


First, before we hit the road, there were some crafts:

From Wednesday through late Friday, we were at Grandma’s house on Long Island. Thanksgiving day brought lots of fun with cousins, especially Casey:

The next day, it was time to meet Santa at the Cousins Party:

And have some more — very wild — fun with Casey:

Then, back home for the big surprise 40th anniversary party on Saturday:

Five whirlwind days: Lots of late nights and lots of fun for the Little Jobber!

It’s hockey season and that means that Conal is in full-on fan mode. He’s already been to some RPI hockey games, he’s all geared up with his Uncle Jer’s old jersey, and he’s now sporting Henrik hair.

Henrik hair? What’s Henrik hair, you may ask. Why, it’s hair in the style of Henrik (as in, Lundqvist, NY Rangers goalie), of course. A true fan, this little jobber. A true fan.

And now, some recent hockey-palooza pics!

With Ethan at an RPI game.

Wearing his “new” jersey.

Gearing up for a game.

With Pop-pop at an RPI game.

After vacation, we had a few days at home before taking off again. The highlight of our brief time at home was Claire’s graduation party. It was a fun Mexican-themed fiesta!

Conal liked the bouncy-bounce:


Nicki and Conal.


Sean and Conal.

And he and Owen loooooved Claire’s yummy cupcakes:



Conal also had fun just hanging out that night, after the party started to die-down:


Now, the party’s over and Claire heads off to college next week. Conal will miss his Aunt Claire, for sure!

A week away. A week of fun. A week, also, of learning about the little jobber’s crystallizing personality:

  • Conal needs his time alone.
  • He’s not always himself around others.
  • He goes wild when overtired and sugared-up.
  • He loves the sand.
  • But doesn’t love swimming pools.
  • He’s become a hugger.
  • He hates taking baths in vacation houses.
  • He goes crazy for whales, penguins, fish, sharks and other marine life that call aquariums their home.
  • He likes to walk backward, crawl backward, wear his hat backward and just say “backward” as much as possible.
  • When he gets it in his head that lobster-print swim trunks and striped shirts go together, there is no getting him to change his mind.
  • If he could eat chips all day, he would.
  • He wouldn’t, however, drink soda.

And I’m pretty much OK with that last one. I’m OK with all of them, actually. He is who he is and his personality is becoming more and more apparent as he grows and develops and experiences more. It’s wonderful.

Now, here’s a little glimpse of our vacation fun!


Enjoying the beach in front of the house.


Enthralled by whatever was in the tank.


Just a penguin.


I wasn’t kidding about the hugs.


Nor was I kidding about the going wild.


Fleeting quite moment.


The lobster-stripes combo. With purse. A good look, no?




Fresh ‘n funky.


Lots o’ kids.

Some days Conal just has no interest in smiling for photo ops. He may be having a great time, but he gets in serious mode and you just can’t get the kid to smile.

That was the case when he went to the Valleycats game with Owen, my dad and Claire earlier this week. Serious. He was totally serious.



He came home all smiles and filled with excitement over being at the game with his peeps, but you wouldn’t know it from his expression! The kid is a little Mr. Serious.

We had lots of fun celebrating Claire’s graduation this weekend:


The whole family at Lombardo’s for dinner before the graduation ceremony.


Claire and her pal, Gillian.


Claire and Conal.


The graduate.


The graduate with Mom and Dad.

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