Grateful

This evening, as I was rushing home to spend time with my three favorite people in the world, I ran into our little trio on the street, out for a quick walk with Diana. My heart skipped a beat when I saw them (as it always does), and I gave them each a kiss and sent them on their way, counting the minutes until I would see them again. As I walked into my building, a woman on the street asked, “Triplets?” I replied, “Yes!” still gushing, and she said…wait for it…”Poor lady.” Poor lady?!? Well, woman on the street, you can save your pity for somebody else, because never in the 185 days since Henry, Jack, and Sophie entered this world have I EVER thought, “Poor me.” In fact, more often than not, I think, “How did I get so lucky?” How is it that Will and I have three (THREE!!) beautiful, healthy, and happy babies to cuddle and play with and laugh with each night? To greet us each morning with their bright eyes and adorable smiles? I mean look at these faces…

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How could I ever be anything other than grateful?

So Many Firsts!

I am sure you are all wondering by now how the transition back to work went. Well, if the fact that I haven’t posted in over a week is any indication, then you have probably deduced that things are much busier around the Strumolo household these days. Having three babies makes life busy enough, and adding a 10-hour work day to the mix doesn’t exactly make things any easier! I was all set to gripe here about what makes being a working mom so hard, but then I thought, you don’t care! You want to see what these babies have been up to! Well, they’ve been up to an awful lot over the last week. They’ve been strolling

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By the sailboat pond

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Here they are at Nan’s bench. Nan was nanny to Grammie (Ann) and her sisters many years ago. Great-grandparents Gee and Poppy dedicated a bench in Central Park to her. The trips were excited to visit!

They’ve been Stylin’

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Sophie in her jeggings. How cute is this bum?

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They’ve been snoring

IMG_2810 They’ve been smilin’

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They’ve been enjoying Story Time

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And Serenades

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Henry is learning how to laugh… And Jack is learning how to roll. On Monday, he rolled from back to tummy, but of course, when we tried to get him to do it again for the camera, he never quite made it all the way over.  But he’s no quitter! Sophie is showing the boys how to get it done during tummy time.

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And Henry is leading the way in the grabbing department. IMG_1738

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Jack is catching on, however, and his face when he finally got ahold of the toy was priceless. IMG_1750 IMG_1752

Everyone is working on sitting up…some with more success than others!

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Sophie is SO much shorter than the boys. She is such a peanut!

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Jack looks like he’s ready to kick back with a beer! IMG_1724

Apparently he prefers his Bumbo to the sofa. Henry can fend off the assaults from his rolling brother and kicking sister, IMG_1740

and Jack can blow bubbles. IMG_2848

Sophie is losing her hair, but what little wisps are left are still cute and curly! IMG_1734

 

 

 

She’s also been enjoying some oatmeal baths in the hopes that her eczema will calm down. IMG_1733

The boys have begun to notice Sophie (she is pretty loud, after all), IMG_1720

and those boys are looking pretty identical! IMG_1722

It’s been a busy week for all five Strumolos! Until next time…

Back to School

Group of teenagers sitting in classroom with raised hands.

 

Those of you who know me know that I am one of those lucky people who loves her job. Yes, I love having the summers off, and yes, the long vacations in December and March are pretty great. But even when I’m still in my classroom at 6:00pm (after having arrived there at 7:00am) surrounded by tests I have yet to grade, homework I have yet to return, and emails I have yet to respond to, I love my job. Even when I am exhausted to my very core, sure that I cannot face another day reminding 12-year-old boys to stay in their seats, raise their hands, tuck in their shirts, take notes, turn in their homework, be nice, put their napkins on their laps, stop talking, keep their shoes on, find a pencil, stop throwing paper (I swear I also teach math at some point), I wake up the next morning and smile when that first boy walks into my classroom and greets me for the day. Every September, I am charged with educating and caring for fifty to sixty children who are not my own, and I do it gladly.

This year, heading back to school is a little bit harder. When I walk out the door to tend to other people’s children, I am leaving my own behind. Henry, Jack, and Sophie cannot yet interact with me the way my students can(nor can they talk back!), but they are mine. They are mine every minute of every day for the rest of my life, through every 3:00am crying fit and through every smile, and every moment I spend in my classroom is one more moment I miss with them.

So tomorrow, when I head back to work, the inevitable excitement that accompanies the start of every new school year for me will be mixed with some other emotions. I am certain my new crop of students will keep me entertained and keep me busy, and I am eager to begin the year with them. But I also know I will be leaving a little piece of me behind each morning. Perhaps it will teach me to let go of the little things (will it REALLY matter if the new lunch menu doesn’t get printed?), to get home a little earlier (the tests will still be there to grade tomorrow), and to stop thinking about my students long after they have gone home for the day (they have their own parents, after all!). But whatever happens, I am sure motherhood will have already changed me a bit. With any luck, I will be a better teacher this year (if a bit sleepier).  For I know that being a teacher has made me a better mother, and whatever happens tomorrow, I am so grateful that I get to be both.

Happy start of school!

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Emi Comes to Visit!

Karen, proud founder of Small Kitchen Big Taste (more on that later), and mama to adorable, nearly six-month-old (wait, how did that happen?!) Emi, is my best friend. This is a blog about babies, not mamas, so I won’t bore you with the history of our friendship, but you should know it started when we sat down next to each other at academic orientation back at Georgetown, almost exactly twelve (twelve?!) years ago. The conversation went something like this:

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen.

Me: Hi, I’m Eleanor (and I’m shy and awkward and can’t believe someone is talking to me)!

A few more getting-to-know-you niceties later, and we had:

Karen: I sing.

Me: I sing too!

Two days later we were practicing our audition songs for a cappella tryouts in one of the music rooms on campus. Three days later, Will was calling to tell me, “Don’t worry, your friend Karen also made the Phantoms,” and the rest is history. If you don’t know what I mean by the Phantoms, go to YouTube and type in “Georgetown Phantoms.” They are pretty awesome.

Anyway, that’s Karen, and for some crazy, ridiculous, and silly reason (oh, I don’t know, being pregnant and then giving birth to a few babies between us) we hadn’t seen each other since Karen’s baby shower in December. Insanity. So, when Karen said she was coming to visit, we were all excited!

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Karen and Sophie together at last

You should know that while I am obviously partial to my own little diva, I think Emi is just about the cutest little nugget that ever existed. She is approximately one month older than our trio, but ours were three months early, yada, yada, yada, you know the drill. In any event, she is all about the toys, so she was ready to teach our little ones a thing or two. Wait, you mean this stuff is actually here for me to touch? And grab? And gnaw on?

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Emi’s teaching Sophie how this activity mat REALLY works.

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Oh, hello there, camera! Should I get ready for my close up?

Emi is very nearly sitting up on her own (this was last Sunday, so perhaps she is by now!) so that was also a good lesson for the boys and their big heads.

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The boys weren’t really interested in posing for the camera. Hence, the look of sheer terror and pain on Henry’s face here. Emi, you’ll notice, is perfectly content and perhaps a little confused as to why Henry insisted on causing such a ruckus.

Now, not only did Karen and Alex come with adorable Emilia in tow, but they came bearing food. Homemade food. Braised pork with apples and roasted potatoes and green beans and Cookies. These cookies deserve a capital C. Did I mention Karen is the best? So here’s what you need to know about the food. Karen is and always has been an amazing cook. In college, while the rest of us were eating Easy Mac and Tostitos, she was whipping up things in the kitchen that required the stove and more than three ingredients. I don’t think she ever even had a meal plan. Fast forward to today, and Karen is the proud founder and owner of  http://www.smallkitchen-bigtaste.com. She and her team create delicious prepared foods, cater small events in the New Haven area, and have even started their own line of baby food. Taste-tested by Emi of course. If you are in the North Haven area, or if you are just looking for a delicious–and healthy, did I mention healthy–recipe, check out the link above. You’ll thank me later as you’re biting into those sweet potato quinoa burgers or peanut butter banana breakfast muffins or whatever you come away with.

Ok, that’s my plug for SKBT.

Finally, you should know that the next generation of Phantom singers has grown by more than just these four this spring. Our friend George and his wife Melissa welcomed Elias into this world one day before the trips arrived. We had the pleasure of meeting Elias last week, and like Emi, he was showing Henry, Jack, and Sophie all the fun they have in store as they continue to grow. Sadly, we were so busy chatting (and salivating over the red velvet and chocolate cakes George brought) that we forgot to take photos. But it happened, I swear.

So we’ve got a quintet going (Emi, Elias, Henry, Jack, and Sophie), and we’re taking bets on who will be the bass. Preferably one of the boys, but hey, Emi and/or Sophie wouldn’t be the first Phantom girls to join in on the boys’ section. Sometimes the tenor parts are just more fun!