Preemie Strong

The Strumolo Clan has had a rough week. On Saturday morning, the coughs began. By Saturday afternoon the fevers arrived. By 9pm we were on stridor watch for Jack. And by 10:30, we were in the ER.


One croup diagnosis, breathing treatment, dose of steroids, and stuffed ducky later, we were back at home.


One sick and tired brother.


Two sneaky siblings hijacking his crib while he sleeps on the couch.


Second attempt at naps during illness.


Third attempt.


Sophie was next. Down for the count. 


Rocking the nebulizer. 

This is what three sick toddlers looks like:


What do you do when everyone has fevers and won’t drink? Popsicles!


Here they are working on Sissy Pig. I’m not sure what was ailing her, but Jack was definitely giving her a breathing treatment. 

After a thoroughly exhausting week for ALL five members of our family (six, if you count Sissy Pig!), it would be easy to wallow in self-pity (and there has been some of that). But November 17 is World Prematurity Day. And this year, when November 17 rolled around, despite the sniffles, and coughs, and fevers, and sleepless nights, I was reminded how lucky we are that these amazing little people made it into the world and into our lives.




Hard to believe that just two and a half years ago I could tuck these kiddos inside my shirt…


With Thanksgiving around the corner, I am feeling incredibly grateful for these little humans. And of course for all the incredible people who helped get them to where they are (serving up corn and hotdogs in Nana’s backyard).



Happy Halloween!

img_1922This year, we let Henry, Jack, and Sophie choose their own costumes. Surprise, surprise: we ended up with a Doggie, a Milo, and a Monkey. If you haven’t met them yet, you might not understand just how deeply their loyalties lie when it comes to their special animals, but Henry, Jack, and Sophie are as attached to their beloved animals (and any and all of their distant cousins and relatives) as they are to “their” colors (blue, green, and pink).

This was also the first year we went trick-or-treating. They still don’t really understand candy (not to mention that Sophie is fatally allergic to most of it), and when I asked them the first few times if they wanted to go trick-or-treating, they had mixed feelings about it. When the candy came out that night at our apartment (we were offering peanut- and tree-nut free Hershey’s kisses), they weren’t sure what to do with it. Jack was the first to realize they were edible, and when he asked, “Can I eat it?” and I replied, “Yes!” he popped the whole thing in his mouth. Wrapper and all.

I’ll set the scene as we were getting ready to go out the door on Halloween night. Everyone is (finally!) in their costume. Their mouths are covered in chocolate from the Hershey’s kiss I allowed them each to eat. There is a fight over which pumpkin bucket they want, and it takes me a while to realize that Sophie wants the one we are leaving for the neighbors. The one with all the candy in it. And it’s not the bucket she wants. It’s the candy. As I am trying to get them into the wagon (I am flying solo for trick-or-treating and considering braving the streets, but not without the wagon!), our doorbell rings.  I open the door, and a little girl dressed as a witch, and her mom, stand on the other side, bag outstretched, saying, “Trick or treat!” I give her the candy and close the door, and immediately, Henry, Jack, and Sophie look up at me and say, “Again?”

We were out the door. They LOVED every second of it. They didn’t understand why we didn’t go inside these other houses we visited, and they still don’t really understand candy, but as we made our way home with their sticky, lollipop-covered hands and faces, they kept asking, “Can we go Halloween again?” and saying, “I want to see one more neighbors.”

I’d never really thought of Halloween as a time to visit with your neighbors, meet new people, or just get out and say hi to the people in your neighborhood, but for us (for this year at least), that’s really what it was. And I’d say that’s a totally reasonable (and somewhat wonderful) reason to don a silly costume and walk (or roll) around knocking on doors way past bedtime one night out of the year.

The candy doesn’t hurt either.