The Miracles of Modern Medicine

The past ten days have been rough. It started last Tuesday night with a midnight trip to the ER, a dose of racemic epinephrine, and a round of steroids. Jack had wandered into our room, gasping for breath, a nasty bout of croup with stridor having developed in the few hours since he’d fallen asleep.

By Monday, we’d added a trip to Urgent Care plus four rapid strep tests (all negative, thank goodness!), and one pretty sick mama.

Wednesday brought with it three fevers (and no school), and one sleepless night for Sophie, Mom, and Dad. By Thursday, I’d lost my voice (and pretty much all of my energy), and we rounded out the day with a trip to the pediatrician to rule out strep (again) and an ear infection.

There is still a lot of snot and a lot of coughing in our household, and not a lot of sleep. The fevers keep coming and going, and I don’t think anyone has eaten a square meal in over a week.

BUT (and this is a VERY big but), if coughs, and colds, and fevers, and runny noses, and yes, even a trip to the ER for croup is our worst week…then I cannot help but count us all very lucky.

Our road to parenthood was not an easy one. The before, during, and after of my pregnancy involved a lot of doctors, a lot of medicine, and a lot of hope. The photos below are a constant reminder of how far these little people have come, and the fact that their little bodies are strong enough to fend off these viruses makes me one very grateful mama.

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On the top left there is Henry, still eleven weeks before a baby is supposed to be out in this world on his own, barely two pounds, and working to breathe with a collapsed lung.

And then there’s Jack, working hard just to open his eyes a few days after being born.

And finally Sophie. Rocking her shades from the from her phototherapy treatment for jaundice.

It would be days before we held Henry, weeks before the three of them were reunited with each other, and months before they came home.

So I’ll take the sniffles, the sleepless nights, and the multiple trips to the doctor if it means I get to have these three happy humans in my arms, at home, every night. It was a long time coming, and I am just so very grateful that they are here.

 

Halloween 2017

I started a new tradition in our family last Valentine’s Day, and it’s to celebrate the smaller holidays. I know this sounds silly (or perhaps obvious?) but here’s what it means in our house: themed plates, decorations, and possibly, just possibly, a special holiday-related treat. All before 6:30am.

Breakfast isn’t usually a big deal in our household, and the morning drama starts early, so decorations and pumpkin plates go a long way. I may have also let them have cookies with their waffles…

Mom (cookie bunnies?) for the win.

But when it came time to decide on Halloween costumes for this year, I just couldn’t do it. There were two possible approaches:

1) Choose something for them (“Play the triplet card one more time!” I thought. “Make them dress up as Ron, Harry, and Hermione while you still can!” my heart screamed).

OR

2) Let them choose for themselves.

Because I know my children and because the toddler version of them pretty much wants nothing to do with what the things that I think are great ideas, I went with OPTION TWO.

One small problem: They COULD NOT decide what they wanted to be.

At first they were going to be a firefighter, a veterinarian, and a teacher. “Great!” I thought, “We have all of those costumes already.” Done, done, and done.

And then, they started saying they’d like to be ghosts. We had some ghost stickers, I think. They also started saying they’d be a firefighter, a veterinarian, and a teacher for Christmas. Just when I thought they’d finally wrapped their heads around Halloween.

And then at some point, they settled on coconuts. I don’t know where this came from. I am not even sure they know what coconuts are. But anytime anybody asked them what they were going to be in the ten days leading up to Halloween, they would say, “A coconut.” Craftier moms might have made this happen. I just decided we would open up the costume box on Halloween and see what they decided to be.

That’s what we did, and you know what they decided to be? The same thing they were last year. And luckily for us, their costumes still fit.

I may have committed a major Halloween faux pas, but the kids didn’t seem to notice. BONUS: They were warm.

And they did seem to really enjoy it this year. And, as always, we all learned some important things: Jack learned that “Some people don’t do trick-or-treating” when we arrived at a building where there wasn’t any candy. Sophie learned to say, “I’m allergic to nuts!” every time someone presented her with a bowl of candy (we’re still working on the “Trick or treat!”) And Henry learned that sometimes even dogs get dressed up on Halloween. He bonded with several fellow pups as we strolled up and down 73rd street. Mom and Dad learned that nut allergies on Halloween are a REAL PAIN, lollipop wrappers are NOT toddler proof, and bedtime on Halloween is pretty much bound to be a disaster.

But for a couple of hours, they were So. Dang. Happy. Recycled costumes and all. Until next year…

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Skating Party 2017 – Sophie and Henry’s first time on ice skates

Another skating party in the books. Arguably the hardest one to date, but also the most memorable…first time on skates for these kiddos (2 out of 3 at least)!

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Every day I am reminded that as they grow up, some things get easier and some things get harder.

We made it there (and back) in the wagon thanks to some navigational assistance from Google Maps and a trusted colleague.

We only spilled one cup of hot chocolate, and it mostly missed Maggie’s purse.

We ate brownies.

We stayed up way past our bedtime.

And of course, we have no photos of the skating because the child-to-adult-ratio is still a little mismatched for these very wobbly beginners.

On our way home, Henry, Jack, and Sophie marveled at what it was like to be outside “in the middle of the night.”

They shared their observations about the colors of the sky:

“Why is it sort of brown here?…It’s black when we’re at Nana’s and Grammie’s.”

“Look at it now. It’s more blue and purple here.”

They asked a thousand questions:

My favorite was, “Where did the city go?” as we wandered through Central Park.

And they reflected on the best parts of their evening:

“My favorite part was the brownie, and when [Daddy] carried me around.”

“My favorite part was the hot chocolate and the brownie.”

“My favorite part was all of it. Because I loved all of it.”

And because we’re sharing favorite moments, I’ll share mine. As we were making our way out, into Central Park in the “middle of the night,” and we ran into a parent of some former students of mine. “Oh, what a wonderful thing!” she exclaimed. “It’s a wagon full of Strumolos!” And she snapped this quick photo, our only “memory” of the night.

I don’t know how much longer Will and I will be carting along a wagon full of Strumolos, but I know I’ll be glad to look back at this photo and remember what it was like to pile our kids into the back of our Radio Flyer wagon and wander through Central Park in “the middle of the night.”

It was an epic adventure for just a few minutes on the ice, and I was reminded that I can, when necessary (and it was necessary), still carry two of these rascals at a time, ice skates, helmets, and all.

 

#thedaysarelongbuttheyearsareshort

First Day of Group 3

 

It’s here! (Actually, by the time I post this, it’s come and gone), but Henry, Jack, and Sophie’s first day of Group 3 at Episcopal finally arrived. They are SOOOOOO excited! I realize this picture probably doesn’t convey their excitement, but they had been waiting outside for about ten minutes at that point. They were, understandably after all these days, a bit impatient. They literally asked, “Is today the day we are going to school?” Every. Single. Day. Since we got back to NYC.

I’m pretty excited too because a little over three decades ago, I had my first day at Episcopal. Some of my earliest memories are from my classroom and teachers there, and I am so thrilled Henry, Jack, and Sophie will start making their own this year.

There’s is a VERY gradual separation schedule, so it will be a while before the kiddos experience their “full” day of three hours at school (they are SO ready!). In the meantime, they are enjoying meeting their teachers, making new friends, and learning all about Episcopal. Or “Ecispocal,” as Sophie sometimes calls it .

The later start date meant I had extra time to make their “First Day of School” chalkboards. My first instinct was to just purchase these on Etsy, but like everything else times three, it was so dang expensive. So then I thought, I’ll make my own! But that initially proved too complicated and time consuming (mostly because I couldn’t decide on the materials/find what I wanted). But then, after hemming and hawing (and wasting way too much time browsing the internet for the perfect solution…what else is new?) I bit the bullet. And here’s what I came up with:

Pros: I can reuse these every year by just erasing the chalk markers and updating the information. Also, the kids (kind of) helped make them. They chose the colors (and the order of the colors…if I had my way it would all be a lot more coordinated). Then they helped find the stickers I needed. See what I did there? I made a fun craft project with Mom into a lesson in letter recognition and spelling. Always a teacher…

For what it’s worth, the kids also managed to mess up some of the chalk before we took the photos (oh, and they LOST Henry’s board the DAY SCHOOL STARTED). These are NOT small boards, people. How it got LOST in this two bedroom apartment of ours is anybody’s guess, but if you guessed triplet toddlers + tiny apartment + two working parents + start of school = hot mess at the Strumolo abode, you guessed right. We found it later hiding behind a side cabinet.

I guess you could say those were the cons: it can (and probably will) be erased and it can (and probably will) get lost. But that last one is a con for just about everything in this apartment, so it doesn’t really count. The other con is probably that these aren’t as cute and coordinated as the ones on Etsy, but hey, at least they’re homemade, right?

I used these chalkboards, these stickers, and these chalk markers. For a grand total of less than $60. This probably still sounds expensive to most of you, seriously, check Etsy. That stuff is adorable, but boy… Also, I needed chalkboards that would be big enough to fit all of the things I wanted to add. That is harder to find than one might think. Or at least than I might think.

Speaking of fitting all the things I wanted to add, I realize you probably can’t read all those things in the small photos above, so here they are one at a time:

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And because Jack thought it would be important to have a photo altogether, there’s this. It only took about fifty tries, and this is the best we got. #triplets

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