May 2017

Happy to be a mother day 🙂

The Mother’s Day celebrations began at 1 AM last night (Henry), continued at 3AM (Sophie), and really ramped up around 5AM (Jack AND Henry). I am, as always, exhausted, but I am also extremely grateful for these three lovable, spunky, clever, cuddly, hilarious little beings who made me a mom a little over three years ago.

I am also incredibly grateful for my own mom, Lisa Lord Gillespie, for everything she’s done for me and mine over the years (too many things to count), and for making me the Mom I am today.

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Bedtime Battles

The scene outside our bedroom right now. What you can’t see (or hear) is the third child screaming hysterically and demanding that her father “SIT IN THE CHAIR!” I do have audio footage of that, but I’ll spare you all.

WTF.

Edited to add: HUGE shout out to my partner in crime, Will Strumolo, (who is no longer on Facebook) for trying desperately to let me sleep through the entire four hour (yes, four hour) ordeal. Turns out that in a Manhattan two-bedroom with a child screaming at the top of her lungs, that’s not possible, but I appreciate the effort. In a BIG way.

#tripletproblems#theyusedtosleep#whywonttheysleep#pleaseletussleep

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And then, 12 hours later. How quickly she melts my heart. 💗

 

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Eleanor Strumolo added 11 new photos — at Bronx Zoo.
May 29 · Bronx · 

When you fall asleep in the car on the way to the zoo, are completely disoriented when you wake up, have an accident, and your parents left the bag of extra clothes at home.
1) Dad fashions a pair of shorts from your t-shirt and a USB cord.
2) Mom buys the smallest pair of sweatpants she can find in the gift store.

And you still need the USB cord as a belt.
#lifehacks #macguyversgotnothingonus

 

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Grateful for holidays at home with the family, impromptu trips to the Bronx Zoo, and wild animals.

 

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And then they were three…

They had a party with a bubble machine, cupcakes, and all of their friends from school. They aged out of Early Intervention services. Turning three was a big deal.

April 2 · 

When you try to make a surprise birthday breakfast for three kids who regularly request (demand?) pancakes at 5:30AM. BARELY made it.

#cookinginthedark #turnsouttheydontevenlikecinammonrolls#baconforthewin

 

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When they share a birthday but not an opinion. #tripletproblems

 

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A very happy birthday to this adorable, thoughtful, clever little man. Whether he grows up to be a veterinarian, a mad scientist, a teacher, a dancer, or the president of the United States, he will never stop amazing me with all that he can do. Love this little man.

Happy birthday to this sweet, sensitive, and generous little man. Whether he grows up to be a mathematician, a musician, a soccer player, or a cowboy, I know he will find joy in every minute. I am so grateful for his constant love and affection. Love this little man.

A very happy birthday to this spunky, hilarious, snuggly little girl. Whether she grows up to be a soccer player, a princess, a firefighter, a doctor, or a ballerina, I have no doubt this girl is going to make things happen. I’m so lucky to have her light in my life!

Sunday Funday with the Family. An impromptu tire swing date with a friend, discovering the “BIG slide,” a trip to the zoo, bubbles, and Shake Shack. Simply the best.

April 16 · 

Because everything is color coded. Always.

And because the only picture we could get with the three kids was this one.

#theirnewfavoriteholidayiseaster#thisiswhathappenswhenthreepeopleplayeasterbunny #thanksnana#thanksgrammie #easterwithoutchocolate

 

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April 18 · 

You know you’re in for a long night when at 8:48 one of your toddlers is already asking, “Is it time to wake up yet?” And she hasn’t even fallen asleep yet 🤣

April 21 · 

Some days (like yesterday), you’re repeatedly reminded of all the things you haven’t done: there’s no food in the house, the bill you meant to pay last week is still sitting in your purse, the kids have no clean underwear. Literally.

Then other days you shower (that’s a big accomplishment, folks), and make it out the door to the donut shop in the rain with all three kids before work, and you feel like a rockstar. Did I mention Will was out of town?

And then, you go to leave for work and have to come back THREE separate times because you forgot your debit card, your cell phone, and your employee ID. Oh, and you also threw an envelope of cash in the TRASH last night while you were cleaning up, and you’re just lucky someone else thought to look for it before that trash was taken out for the day. At least we all got our donuts…? 😳🍩🍩🍩

 

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Flying Solo

April 24 · 

Guys, I survived 72 hours alone with the triplets. Well, to be fair, I was at work for 8 of those hours, but really it was 75 hours if we’re counting, so…close enough. There were some stressful moments (what to do at 9pm and 11pm and 12am and 2am and 4am when all they want is Daddy and he’s the one thing you can’t provide at the moment?) and some joyous moments (give these kids a few sticks and a pile of mulch, and they are in heaven. They may not be clean, but they’re happy).

And have I mentioned how much they LOVE the subway? We had a subway adventure (yes, I brought three toddlers on the subway by myself, and yes, I’m slightly crazy), and on it, we got LOTS of stares. We got the “Are you crazy?” stares and the “Wait…are those triplets?!” stares, and the “I feel for you” stares, and the “You REALLY shouldn’t have three toddlers on the escalator/sidewalk/subway platform by yourself” stares.

And then, on the ride back, we sat down next to a family with five adults and ONE toddler, and they looked at us and said, “Wow…are they twins?” We get this a lot. “Triplets,” I replied. “OH! Wow! That’s wonderful! You are lucky! You are blessed.” they said. And they were serious. And you know what? We hear that almost every time we are out with the kids. And sure, it’s one out of the sixty comments/stares we get that day (someone actually took a photo of them in the wagon at the bagel store the other day just because she’d “never seen anything like it”), but it happens, without fail. And you know what? It’s 100% true.

Having three kids is EXHAUSTING. And having three toddlers is BEYOND exhausting. Especially three who have decided sleeping is not one of their favorite past times. But we are SO FREAKIN’ LUCKY that this is our family. And I know that. Sometimes I forget it after two hours of bedtime shenanigans, or when one toddler starts off running in the middle of the sidewalk and I have to decide to leave two to chase the third (remind me to tell you about our “Strangers” talk sometime). But when we are all standing on our chairs rocking out to Coldplay at 7am (and in fits of giggles over the “Ah ooooooooooh” part) or when they write their own song with the lyrics, “I love you, Mommy, oh yes I do!!” it pretty much just melts your heart. And with three of them, I’m lucky enough to get thrice the serenades. Love these crazy kids. And now, to bed.

#loveandlight #choosejoy #tripletproblems

 

April 26 · 

We discovered SnapChat. Thanks, Sarah McTurk MacLeod, for the recommendation. You’re right. LOTS of toddler entertainment. And Mom thought it was pretty funny too. Missing our weekend together already (yes, the sleepless/showerless one).

 

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 New York Transit Museum

Story time on an old subway car!

 

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Or Two.

merry-christmasA couple of weeks ago, as we were preparing to take down the Christmas tree, Jack turned to me with his big cheeks and puppy dog eyes and said, “Don’t take Christmas!” I gently explained that Christmastime was over (“Why?” “Because it’s January.” “Why?” “Because January comes after December?” “Why?”) and that we would get to have a tree and all the decorations again next year. Jack’s next query? “But can we keep the presents?”

There was an abundance of presents this year. You might even say there was an OVERabundance of presents. They didn’t ask for much. A doggie, a Milo, and a purple baby, to be exact, so when all is said and done, we could have had a much “simpler” Christmas, I am sure. But along with the stuffed animals, the costumes, the train set, and the pirate ship (more on that later), came family. An abundance of family, you might say. Henry, Jack, and Sophie get to do Christmas twice (and yes, that means more presents). But it also means two “Christmas Eves” with carols and Christmas jammies. And two Christmas mornings with bacon and stockings.

And two sets of grandparents, eight aunts and uncles (even if some were only there via FaceTime), dozens of cousins, great aunts, and great uncles, and one great grandma.

At dinner on Christmas night, Ann asked, “What was your favorite gift you ever received?” One of my sixth-graders had asked me this at the lunch table a few days before, so I was prepared. But honestly, I couldn’t remember a single gift I’d ever gotten for Christmas. (I went with the Playmobil dollhouse mansion which was a birthday present, if I recall correctly). And I wasn’t the only one who came up short. (I won’t tell you what Will’s most “memorable” present was. Hint: It was NOT his favorite.) And I know it is not because we’ve never received anything worth remembering. It’s just because our Christmas memories are shaped more by our traditions and the people we fill the holiday with than they are by the gifts we receive.

So this Christmas, while searching for gifts from Santa was a new (and popular) pastime, it was the time spent with family we will all remember:

Standing outside in our pajamas the weekend after Thanksgiving to see the trees on our street light up.

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Prettiest block in Manhattan!

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We should probably invest in a Selfie Stick. And some better lighting 🙂

Stopping by Operation Santa at Buckley help wrap presents for kids who are not as fortunate as we are to celebrate Christmas in such a big way.

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Please excuse the blurry photo…it was a no nap sort of day!

 Moving aside all the toys we already own to make room for a big tree in the corner (this was Jack’s idea AND his job). Riding in the red wagon to pick out our tree from the tree stand on the corner. Don’t ask us how much it cost. Actually, do. It was hilariously expensive. Taking a trip to the hardware store to pick out a star for the top (and finding a bunch of other fun Christmas paraphernalia in the process…cookie cutters topped the list). Opening the box full of Daddy’s ornaments that Grammie sent (and in many cases, that Grandma and Grandpa made). Decorating our tree while Alexa (read: Pentatonix) sang PTX Christmas Deluxe Edition on repeat in the background.

Making gingerbread cookies and realizing afterwards that despite triple-checking all ingredients, Sophie was probably allergic to something in the sprinkles, and we couldn’t eat the rest of them. Have any of you ever tried to make gingerbread cookies with a two year old? How about with three? Hello, mess! Can you guess whose plate is whose?

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This is the closest I could get to an “action” shot. It looks pretty contained at this point, but don’t be fooled. At one point, I was helping Sophie wash her hands in the bathroom sink (she still can’t reach), and Henry came running in “to get some more paper towels!” As he ran out, he said something like, “I made a mess, but I’m just cleaning it for you. I’m just cleaning it.” I found him in the kitchen, on a stool, cleaning up (re:spreading) the green food coloring off the cutting board. And muttering to himself, “It’s just a little mess. I’m cleaning it. I’m cleaning it.”

Searching each morning for Meatball, the Elf. He even made it to Nana and Grumples’ house!

Sure, one Christmas will fade into the next, and there will come a day when we’ll all ask each other, “Was that the year that it snowed? Did Peter and Jen make it that Christmas? Was that when Grammie’s Folly first arrived? And sure, we will probably remember this Christmas as the one that ended with one sleepless night and one stomach bug (not the same child either, so yeah, that was fun). But we will mostly remember it as the fun, festive, and family-filled few days we hope that Christmas will always be. And as we took down the tree, we talked about all the things we were going to miss until next Christmas rolled around. In the meantime, we’ve got a bunch of new toys to play with 🙂

Some highlights from under the tree(s):

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Christmas Round ONE

 

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Christmas Round TWO.

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THIS is Grammie’s Folly.

Get ready for STRUM: The Remix. Album coming soon.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this Christmas a memorable one for Henry, Jack, and Sophie. As we took the ornaments down Jack bid them farewell, exclaiming, “Goodbye, ornaments! See you next Christmas!” before giving each one a kiss and laying it in the box. I know we have approximately 345 days to go, but I can’t wait to see his face light up when we open that bin again next year.

 

 

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.