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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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First Day of School

September 13. 2016

It is hard to believe that Henry, Jack, and Sophie have started school already. Their transition into the two’s program has been nice and slow. Thirty minutes the first day, forty-five minutes the next, and so on. On Tuesday (October 11), they will have their first “full” day: three hours from 8:45 – 11:45 a.m.

They go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and though they are clearly having a lot of fun there, they are still a little reluctant to say good-bye to Daddy when it’s time to go in.

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Jack’s job is to help Daddy push the stroller (he rides on the boogie board on the back…thanks, Grace!) and Henry’s job is to deliver the empty paper towel rolls to Miss Nancy, Miss Jean, or Miss Alyssa when he arrives. Sophie generally hops from Daddy’s arms to Miss Callie’s or Miss Yvonne’s, but we’re working on it. The babies help.

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A gallery of their artwork over the course of the month shows some common themes.

September 15: 

September 20:

October 4:

In the month of September, they learned all about the color red and celebrated on Red Day in their red threads.

They’ve also learned how to grocery shop, iron, and make dinner, so we’ll be outsourcing most of our household chores to the triplets in the near future.

October is orange and black month which is especially exciting because orange is Jack and Henry’s favorite color. We’re all excited for the Fall Festival next Friday!

 

So Thankful

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

I know. This post is LONG overdue. But I’m posting it anyway, because we have an awful lot to be thankful for, and because I think I’ll be glad we have a Thanksgiving 2015 post someday.

We spent Thanksgiving in Islip with Grammie’s side of the family, a long-standing tradition for Will (and at this point, for me!), but a first for Henry, Jack, and Sophie. This meant lots of family, lots of food (though let’s be honest, these kiddos just ate mac ‘n cheese like it was any other Thursday), and lots of fresh air and wide open spaces. With the weather as warm as it was, we took full advantage of the immediate access to the outdoors. How different from our city lives!

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If you look closely, you’ll see two kiddos running around on this glorious afternoon. The third one is in the bushes around the corner. I think they were playing Hide-and-Seek. 

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So. Much. Space!

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Islip also offered several toys of the ride-on variety. This ride-in was especially popular. Three Cozy Coupes in our future? Not in this Manhattan apartment!

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Jack loves his “projects.” This one involved moving all the pumpkins he could carry from one spot to another. And no, he didn’t move those big ones on his own, but it wasn’t for lack of trying!

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Surveying his handy work. A job well done.

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Sophie and Mama running around on the lawn.

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A tunnel of trees!

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Thanksgiving is also a great time for family photos and potential Christmas card poses. 

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Some were more successful than others.

Thanksgiving 2015

Does the one at the top look familiar to anyone?

    So, what was I thankful for this Thanksgiving? Well, I can’t imagine this will be an exhaustive list, but here’s a start:

  • I’m thankful for three healthy, happy kiddos who can laugh, run, and play.
  • I’m thankful for my partner-in-crime, Will, who makes this crazy life we live more manageable, more organized, and more enjoyable (almost) every day 🙂
  • I’m thankful for our family and friends who help in more ways than I can count here, in particular, for Grammie who helps out every Thursday; for Aunt Linden, Uncle Scott and Esme who frequently send over the world’s BEST mac ‘n cheese; for Gee and Poppy who entertain Henry, Jack, and Sophie almost weekly, and who saved all of those ride-on toys and other Islip goodies for this generation; for Aunt Addie Rose who FaceTimes with us regularly and often gets us through the witching hour; for Nana (who does the same) and who keeps us entertained with the latest toys and looking sharp in the latest outfits, and who is always there in a pinch for babysitting; for Aunt Hartley for serving as our private on-call physician, and for Noah and Lily who provide endless hours of entertainment through the iPad; for Elizabeth for always asking, “What can I do to help?”; for Karen for her text messages and commiseration about how exhausting it is being a working parent of toddlers; and for Grace for coming every Wednesday, being flexible, and for constantly thinking of these three kiddos (and their parents) even though she’s got a family of her own; and for all of the aunts and uncles (Lizzie, Andrew, Peter, Jen, and Joe–and that’s just one generation!) and the grandpas (Nonno and Grumples) for helping out when we come to visit, and for making our three kids feel like they are special and they are loved whenever they are around. If I missed anyone on this list, please forgive me. The fact that the list is so long speaks to just how much love and support we have in our lives, and we have every bit as much gratitude for the people who bring it to us.
  • I’m thankful for our wonderful nanny, Diana, who loves these three monkeys as much as we do and keeps them fed, clean, and happy whenever we are at work.
  • I’m thankful to work at a place where I feel supported, and to have colleagues and administrators who understand “family first,” and who understand that parenting three toddlers is sometimes unpredictable.
  • And most of all, I am thankful for the laughter. My own, the laughter that surrounds me when I’m in the company of good friends, and the laughter of Henry, Jack, and Sophie, which usually starts at around 6:40 am, and doesn’t stop until bedtime (and sometimes, it doesn’t stop even then).
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Oh, and I’m thankful for sunsets.

2015-11-26 15.04.10Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay tuned for our Christmas adventures…