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…

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

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And we have been having so much fun this fall with Henry, Jack, and Sophie. Below, a few of our favorite things:

The Natural History Museum:

The Zoo: 

Bronx or Central, the Children’s Zoo is a particular favorite. We love feeding the sheep and the goats!

The Swings:

Bath time:

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Water (for drinking, dumping, splashing in, and general revelry):

Reading:

Selfies:

Bubbles:

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Their New Couch: 

I promise they sit on it sometimes too.

Monk, Baby, Dog, and Milo(s).

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It’s hard to believe there was a time, not long ago, that these creatures (the stuffed animals, not our children) were not a part of our family.

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Sophie, bringing Baby home for the first time.

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Baby at breakfast.

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H and Dog.

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Of course, with the baby comes a baby carriage…

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No, the milk bottle doesn’t fit in the stroller.

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But Lampard does!

Singing! Come on, now. Are you really that surprised?

 

Our current favorites include “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (live action optional, but preferable), “Hush Little Baby,” “Six Little Ducks,” and “The Alphabet Song.”

Other Updates:

Henry and Jack had their follow-up neurology appointments, and all is well.

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Dog and Milo passed with flying colors too 🙂

Sophie is officially allergic to peanuts. And all tree nuts. Ugh.

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The trip to the allergist was NO fun.

We’ve learned about drawing…(Rule #1: Don’t eat the crayons):

…legos…

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 …and algebra

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    We went to our first skating party:

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And dressed as the Three Little Pigs for Halloween.

And when I ran the NYC Marathon on November 1, Henry, Jack, and Sophie were my three littlest fans.

Our favorite books at the moment include: “Good Night, Gorilla,” “Wynken and Blynken and Nod,” “Babar,” “The Snowy Day,” “LMNO Peas,” and “Madeline.”

Our favorite foods are: mac ‘n cheese, beets, sweet potatoes, chicken nuggets, pasta, peas, waffles, and pancakes.

We know too many words to count, but some of our new favorites are: Jack, Henry, and Dee-dee (that’s Sophie)! “Dinner” (this refers to all meals of the day, so you can often hear Henry shouting, “Dinner!!” at 7am as he tries to climb into his high chair), “open” and “please!” (the combination of which frees them from the baby jail), “dino,” “stripes,” “pizza,” “pasta,” and “potatoes.”

It’s been so busy that I’m sure I’m forgetting some of our adventures here, but I have no doubt there will be many more to come!

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Road Trippin’

In August, the Strumolo Clan took their annual trip to Maine, and this year, Henry, Jack, and Sophie came along! So how does one make it to from New York to Maine with a trio of toddlers? A road trip, of course!

Gearing up for the trip. A little treadmill work, some free weights. You know, the typical morning routine.

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This is us on the way there.

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Mostly we were happy.

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Sometimes we were not.

8:00 am: Equipped with everybody’s special animal (Dog for Henry, gray Milo and orange Milo for Jack, and Monk (a monkey, not a religious ascetic) for Sophie), a pop-up play yard, loads of snacks, and a few other tricks up our sleeve, we headed off after breakfast.

9:00 am First Stop: Bradley International Airport to pick up Grammie (who was dropping off a car for Uncle Andrew)

9:15 am: Second Stop: Dunkin’ Donuts

11:30 am: Third Stop: Park in Lowell, Massachusetts

This was our first real stop. The first time everybody got out of the car. Lunch time. We had packed a lunch for the trio, so we popped up our play yard, and set to work changing diapers and sharing sweet potatoes.

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12:15 pm: Back to the car with a quick stop to pick up gas and lunch for the grown-ups, and we were back on the road. The traffic was terrible.

5:15 pm Fourth Stop: Rest Area, Hampden, Maine

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Ten and a half hours, two (real) stops, one (minor) bout of car sickness, several episodes of “Big Block Singsong,” and two boxes of teething biscuits later, we arrived.

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2015-08-15 18.34.03 Dinner in Winter Harbor

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We had so much fun while we were there. Hiking, swimming, kayaking (sort of), and running about the house playing with Grammie, Nonno, our Strumolo aunts and uncles, and of course, PHEOBE!!

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Waiting at the gate for PHEOBEEEE!!!

Hiking

Hiking certainly took on a new meaning with three toddlers to strap to our backs. Thank goodness for Aunt Addie! And for some “easy” hikes up Flying Mountain and around (well out and back along the edge of) Jordan Pond. It wasn’t that long ago that Will, Lizzie, and I hiked all 27 peaks in Acadia National Park, often tackling more than one mountain per day. Our physical limits seem to have changed a bit since then!

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Off roading with Grammie and Aunt Addie

JOPOHO (a.k.a. Jordan Pond House)

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That time we almost ran out of gas on our way back from Jordan Pond.    

Other Adventures

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2015-08-16 16.51.11 Checking out one of the playgrounds nearby.

Echo Lake

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Falling asleep on the way back from playground hopping.

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Hide and Seek. Can you see me?

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Less effective hiding.

Our version of kayaking:

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A week later, we were packed up and ready to head back to NYC. Home sweet homes. 11 hours, 1 (pretty major) car sickness episode, one stop at Red Rooster, another two boxes of teething biscuits, and the same four episodes of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” played on repeat, and we were home at the end of a long and wonderful summer.

Almost home:

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Ok, so I know some people are wondering how we tackled the long road trip, so here are a few of our tips.

How did we do it?

Well, we had a little help from our friend, the iPad.

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These kiddos have never watched TV, and the only two things they knew the iPad was capable of were FaceTime with family and DJing their favorite toddler tunes. Novelty goes a long way with toddlers. And “Big Block Singsong” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Henry, Jack, and Sophie were mesmerized for a good hour at a time, and Jack kept saying, “Hi!” to the characters on the screen.

Snacks also played a key role. During her waking hours, Sophie maintained a constant refrain of, “Wah Wah!” which means, “I want!” with her hand outstretched above her head seeking a biscuit from me. If they never see another banana-mango teething biscuit again, it would probably be okay.

Advance planning. Although, let me remind you that the best laid plans often fail. So while we did plan out our journey and our stops along the way, we were sometimes thwarted by car sickness, closed rest stops, and good old-fashioned traffic. But it definitely helps to have a plan.

At the end of the day, Henry, Jack, and Sophie are total troopers. They sleep well, they keep each other company, and they are generally pretty happy, easy-going toddlers. We are certainly lucky parents in this regard.

Onto the next adventure!