It Wasn’t Perfect, But It Was Pretty Darn Cute.

The negotiations started weeks ago. One of our children needed ZERO encouragement to don a pretty outfit and perform in front of family and friends (I’ll let you decide which one). One of our children was pretty adamant about NOT participating in the wedding festivities. And one of our children fell somewhere in the middle: willing to fulfill his duties as flower boy, sort of excited about the outfit, but not quite as enthusiastic as the first.

Two participatory flower children would be a step up from the last family wedding they played a part in, but really, we were aiming for three. Their traditional Vietnamese wedding outfits (ao dais) has been custom made, and considering the flower child holdout was the godchild of the groom, getting him (or her) down the aisle felt like a high priority.

The negotiation went something like this:

Me: What if I gave you some Hershey kisses if you do your job at the wedding?

Child: 500 Hershey kisses!

Me: That’s too many.

Child: 100!

Me: How about 20?

Child: Woah. Ok! Twenty’s a lot!”

The math teacher in me cringed a bit at her offspring’s poor number sense, but the mother in me was thrilled to be emerging victorious (if bribing your child with twenty Hershey kisses can be considered a victory) from this negotiation.

The rehearsal did not go very well. Despite the promise of a score of Hershey kisses, two-thirds of our crew followed through with their flower child obligations, and one barely made it down the aisle with a lot of (literal) hand-holding from Mom. This was not the plan.

Considerations for alternative scenarios commenced immediately, and we spent the next twenty-two hours preparing ourselves for Plan B: three flower children and one Mom or Plan C: two flower children.

And then, at 1:30pm yesterday, without any mention of Hershey kisses, our holdout asked to suit up. Nevermind that it was a little too early to get dressed. Nevermind that there was a pretty big chance the ao dai would get wrinkled or stained before the ceremony. This kid wanted to get in his wedding outfit, and we were not going to stop him.

Two and a half hours later, they did what they had been asked to do. Quite literally. They threw the petals on the walkway (our efforts to distinguish between “throwing” and “sprinkling” came a bit late in the game) and went (RAN) to find Daddy at the end of the aisle. And while there may have been some Hershey kisses involved (only five!), those were really just a reward for a job well done.

I am so proud of my three little people for being so brave and for doing their job so well (which included sitting quietly–if not inconspicuously–throughout the ceremony). It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn cute.

And what a special, special day it was celebrating Uncle Andrew and Aunt Evelynn. We are so glad they got to be a part of it.

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…

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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