An Attitude of Gratitude

This has been a wild and crazy fall. The sweet, sandy days of summer are long behind us, and the frantic pace of September’s start-of-school hasn’t let up yet, despite the fact that we are closing in on December. The transition from September to October was so busy that we forgot to update our calendar for a full week. It’s a wonder anyone got to where they were supposed to be. But if I’m being honest, that fact is a wonder most days. Even with a carefully crafted calendar (or three).

For a long time, the simple logistics of going anywhere with three toddlers (much less going in different directions) was too much to navigate. But now, in the height of preschoolerhood, we can count ninja class, sports class, and musical theater class among our ever-growing list of activities. Because, you know, it’s important for little people to individuate. And when you have three little people, that means three individual activities. Add in swimming (an essential life skill if you’re going to spend your summers on Long Island at Nana’s) and soccer (because…have you met their dad?) for everyone, and suddenly, we are one of those Upper East Side families whose preschoolers’ schedules are more complicated (okay, not really…) than their parents’.

 

 

Top that with a Manhattan kindergarten admissions process times three, and well, I probably don’t need to say much more.

Amidst our busy schedules, we’ve had a fair amount of heartbreak and stress this season. In the past three months we’ve lost two people near and dear to our hearts. In the past two weeks, we’ve spent two nights in the hospital. We’ve managed two terrible cases of croup (when will they grow out of this?!?!), two x-rays and one broken arm. We’ve been to the pulmonologist, the endocrinologist, and the allergist. And we’ve endured an awful lot of poking and prodding for flu shots, blood draws, and IV medications. Not to mention about a thousand colds.

But we’ve also had about a thousand adventures. I can’t describe them all here or even post all the pictures, and I doubt you’d have the patience to scroll through them all anyway. Perhaps I should try to be a bit more regular about this whole blogging thing? But here’s just a taste (seriously, this doesn’t even begin to cover it!) of all the adventures we’ve been lucky enough to have over the past few crazy busy months.

We’ve fed the animas at the Bronx Zoo, seen the Statue of Liberty up close, and explored the many exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History.

We’ve run around just about every playground in Manhattan, chased bubbles in Central Park, and spent countless hours at the New York Public Library.

We’ve eaten a ton of cheeseburgers and two tons of French fries.

And we’ve located nut-free donuts. Only two subway rides away from home.

We’ve played a hundred board games and done a thousand crafts.

We’ve enjoyed getting lost in the ball pit at The Color Factory, trying on witch hats at “The Craft Store,” and watching the trains race by at Grand Central. And most of all, we’ve enjoyed each other.

And then every night (okay, not every night…see our crazy schedules above) when we sit around the dinner table together, we each list two things: 1) Our favorite part of the day and 2) One thing we are grateful for.

In the midst of all that is crazy and busy and hard and sad, we insist on an attitude of gratitude. You may already know I’m a bit of a gratitude fanatic. You may have seen my Friday Five social media posts. You may know that I force my sixth grade homeroom students to partake in the Friday Five practice on a weekly basis.

What you may not know is that this attitude of gratitude does not come naturally to me. I’m a glass half-empty kind of gal. I’m an “expect the worst, hope for the best” kind of worrier. My childhood drama teacher used to have to beg me to smile when I got on stage to play the ingenue. “I’ll smile on opening night,” I’d say.” And then, I wouldn’t really. (Sorry, Helene)! My tennis instructor used to call me “Smiley Gillespie,” his tone tongue-in-cheek, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet.

It turns out, even for those of us who have a million reasons to be grateful every day, this gratitude business is pretty difficult. One of my students asked the other day, “Can we list the things we’re not grateful for instead?” “Why would you want to do that?” I asked. “Because it’s easier.”

Yeah, kid, you’re right. It IS easier to recite our long list of gripes each day. To dig into all that is frustrating, exhausting, unpleasant, or even downright miserable. To complain or whine or wallow. But that’s the point of a gratitude practice, isn’t it? To retrain your brain to see the bright side? To look for the silver linings among the cloudy skies?

It still takes some effort for me, particularly when we’re having the kind of fall we’ve been having, but at the top of my gratitude list is the fact that my kiddos are learning early that being grateful is going to be the norm in our family. Even if it takes a little effort and reflection.

And then scanning through our photos and looking back on all the memories we made this fall, I’ve found about a hundred other reasons to be grateful.

I am also so very grateful for the friends and family (not pictured here) who have lifted us up and supported us during difficult times. The ones who check in via text twenty times a day to see how we’re hanging in. The ones who reach out in the middle of the night when they see we’re in the hospital and ask what they can do. The ones who stay at our home past midnight, holding down the fort so that Will and I don’t have to divide and conquer for the really hard things. The ones who come by on a Friday with pizza, or wine, or dogs. The ones who ask over and over and over, at work and at home, “How can I help?”

We Strumolos aren’t big on asking for help. All five of us could probably stand to shore up our self-advocacy skills. But what we know is that if we do ask for help, we’ve got an army of people ready and willing to pitch in. And that? Well that’s is pretty freaking awesome.

I am grateful for our family, near and far. And as I type this, I am especially grateful for Nana and Grumples who are hosting our kiddos for Thanksgiving this year, while we fly across the country to surprise the other half of our family. I’m grateful for Henry, Jack, and Sophie who didn’t bat an eyelash when they heard we’d be skipping out on Thanksgiving in Southampton, and went to bed last night saying, “Love you, Mommy. See you Saturday!”‘And I am grateful for the members of Strumolo clan who helped coordinate our surprise trip out to Seattle (and of course for those members who were out in Seattle waiting to be surprised)! I am grateful for the chance to celebrate birthdays and meet our nephews. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m grateful for six hours on a plane to read, to blog, and to soak up a little peace and quiet, even if it is from 35,000 feet up.

It is apropos that I am especially grateful today, but I aim to cultivate an attitude of gratitude daily. So for all of you reading this who have helped make this fall a little more bearable, thank you.

I may not say it enough, but for you, I am

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.

#StrumoloSummerFest2017

School started on Tuesday (more on that soon). Summer is officially over. Things were so busy this summer, I couldn’t possibly keep up, but I did try to keep track. I even created a hashtag (#strumolosummerfest2017) for that very purpose. I’m sure there are moments that weren’t captured, days that will be forgotten, and milestones I’ve missed, but if you don’t follow me on Facebook and you’re just tuning in, scroll down to see snippets of our sunny summer months.

Highlights include (but I am sure are not limited to): MAJOR progress in swimming…we even took our first dip in the ocean!! Camp, visits from the cousins, our first ferry ride, our first REAL hike (on our own six feet), new friends, picnics in the park, concerts on the beach, afternoons at the bay. Catching sand crabs and baby clams (and then letting them go). Seeing skates, dolphins, and whales in the ocean. Collecting rocks and shells at the beach. And the bay. And Nana and Grumples’ driveway. And anyone else’s driveway we happened upon. Learning to ride our scooters, riding tricycles, and our new ride-on jeep. Trips to the toy store, homemade ice cream, and stomp rockets. Meeting Fiona. Breakfast at Sip ‘N Soda. The Children’s Museums (from Bridgehampton, NY to Portland, ME)! Islip, Southampton, Winter Harbor, Bar Harbor. Beaches, beaches, beaches,

My heart is full. First day of summer break 2017 in the books.

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Day 2 of summer break: Me sitting in the “special seat” to watch their “show.” I think they might need to schedule some additional rehearsals.

Day 3 of summer break: possible allergic reaction and a lot of fun with Grammie. And since allergies are lame, and I don’t have pictures from fun with Grammie, I threw in a few more from yesterday. Cows, ice cream, and snow leopards. And that was just the second half of their day. Gotta love this city.
#summerinthecity

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Day 4: we made it to the “red playground” via subway (and walking three crosstown blocks which is no joke…hence, the Oreos). Crosstown bus to Barnes and Noble followed by dinner at Shake Shack. Yay, summer!

 

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Day 5: BRONX ZOO. We also dabbled in paints and puzzles. And took a trip to Florida.

Highlights of the day: the big slide at the zoo, prairie dogs, Anikin the tiger, the Bug Carousel, discovering that red and blue make purple, finding a long lost puzzle piece and FINALLY completing the vehicle puzzle. And Pizza Friday. Oh, and baths. Always baths.

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Day 6 of summer vacation: one day lip, one black eye (okay, that was yesterday, but weekends don’t count), four bus rides, gorillas, tigers, and dinos, oh my, and a lively debate about whether or not you could eat flowers.

P.S. I nearly forgot we happened about “Kid Flicks” at the library in between bus transfers and caught an old fashioned screening of “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.” Snagged three books about dogs, three about cats, and one Peter (of “The Snowy Day”) sequel and CINDERELLA on DVD. It’s in the vault, people. I had nightmares that our children would not meet Gus Gus until they were 10. That is FAR too long to wait for Gus Gus. Rectified that situation around 5:45 this evening. Phew.

 

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Sophie found a snowman on the bus.

 

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Day 7: A million tableaus with our “new” friends, cleaning the apartment (if by cleaning you mean moving EVERY toy and piece of furniture into the middle of the room and then wiping down a few walls), packing for Nana’s, about a dozen tantrums, AMNH round two (the jelly dome was mesmerizing), a new playground, a few more tantrums, picking Daddy up at work, ice cream for dinner (because that’s the proper consequence for two dozen tantrums, right?) a visit with Alice and Hans Christian Anderson, and one tired momma.

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Day 8: The boys keeping Sophie company at the pulmonologist and haircuts for the boys. Plus a braid for Sophie. And more packing! Countdown to Nana’s is on! Lisa Lord Gillespie get ready!

 

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 Day 9: early morning slumber party and then packing. Lots of packing.

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Day 10: we finally made it to Nana’s. What a difference a year makes!

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Too bad there’s nothing to do here at Nana’s.

#strumolosummerfest2017
#toddlers

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Day 11: first day of camp. Can you feel the excitement? Don’t worry, by the time we picked them up three ours later, they were exclaiming, “But, I love camp!” It was only at dinner that we found out the real reason they loved it: lollipops. Ended with dinner at the beach with both sets of grandparents. A rare treat indeed.

#grandparents
#strumolosummerfest2017
#lollipopsforthewin

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Day 12: Happy 4th of July!

#fourthofjuly
#strumolosummerfest2017

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Day 13: Duck, Duck, Goose (a new addition to our repertoire, we’re still working on the details), bike helmets that fit, and pajama protest number 372.

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Day 14 (a few hours late): Scooters, jeep rides, and skinny dipping after dinner. And (rumor has it) learning to float on their backs in the camp pool!

#strumolosummerfest2017

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Day 15: Waited for the green light before leaving the bedroom this morning (🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻), splashed in the rain puddles ☔️, had a slumber party with thirty of their closest friends 🐻🐶🐱🐵🐷👶🏼, drove their trucks in the rain 🚜💧, and climbed to the top of the “mountain”. Many times. And then we’re asleep by 6:30 😬😴😴😴. What are the chances that they’re still in bed when the green light goes off tomorrow morning?

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Because sometimes you just need an Easter bunny headband and a paper crown to go with your Anna and Elsa bathing suit.

#Strumolosummerfest2017

 

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Having the best time with our besties! So happy Karen Lenahan came to visit!

#Strumolosummerfest2017
#bff

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Day 16: lots of beach time, backyard barbecues, Funfetti “ice cream” cones that are nut-free, and a shared love of French fries!! We’re going to be sad to see Emi leave tomorrow!!

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Day 17: played hooky from camp for one more day and hit up the Children’s Museum of the East End; had our first dentist appointment (cannot recommend East End Tooth Ferry enough…they were incredible with three toddlers and one mama); found the 20-pack of frozen whole wheat waffles (and the car cart) at the grocery store (side note, those waffles will last us three days); and had fun mugging for the camera and checking out their hairdos during their afternoon “swim.” They requested those videos and photos, not I!

#strumolosummerfest2017
#firsts

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Day 18 (a few hours late): a puppet show at camp and rediscovering the Slip ‘N Slide. There are still working on perfecting their form, and they opted to slide in their birthday suits, so no Facebook-friendly photos yet.

#strumolosummerfest2017

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Day 19: another successful day at camp, an attempt at French braids, and afternoon pool time at the beach. Oh, and a tantrum before 6am. Plus a few more sprinkled throughout the day. Lest you think it’s all sunshine and rainbows over here. Sophie learned to walk across the “little pool,” and it took us all day, but we finally found Jack’s other croc.

#strumolosummerfest2017

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Day 20: rainy days mean indoor fun at the library!

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Day 20: rainy days mean indoor fun at the library!

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Day 22: Pool time at Polly‘s! These kids have gone from clinging to us for dear life to jumping in, going under, and swimming back and forth unassisted. Of course, I don’t have any photos of that because I am still very much in the pool. Thanks to Sophie’s epic tantrum today (perhaps she should try eating lunch?) I snapped a few from afar.

#strumolosunmerfest2017
#toddlers
#tantrums

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Day 23: new friends at camp, foam shapes (more on that later), yard work, slumber parties, and Christmas in July (that’s a thing, right?).

A note on foam shapes: Henry has been fairly obsessed with these for a few months now. He actually requested “circles” for his birthday three months ago, and lucky for him, his godfather obliged! He saw a bin of foam shapes at camp the other day, and every morning since then, he’s said, “Maybe today we’ll use the shapes.” Well, today was Henry’s lucky day. Click for more photos if you want to see just what he did (and does) with those shapes.

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Day 24: some early morning detective work (“What’s that banging noise?” “A hammer from the house they’re building down the street.”); DOGGIE BOUNCE HOUSE (and a water slide) at camp…yes, I know the video is sideways; and an afternoon at the bay. That probably should have been a two-adult activity. Jack has a newfound fear of seaweed (“especially that brown hairy kind,”) and Sophie feels VERY strongly that I should stay next to her (and perhaps holding her) at all times. Whe

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Sophie: “Are there hugs in the pool?”
Me: “Sure!”
(Huge Sophie hug).
Sophie: “I just love you.”

Right back at ya, Soph.

Day 25: An afternoon of swimming followed by sand castles and dinner at the beach. It was a good day. Tantrums and whining notwithstanding 🏊🏻‍♀️🏖🍔😉

 

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Day 26: fast friends at the Long Island Aquarium

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Day 27: one sick sister meant only two-thirds made it to camp today. Jack didn’t like those odds, so he brought Milo along to improve them. Milo appears to enjoy art class just as much as Jack does. Staying home from camp also meant a trip to Carter’s with Nana. You can’t tell from this picture, but she really does love her new outfit. The “button shirt” earned Jack’s approval (always a bit hit or miss), and even though Henry declared, “I don’t like any of these clothes,” he is a sucker for dog shirts (provided he can still pair them with his favorite blue striped pants). Jack’s priority is style, Henry’s is comfort. Sophie’s is pink.

Thanks to Polly Stevenson for babysitting duty this afternoon. Despite what they told you, you are triplet-approved!

#whogetsacoldinthemiddleofjuly
#buttonshirtsforthewin
#yourenotgoodattriplets

 

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Happiness is a new package of hair ties: “I want to wear all the pinks.”

I’m gonna keep working on this hairstyling thing..

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ay 28: lots of whining. Several tantrums. A broken toe, I think (mine). A play date with a camp friend and a new bag of hair ties. And in case you were wondering, this is how she “scooters” 90% of the time.

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Day 29: this is the only photo I took today. Pretty much sums it up.

#sorrySoph
#noyoucantscratchyourbrothers
#orstompontheirheads

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Day 30: last day of camp, a bike ride adventure with my boys, a thousand jumps into the pool, a sand and stone sea turtle, and digging for baby clams on the beach (not to eat, just to see)!

These kids are growing braver and braver by the minute, and the sand bar at the ocean this summer doesn’t hurt 😎 🌊.

Happy weekend!

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Day 31: a trip to Urgent Care (in and out in 10 minutes…how’s that for a win?), bug bite Watch 2017, a morning at the beach, a visit from Maggie, an afternoon dip in Polly’s Pool, and a so far successful diaper-free night. It’s still early, folks.

Oh, and Sophie found a new outfit. Can you read what it says on her sweatshirt? Truer words were never spoken. Sigh…

P.S. I threw in a corn collage because you guys never get to see what happens on the weekends! Just kidding. But it was the first time they had corn on the cob (how is that possible?), so I figured I should document. Verdict: 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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Day 32: I am definitely feeling the lack of camp this week 😝. But, I did manage to snap a pic of all three in the pool and not one of them hanging on me. WIN.

Follow-up with Urgent Care (2 minutes today…seriously, this place is amazing) and it’s neither cellulitis nor Lyme’s, so we’ll take it! A second breakfast at Sip ‘N Soda because four frozen waffles will not feed three toddlers whose most consistent meal is breakfast, followed by beach time and pool time round two.

Found a live crab and some not-so-live ones, our first sea glass of the summer, and a couple of nautilus shells. You’d think I’d have photos. Sorry to disappoint. Three toddlers plus a whole lot of sand and saltwater means the phone is mostly hibernating these days. But I do have a bag full of shells here at Nana’s house. You’re welcome, Lisa Lord Gillespie!

Jack cried at bedtime because I said the back of his neck “might” have gotten a little sunburned. He was not crying from pain. He was crying because we’ve built up sunblock so much and so thoroughly instilled the fear of sunburn in them all, that he honestly thought he’d done something wrong and might never recover…

#strumolosummerfest2017
#iamsotired

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The summer would not be complete without a trip to the ER.

She is home, and she is fine.

#asthmasucks

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Feeling much better this morning.

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Me: Do you want to do a craft, or do you want to go to the bay?
Henry: Bay.
Jack: Craft.
Sophie: Ice cream.

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For those of you who were enjoying my daily posts, I’m sorry I fell off the wagon. For those of you who were thinking, “Her again? And those kids? These aren’t even good photos…” you’re welcome.

The cousins came, and our days and nights have been so full (of fun, of sand, of sun and waves), that there’s been very little time for Facebooking. So, here are a few highlights from the week. I pared down, I swear.

Missing our cousins already!

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Maineward bound.

It only took 12 hours to pack all this stuff 🤣

Left at 7:07, and the first query, “Are we at Maine yet?” came at 7:32. Current count: 19.

It’s going to be a long drive…

#strumolosummerfest2017

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First Ferry Trip!

When your 16GB iPad only holds two movies at a time, and you are 9 hours into an 11.5 hour car trip. And this is what is happening in the back seat (you’ll need your sound on to get the full experience 😝).

Time to reload (for the second time)!

#strumolosummerfest2017

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Our first official hike (where everyone walked themselves…most of the way).

#flyingmountain
#strumoloaummerfest2017

 

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We had an amazing summer. So filled with adventures that I couldn’t keep up. We are grateful for grandparents that live nearby, Disney favorites that make the long trip to and from Maine more bearable for all, and daily access to the gorgeous beaches, bays, mountains, and backyards nearby. There was tons of sand, sun (and sunscreen), and water, and while we’ll miss it as we trade in the sand for skyscrapers, we are all very happy to be home. As the sights of the city crept into view, the shouts from the backseat began: “Hello, New York!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

#strumolosummerfest2017
#maine #southampton #family #beaches #mountains #roadtrips#backtoschool

 

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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…