More Summer Shenanigans

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Well, I can’t say we were surprised, but walking is definitely a game-changer. Throughout the first year of Henry, Jack, and Sophie’s lives, we often heard, “Just wait until they are walking!” I was equal parts excited and terrified for the day when they would all officially be on the move. It happened gradually, but by the end of August, these three amigos were off and running. Below, a list of pros and cons.

Pro: More independence! Not having to carry three babies everywhere means one person really can maneuver triplets from one place to another. There’s less back-and-forth, putting somebody down to go back and retrieve the other two.

August 4: Sophie is walking.

Con: More independence! Toddlers will really only be maneuvered where and when they want to be maneuvered. And their plans don’t always line up with your plans. In fact, sometimes, their plans are downright dangerous. It doesn’t help that climbing is the natural next step after walking. One climber, I could handle. Three climbers…well, we’re going to have to be more creative.

August 11: Everyone is climbing

Pro: More space to explore! Three bored toddlers are no fun. But three toddlers who have just discovered a new toy/flower/blade of grass/piece of dirt are a lot of fun. The last half of our summer was a lot of: baby pool, water table, sandbox, repeat. So much easier when they can walk that loop themselves!

Con: More space to explore. If there’s a fence at the other end of that wide open space, explore away! If it’s a park, a playground, a beach, or just a front lawn without boundaries, watch out!

August 6: Henry is exploring

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If you look closely, you’ll see our little explorer on the left.

Pro: Three extra helpers! Need the hair brush? Ask Jack to go get it for you! Forgot to grab the diaper cream from the basket before you sat down to wrestle with a wriggly, resisting, and dirty-diapered toddler? No problem! One of the other toddlers will lend a hand.

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Okay, this isn’t one of ours, but just look what we have to look forward to in a year! Here’s cousin Noah being a super duper helper with a load of dirty diapers in the back of his dump truck.

Con: The need for more babyproofing. I’ll admit it. Even with three, we’ve been lazy about babyproofing. We’d talked about it a lot, we’d purchased several babyproofing items, but we hadn’t really gotten around to it. Why bother? They spent most of their time in the baby jail, ahem, play area. Well, three walkers now know there is a whole world out there to explore, and there’s only so much wandering around the play area that will satisfy them. They are especially fond of climbing up stairs which made me grateful that we live in a small, one-bedroom apartment! Although I don’t suppose that will stop them from running into one another.

These kiddos are into everything:

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Jack-in-a-box

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One great thing about exploring Nana’s house is the abundance of toddler-sized chairs!

Pro: Slightly fewer calls for “uppa!” since they can now get from Point A to Point B on their own and rather quickly. Only slightly fewer though. Sometimes Point B is a bit higher than they can manage. And sometimes Point B is simply in your arms.

Bottom Line: I LOVE that they are walking. Aside from the fact that it is a huge and exciting milestone, all of the pros really do outweigh the cons. Getting to the bathtub with three is easier. Getting to nap time with three is easier. Getting to the high chairs with three is easier. The playground is not easier. Wide open spaces? Much more difficult. But you know what? They’re much more fun now too. Check out more of our summer shenanigans below, and stay tuned for our trip to Maine!

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What would a trip to Southampton be without a visit to Stevenson’s? Is there a train table in our future?

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Family fun in the baby pool.

One of our new favorite pastimes: mixing.

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Cousins Pool Party at Bumbie’s! I swear they liked it. Well, I swear Lily liked it.

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Breakfast with the ducks.

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Monk goes for a ride.

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That hat, though…

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Beach baby

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Pizza picnics in the park

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Henry has a new friend, “Dog.”

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Tunnel Time!    

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Sophie loves the swings. She exclaims, “Whee!” before, during, and after.

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Who said this truck isn’t built for two?

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Our first taste of ice cream. The verdict? Well, Sophie’s clearly a fan. Henry was slightly less enthusiastic, and Jack just refused. I am so confused.

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Cousin Lily’s Christening.

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2015-08-10 17.05.46Our last wagon ride of the season.

2015-08-14 07.04.14Saying goodbye to Nana and Grumples’ house and their summer digs.

7 Months!

These silly babies are 7 months old now!

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Big Changes This Month: 

We’re eating solid foods! With a spoon!

We’re rolling around (some more than others).

Some of us are sleeping on our tummies.

We are making A LOT of noise.

We have physical therapy and speech therapy once a week.

We LOVE to play!

JACK:

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Favorite toy: It’s a tie between bunny blankets and burp cloths

Favorite food(s): carrots and bananas 

Favorite pastime: blowing bubbles

Favorite sleeping position: on his side or belly

Milestones reached: Rolls from back to tummy and tummy to back, raises head and chest with straight arms when lying on tummy, reaches for things, plays with toes, brings feet to mouth, makes one syllable sounds like, “ma,” “ah,” “muh,” laughs, grasps small objects.

Most mischievous moment:  Climbing out of his car seat. (While it was stationary, on the floor, in our apartment. Don’t worry.)

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HENRY:

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Favorite toy: crinkly book

Favorite food: anything you put in front of him. Bottle, spoon, his hand, your hand, his brother’s hand, he doesn’t discriminate. You can’t feed this child fast enough.

Favorite pastime: eating. Rolling is a close second.

Favorite sleeping position: on his belly

Milestones reached: Rolls from back to tummy and tummy to back, often in one fell swoop, raises head and chest with straight arms when lying on tummy, reaches for things, reaches for things with one arm when propped up on his belly, makes one syllable sounds like, “ma,” “ah,” “muh,” (he also strings these together and it sounds like “mama,” or, when he’s eating, “more,”  laughs, grasps small objects.

Most mischievous moment:  turning on his musical mobile during nap time

SOPHIE:

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Favorite toy: her Sophie doll

Favorite food: she’d rather just drink her milk and eat her hand. But if she had to choose and she could talk, she might say, “cereal.”

Favorite Pastime: playing with grown ups

Milestones reached: Rolls from tummy to back and side to tummy, raises head and chest propped on forearms when lying on tummy, reaches for things, brings feet to mouth, laughs, grasps small objects.

Most mischievous moment: stealing her brothers’ socks. Off of their feet.

So what is a day in the life of Henry, Jack, and Sophie like at 7 months? Well, it varies a bit, but here’s the general run-down:

  • 5:30-6am: somebody starts stirring, but usually he or she drifts back to sleep until…
  • 6:30am: everybody’s up. We get dressed for the day (actually, just the babies get dressed…too risky to put on our work clothes before the morning feed) and everybody plays on the floor until about 7am. Or until Henry starts screaming because he’s been up for an hour so somebody better feed him, for heaven’s sake!
  • 7am: the boys are fed in their Boppies on the floor. This is getting easier and easier with each passing day. They are eager to hold their bottles, and they’ve got the little bottles (with their reflux meds) pretty much mastered. For the bigger bottles, we’ve recently enlisted some “L’il Helpers Bottle Holders” and they are starting to get the hang of it. Sophie is less interested. Why hold my own bottle sitting on the floor when I can be picked up and cuddled while someone holds the bottle for me? But that won’t stop us from trying!
  • 8am: Morning nap. I know. They just woke up. But they can’t stay awake! They go back in their sleep sacks and snooze for an hour and a half to two hours.
  • 10am: Play time.
  • 11am: 6 oz bottle followed by a fruit or a vegetable. Then “play time” sitting propped up in their bouncer, their Boppy, etc. This is growing more challenging now that the boys are eager to roll around!
  • 1:00-1:30: Down for another nap. This will last two hours on a good day and 20 minutes on a bad day. Along with the usual variables that affect naptime (overnight sleep, teething, being sick) we also have: “I’ve rolled myself into a corner, and I can’t get out,” and ” HE’S not sleeping, why should I?” Sophie ALWAYS faces the boys, eager for a conversation if she can pique their interest. Often she scoots herself around 90 degrees, stretches her arms out through the slats in the crib and sticks her face up against the edge in the hopes that Jack will say hello.
  • 3pm: 5 oz bottles followed by cereal (rice or oatmeal) in their bouncer or car seats depending on how man hands we have on deck. Then we attempt to keep them all propped up for an hour or so so that said milk and cereal does not end up back all over the floor.
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Eating cereal

  • 5pm: Play time. During which most of Henry’s last meal ends up all over the floor. Oh well.
  • 5:45: Ready for bed in Sophie’s crib.
  • 6pm: 6 oz bottles in Jack’s bed. Sophie is still the wild card–will she eat in a Boppy? Will she have to be held? Will she refuse to eat altogether? The main goal is to make sure Sophie “finishes” her bottle last. She won’t stand for anyone hanging around in the nursery after she’s been put to bed, so we aim to put her down right before sneaking out of the room. This works about 60% of the time.
  • By 6:30/7pm: They’re asleep! On most nights, if reflux, itchy skin, dirty diapers, or getting stuck in the corner doesn’t wake anyone up, they’ll be down for the count.
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I accidentally rolled onto the floor…ouch.

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Visiting with Gee and Poppy

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Meeting Great Aunt Ann for the first time

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Pete and Jen Got Married!

This past weekend, two of Henry, Jack, and Sophie’s favorite people were married. The duo includes Godfather (to Sophie) Pete and Auntie Jen, and I know I speak for all the Strumolos when I say that we are so happy Jen is officially one of us now. I have finally recovered from the trip (and from all the dancing!) and I’m ready to write about it.

Here we are before the ceremony. Henry, Jack, and Sophie aren’t actually as grumpy as they seem. They were just sleepy! Sophie’s bow serves two purposes: to make her look fancy and to hide the bleeding on her forehead. We cannot get this girl to stop scratching!

IMG_6141The wedding was in Maryland, and with Will as one of the best men (and brother to the groom), and me as a bridesmaid, we definitely needed to bring reinforcements. Enter Nana!

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My mom was nice enough to accompany us on the trip down, and we would not have survived the weekend without her. A few notes about the trip itself:

  • It was raining. Both when we packed up in NYC on Saturday morning AND when we packed back up in MD on Monday morning.
  • We had to bring fancy clothes (i.e. we needed space for a garment bag NOT to get smushed) and a guitar (more on that later).
  • The trip (sans rain or traffic or babies) is just over four hours. Henry, Jack, and Sophie are still members of the Eat Every Three(ish) Hours Club.

In anticipation of a busy and hectic weekend, I made two schedules: one that described what the babies would be doing, when they would be doing it, and who would be with them when they did it, and one that combined all that with what Will and I would be doing, when we would be doing it, and where we would be doing it. On paper it looked a little rigid, sure, but totally doable. If you’re interested, here’s what it looked like:

Schedule for P and J Wedding Weekend HSJ Schedule

So, we piled into the van (already wet) with Will driving, me navigating, Nana and Jack in the middle row, and Henry and Sophie in the back row. We left an hour later than we planned. Did I mention we had to fit a guitar in there? And that it was raining? And there you have it. Before the trip even began, we were off schedule. We decided to push the trio as far as they could go before stopping to feed. Having never fed them on the road before, we weren’t exactly eager to start.

We arrived at the rest stop at 11:30, I squeezed into the backseat in between H and S (after removing several bags that were occupying that space), and Nana stayed in the middle to feed J. The milk was still cold, everyone had all but forgotten how to use their Bebe Bottle Slings, and Sophie needed to be changed. Badly. About an hour later, Sophie’s diaper had been changed, Jack had almost finished his bottle, and Henry was wearing a Batman onesie, sans velcro cape. Why, you ask? Because after he spit up ALL over himself (after only taking half of his bottle), we realized that all of his clothes (and everyone else’s for that matter) were packed away in bags UNDERNEATH everything else. Oops. Luckily Will had decided to throw in their superhero outfits at the last minute (?!) and they were with the “hanging clothes.” I am sad I didn’t get a photo of Henry in his get-up, but there was no time. We had a schedule to catch up with and a wedding to get to!

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This is what feeding them in the van looks like.

We started off again even though H and S had hardly eaten, and the GPS said we had 3 hours and 21 minutes to go. What?!? Wasn’t it 4 hours and 12 minutes when we left Manhattan? How could we still be so far away? Anyway, we arrived in Maryland around 2:30pm, Will went off to write his toast (it’s a good thing he works well under pressure!) and the babies pretty much refused to eat AGAIN. But at least Grammie was there to help! Double Grandma Coverage is a real treat!

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Apparently, a water bottle makes a fun toy. Look at this face!

The rest of the weekend went off without a hitch (no pun intended) and we celebrated P & J in proper fashion, dancing until the wee hours of the morning, spending time with cousins (so many cousins!), aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and good friends.

While Will and I were off performing our bridal party duties, the trips were spending time with Nana, Grammie, Nonno, Gee, and Poppy. Lucky babies!

IMG_0084 WP_20141012_12_38_51_Pro IMG_8862Gee also brought a special gift in honor of Henry, Jack, and Sophie’s 6-month birthday. More details coming soon, but I’ll give you one hint: it features one very fancy pachyderm.

Our photo collection from the weekend is somewhat limited (no pockets in my bridesmaid dress!), but we can’t wait to see the group shots from the professional photographer.

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Just chillin’ during the ceremony, getting ready for family photos!

In the tradition of the Strumolo family, Will and his siblings wrote a song, sang the song and recorded a video–this time enlisting the help of Jen’s family and other members of the wedding party–to commemorate the event. The trips weren’t nearly as excited to dance as we had hoped, but here they are in their featured onesies.

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10.12.14 – The Wedding Date

Other musical numbers from the weekend included Will’s toast at the rehearsal dinner (hence the guitar), a performance by two of Peter’s former bandmates during the ceremony, a serenade by several of Jen’s a cappellamates from college (and sister-in-law, Addie), and best of all, Jen’s own rendition of “At Last” with the wedding band at the reception!

On our way back home, the trips held up through the rain (again), the rest stop feed, and a LOT of traffic. IMG_1792IMG_1793It was all worth it for the chance to see our extended family and for the opportunity to celebrate of one of our newest members–Jennifer!–and of course, Peter.

The Christening

Sounds like a Stephen King thriller, doesn’t it?

On August 15th, 2009, Will and I gathered with our friends and families at the St. Andrew’s Dune Church in Southampton and officially became “The Strumolos.”

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Saturday, August 15th, 2009

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August 15th, 2009: The groomsmen file in. I spy three godfathers and three uncles in this photo!

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Will and I exchange rings at the altar with Reverend Peter Larsen supervising.

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August 15th, 2009: The newest Strumolo family, all smiles post-ceremony.

Five years later, some things haven’t changed much: the church is still there and still beautiful (if a bit of a brighter shade of red), the cast of characters is largely the same, and the mood as we gathered together to celebrate family members was just as joyous as it had been half a decade ago.

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Saturday, August 16th, 2014

The biggest difference? The three little ones we brought there to be baptized.

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Patiently waiting while the rest of us rehearsed.

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Rehearsing! Luckily, we were all fast learners.

Nana tends to the babies while we read through the service, and later, Henry gets a feel for holy water as Reverend Larsen baptized him.

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Newly baptized (the babies, not the godparents)!

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Andrew, Elizabeth, and Jack

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John, Lizzie, and Henry

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Peter, Hartley, and Sophie

The Strumolo clan, from our five-person crew to the twelve-person we very nearly are (can’t wait for the wedding in October)!

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The Gillespie (Strumolo/Wenger) clan!

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Grandparents!

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Great-Grandparents!

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Gee and Poppy join the trips, Grammie, Will, and me at the altar.

 

Namesakes

When it came to naming our trio, believe it or not, but we had the names long before we knew we were having triplets! In fact, we had first names picked out long before we knew we were having even one baby, and we were just lucky enough to have agreed upon four names: two boys’ names and two girls’ names. Our luck further increased when we found out we were having two boys and one girl–no need to pick a third name in either gender! The first names–Henry, Jack, and Sophie, but you know that already–were really just chosen because we like them and we like the way they sound together. We were happy that they had some ties to our families, but it was with the middle names that we sought to make the connection to our families. As a result, Henry’s middle name (Samson) belonged to me, my grandfather before me, and my great-grandmother before him. Jack’s middle name (Waldron) belongs to Will, his grandfather before him, and many others before him, I am sure. I am also sure Grammie or Gee can fill us in on the lineage! Sophie’s middle name (Ann) is what the rest of you would call her dear Grammie :).

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William Waldron Strumolo, Harry Waldron Havemeyer, and Jack Waldron Strumolo

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The entire Strumolo-Havemeyer Clan. Well, not the ENTIRE clan. Just a small portion of each side of the family, really, but we look like a pretty big crew!

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Henry

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Jack

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Sophie

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This cake was as delicious as it was adorable. We are still eating it three days later, but I’m not complaining!

The christening was made extra-special not only by the fact that Reverend Larsen had married us five years ago in the very same church, but also by the fact that this was one of Reverend Larsen’s last christenings at the Dune Church. We will all miss him dearly when he retires, and we are so glad we snuck our trio in before he leaves in September. Perhaps it was a good thing these babies came early!

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And that’s a wrap! Thank you to all who helped us celebrate, and a special thanks to Nana who 1) babysat the triplets OVERNIGHT on Thursday so that Will and I could celebrate our anniversary, 2) organized the christening, 3) hosted the luncheon for 30+ people afterwards! A special shout-out to Godmother Elizabeth for helping with the Thursday night babysitting as well. Did I mention it was OVERNIGHT? Middle-of-the-night feeds? That goes way beyond godmotherly duties!

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