Social Distancing

img_9325-1The last two weeks have been exhausting and stress-filled for most everyone, and the uncertainty was the thing driving me the most insane. Trying to figure out what to do for our schools, for our students, and for our family (including the grandparents) was the thing keeping me up at night. Add to that trying to sort out how we would manage weeks on end with three active kindergartners running afoot in our small NYC apartment, and I had a hard time getting to sleep. Enter melatonin!

When we finally decided where we would begin our social distancing and got the go ahead from work to stay home, things got a bit easier (if no less frantic). We packed everything we thought we might need (and of course ended up forgetting a few things…like warm coats for the fact that it is STILL winter in Northwestern Connecticut despite an unseasonably warm travel day).


Getting to CT was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively (even if it was a bit cold without the coats).


It’s been two days, and we’re finding things to do. A big thanks to Grammie and Nonno for hosting us and for their creativity, patience, and general volume tolerance as our arrival definitely cranked things up a few notches (and probably a few decibels too).

img_7976We’ve been to the waterfall to throw rocks. We’ve lugged the bicycles out of the barn. We busted out the board games, the puzzles, the Legos, and the art supplies. And Will and Nonno up and built our own tire swing. No biggie.


One of our favorite indoor activities is playing on the Quadro, resurrected again for more swinging and climbing.


This particular set has been going strong since the ’80s. First here at Grammie’s, then finding a home in our NYC apartment for three years with three busy toddlers, and now again at Grammie’s in the days of social distancing. How lucky are we that Grammie saved it for so long?

So many people have been asking, “What IS that?!” and since this one hails from the decade of my own birth, I figured I would like to some similar options. There are newer versions, it seems, like this one here, a larger version here, and a different brand that looks pretty similar but perhaps less expensive? None of these come equipped with a Will (or Geeg! as they kids call him) who is patient, handy, and creative enough to keep taking it apart and putting it back together in various configurations. You’ll have to find one of those for yourself! This particular reincarnation came out of the idea booklet and is complete with a (short) set of monkey bars and parallel bars. Just the thing our three little gymnasts ordered.

While we hunker down in CT and look for things to keep us busy at home, we are grateful for family nearby, for the resources and capability to pack up and go for weeks (months?) on end, for jobs and salaries that are secure even during these uncertain and constantly changing times. Most of all, we are grateful for our health, the health of our loved ones, and the millions of healthcare workers worldwide who are in the trenches every day working to curb this crisis. Stay healthy and safe and follow me on instagram @estrumolo to catch the rest of our adventures as we try out this new social distancing thing.


Every Night a Slumber Party

This. This was somewhere in the realm of 8:45pm. An hour (or more) past bedtime and smack dab in the middle of the “grown-up dinner” we were all trying to enjoy. Our first night at Nana and Grumples’ for the summer.

I am often exasperated by their bedtime shenanigans. The mess that they make. The noise that they make. The fact that I KNOW they are tired. The fact that I know they will be up and ready for tomorrow before 6 a.m. (and before their clock “turns green”).

In fact, facing bedtime alone more often than usual is the thing I dread most about the summer. (I don’t dread a whole lot about summer, but solo bedtimes can honestly be often panic-inducing).

So last night, when I stood up from my dinner and trudged upstairs for what felt like the fifteenth time, I was ready to yell (even though I know that just makes Sophie laugh and the boys cry and is rarely effective).

But then, I opened the door, and I found this. Amidst fits of giggles, there they all were, snuggled together for “camping” on the floor in between their beds. And I couldn’t help but snap a photo and smile.

I closed the door, and of course, ten minutes later there were shouts and tears and cries of, “They’re kicking me!!” And “She’s scratching me!”

But for a few minutes, the thing that exhausts me most about having multiples was also the thing that made my heart swell. How lucky they are to have each other, and how lucky we are to have them. Even when they’re not sleeping. Even when they’re making a mess. And yes, even when they’re bickering (though it is MUCH harder to find gratitude in those moments). So here’s to longer days, later nights, and a summer full of slumber parties.

P.S. If you are eager to see more Henry, Jack, and Sophie she shenanigans, you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@estrumolo)…many more adventures await there, and I’m a little more regular about posting.