Dance Like No One Is Watching

This girl. She dances like no one is watching, she sings like no one is listening (although I think she secretly hopes we all are), and she carries joy in her heart and spreads it wherever she goes.

After several blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep, and just hours before our road trip to VA to visit the cousins, her coughing began. In the grand scheme of things, last night’s breathing battles were pretty minimal. No albuterol needed (until 5AM this morning, that is), no trip to the hospital, no oxygen mask. But a sleepless night is a sleepless night, and a persistent and wheezy cough for a kid with asthma is always a bit unsettling.

Still, this girl jumped out of bed at 5AM, a smile on her face and only one concern: “If I go to Noah and Lily’s and I’m sick there, I will give Noah and Lily my germs.”

I am inspired by her concern for others, her ability to choose joy in the face of her frustrations, and her incredible zest for life.

Her latest catch phrase is, “This is going to be SO great.” This adventure, this Magna-Tile house, this waffle, you name it. Whatever it is, it’s going to be SO great. Especially if Sophie has anything to do with it. We are t-minus two hours from the cousins’ house, albuterol and inhaler in hand, and I can already tell: it’s going to be SO great.

Their Eyes Are Full of Wonder

D17EA437-5CB2-49BB-B4D4-C62F7D74183F.jpegThis isn’t a great photo. At first glance, it is mostly just a reminder to me that we need to wash our windows 😳! But it is also a reminder to me to look up, to pay attention, and to marvel at the beauty in everyday moments. Like this sunrise. And how lucky I am to have three little beings, so young and full of wonder, to remind me. Today, it was Sophie, who after a long and sleepless night, burst into the living room and made a beeline for her stool. “To see what’s happening!” she told me.

And then, moments later, the excited shouts of, “Mom! Come look at this!” rang out, and she hurriedly waved me over to the window. “Come quick! Take a photo!” she said, “I don’t want you to miss the sunrise. It’s only here for a little while. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”

How lucky we are that the sun rises every morning. How lucky we are that the little people are here to notice it. How lucky we are to be up early enough to see all of our favorite colors fill the sky. Even if it is through dingy windows.

 

 

 

 

How Lucky Are We?

It’s 12pm. We are six hours into our week at home with HSJ and Mom, and several days into winter vacation. We just got back from two rounds of Christmas (first at Nana’s, then at Grammie’s), and now we have only partially unpacked. Add to the usual mountain of toys and clothes this year’s Christmas haul, and to say our two-bedroom apartment is a bit overwhelmed would be a bit of an understatement.

I have a thousand things to do: load the dishwasher, finish unpacking, wipe the paint of the floor (and the bathroom sink, and the walls, and my childrens’ hands), put away the ingredients from lunch, tackle the pile of mail in the entryway…my to do list is literally three pages long (SIDE NOTE: Sophie asked, “Why is it only three pages?” when she found it. Answer? Because I have surely forgotten at least three dozen things I need to do). So as the kids sat and ate their lunch, I thought to myself, “What should I tackle? What’s the priority here?” as I surveyed the mess in the kitchen (and the dining room, and the hallway). “I should take advantage of the fact that they are entertaining themselves,” I thought. And then, I peeked around the corner to see just how lunch was going, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: HOW LUCKY ARE WE?

How lucky are we, that we have three kids who ADORE each other? Who make each other laugh? Who WANT to spend time together? How lucky are we that the thing that keeps them occupied and entertained is their sibling bond? How lucky are we that they have built in best friends and that they look out for each other EVERYWHERE? How lucky are we to have two boys and a girl who fit so seamlessly together, they are, more often than not, a singular unit rather than brothers and sister, but who, at the same time, have had their own, wonderful personalities from the minute they were born (twelve weeks early, no less)?

I am not so naive that I can be certain these bonds will last forever (though I am optimistic enough that I hope they will). And believe me, we have our fair share of sibling rivalries and fights. By 9AM this morning, we were discussing the pros (built in friends and playmates!) and cons (hard to find alone time) of being a triplet, and shortly before I wrote this post, one Strumolo scratched another, because she told him not to eat his grilled cheese, and then he did anyway. We are constantly worried that they depend too much on each other, or that they don’t get enough individual attention, or that we are unwittingly comparing them to one another.

But at the end of the day (or, in this case, I suppose in the middle of it), I am struck by their closeness. I am amazed by how well they get along, and I am delighted by how much fun they have together. I am grateful, yes, but it is more than that. I am truly in awe of their special relationship, and even though I know we all had very little influence on how they came to be in this world–two identical boys and their triplet sister–and even though there are plenty of moments when the fact that we have triplets thoroughly exhausts me, I am so incredibly glad (and sort of in disbelief) that this is the family we landed.

I am sitting on the kitchen floor as I write this. Dishes still undone, mess (and paint) EVERYWHERE. And the kids have moved on from their grilled cheese to an episode of “Paw Patrol.” Because they DO adore each other, and they DO entertain each other, but then they remember that Mom is home, and they’re pretty interested in what she is doing too. So, the pups from “Paw Patrol” are babysitting for twenty minutes so I can sit and write. Hoping that as the rest of the day, the week, the month, our lives, unfold, I might remember this moment, or at least this idea of how very lucky we are.

The Miracles of Modern Medicine

The past ten days have been rough. It started last Tuesday night with a midnight trip to the ER, a dose of racemic epinephrine, and a round of steroids. Jack had wandered into our room, gasping for breath, a nasty bout of croup with stridor having developed in the few hours since he’d fallen asleep.

By Monday, we’d added a trip to Urgent Care plus four rapid strep tests (all negative, thank goodness!), and one pretty sick mama.

Wednesday brought with it three fevers (and no school), and one sleepless night for Sophie, Mom, and Dad. By Thursday, I’d lost my voice (and pretty much all of my energy), and we rounded out the day with a trip to the pediatrician to rule out strep (again) and an ear infection.

There is still a lot of snot and a lot of coughing in our household, and not a lot of sleep. The fevers keep coming and going, and I don’t think anyone has eaten a square meal in over a week.

BUT (and this is a VERY big but), if coughs, and colds, and fevers, and runny noses, and yes, even a trip to the ER for croup is our worst week…then I cannot help but count us all very lucky.

Our road to parenthood was not an easy one. The before, during, and after of my pregnancy involved a lot of doctors, a lot of medicine, and a lot of hope. The photos below are a constant reminder of how far these little people have come, and the fact that their little bodies are strong enough to fend off these viruses makes me one very grateful mama.

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On the top left there is Henry, still eleven weeks before a baby is supposed to be out in this world on his own, barely two pounds, and working to breathe with a collapsed lung.

And then there’s Jack, working hard just to open his eyes a few days after being born.

And finally Sophie. Rocking her shades from the from her phototherapy treatment for jaundice.

It would be days before we held Henry, weeks before the three of them were reunited with each other, and months before they came home.

So I’ll take the sniffles, the sleepless nights, and the multiple trips to the doctor if it means I get to have these three happy humans in my arms, at home, every night. It was a long time coming, and I am just so very grateful that they are here.