#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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June 2017

The Bedtime Battles Continue

June 1 · New York · 

Apparently these kids were so excited about the new sheets they earned for staying in their beds that they could not sleep last night. Or stay in their beds. Oh, the irony 🤣! Hard to be mad at these faces though.

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Divide and Conquer

June 3 

 Today, we divided and conquered (for a couple of hours at least). So amazing to spend time with these kids one (or two) on one. We SO rarely have adventures like these, preferring to spend our weekend moments together as a family of five, but boy is it a completely different (and amazing!) experience when we have the chance. I feel like I finally get to BE WITH them and not just managing them.

Early this morning and later this afternoon they were back together again, and that too was a ton of fun.
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Workout Buddies
June 4  

They may have cut my workout short, but this has gotta count extra towards my fitness goal for the day (ahem, week) right?

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I love me some weekends!

 

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As if we didn’t draw enough attention to ourselves already…

 

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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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