Hunker Down: Week 4 and 5

Week four and five of isolation…can you believe it’s been so long? While I constantly forget what day it is, haven’t worn makeup or jewelry in forever, keep losing my shoes when I want to go places and am starting to forget life exists outside the little bubble I reside in, I try to keep mental reminders of the good things that happen each day and not dwell on the things we can’t do or are missing out on. For example, the backyard went from completely snow (and poop) covered to grass (and no poop!) in less than a week! Nothing is sprouting green yet…but it’s coming! The girls maybe have grumpy mornings, or afternoons, or less than notable nap times, but they are also continually picking up new words and learning new things and I’m beyond blessed to be here to witness it. We are in the colors, counting, and letters stage right now and it’s very fun. Even from the respite of my home “office,” when I’m working upstairs while the girls are down with “nanny”, it is enjoyable to hear their interactions and realizations throughout the day. When Harper and Emerie wake up from a nap first, they are so greatly concerned with Reagan’s missing presence that they constant call to her, Ray Ray, over and over, until she gets up. It’s one of the most adorable things to listen to while out of sight!

Made them sit for a snack. One second of minimal movement.

Reagan now hums the ABC and twinkle twinkle little star song randomly throughout the day. Sometimes she will string together a few letters before she goes back to humming and will hum it along with you. The girls infancy giggles were some of the best music my ears have ever heard…but hearing them sing? That might even be better! Harper has started humming the closing theme to Glee (we’ve been slowly marathoning it…no judgment!) and she gets so excited to sing “do do do“. Reagan and Emerie now join her on it and the room is filled with three happy tones of do do dos! All three sing a few bars of Baby Shark and while Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is still the top requested song in the household, none of them will sing any of it. It is specifically reserved for the dance party portion of the program.

Book time

In addition to singing, we are now getting longer blocks of specific activities. Rare, calmer moments in the day allow the girls to sit for five minutes and each look at a book. This doesn’t last long but every once in a while they will relax and “read” their books. Current favorites are still the farmyard animal sounds book, counting lady bugs, and Alaskan animals one. I guess we are on an animal kick. Speaking of that, we’ve are also working on sound association. Everyone knows the sounds of a cow, horse, duck (kak!), and cat (sounds like mow)! We are still working on chickens and monkeys, which are just so darn hilarious that they just laugh instead of mimic. They’ve also recently discovered birds in the air, not to be confused with the random airplane! shouts, and enthusiastically yell bird bird!

We are working on color comprehension now as well. My favorite vocabulary word so far, other than “peekaboo” is Emerie’s pronunciation of yellow. Not going to lie, it’s probably one of the cutest sounds in the history of the world. It comes out as a lu-lo and she repeats it constantly. Yesterday on our walk she pointed up and said sunshine! Lulo! I have no idea where she learned sunshine but here we are.

I individually asked the girls what their favorite color was the other night. Emerie responded her favorite colors were lu-lo and Harper (which is pink in triplet talk). Harper’s answer was her usual, uncooperative response of “no,” and Reagan said purple. So it looks like everyone will be liking each other’s colors, and no one seems to like their own… Also, can I just say, Harper answers no to every question I ask her, but when I inquire if she knows the word yes, she gives me a silent stare.

Playing with water in >40 degree weather. Yep. Alaskan babies.

Other longer activities include playing with blocks and building towers, with the mini pots and pans, and water table time. I picked up poop in the backyard for forty minutes the other day while they all played nicely with the water table. The plastic Easter eggs make perfect cups; the tiny air holes on the bottom make such a mess but deliver so much excitement. My opportunity to clean up the yard ended with everyone needing new outfits, but at least they had fun! I tried to repeat this success the next day, and they managed to pick up the entire water table, flip it over and empty it out, and then prop it back up and stand in it. Creative, yes. Safe? No!

Emerie really enjoys constructing towers, Reagan likes to build them and then steal them, and Harper likes to steal anything made by her sisters and destroy it. So that should be a fun combination as they get older. Emerie’s towers are getting taller and taller now. She will sit for fifteen minutes and build with blocks, especially if you sit on the floor with her!

The toddler trampoline from Papa Cliff made it’s first appearance this week and all three jumped and giggled and smiled and then started to fight over it. While three little bodies can fit on it simultaneously, two is much preferred and they think one at a time, much to the dismay of other two. We are working on this, but I can tell this will be a great way to burn energy until the local jump park reopens.

Clothing continues to be another bain in our existence. While no one wants to wear clothes (we are still using those 24 month bodysuits!), they all have explicit opinions on what they should wear and when. This includes hats, coats, boots and the occasional set of mittens that no one would wear when it was cold out! We cannot go outside without everyone requesting their hats and digging them out of the hat drawer, the same goes for coats. It is so wonderful that they now grab coats, hats, and boots without us having to get them. Whoever gets to the bins first will bring their sisters their things and hand deliver parents’ clothing as well! Now if we could just get them to keep all of that on when outside…I think this summer will consist of minimal clothing during backyard time. We also broke out the new sandals (trying to make summer get here); everyone can put them on and mostly unbuckle the Velcro.

The disciplinary side of things is getting more interesting. You can see them trying to not only push our buttons but each other’s as well. Hanging out with multiple toddlers all day is NOT for the faint of heart! Not only that, but they are starting to get more snarky about things. The other night Craig started counting to three for Harper to stop throwing her food. Emerie interrupted him and helped him count…apparently counting to three isn’t that scary sounding! The hitting and kicking of each other results in a lot of time outs throughout the day; they all seem to rotate on who is doing what to one another and I assume this will get worse before it gets better. On a plus side, they do give kisses to each other after inflicting the pain…so that’s improvement…right?

At some point we will again be out and about in society. To prepare for this monumental day, that will happen eventually although maybe not soon, we have introduced hand holding. They will not, under any circumstance, hold each others’ hands yet, but they are learning the benefits of holding onto an adult. It allows more freedom to explore and go places they ordinarily aren’t allowed to go. This includes going out the front door and down the steps to the driveway, upstairs, and out into the woods for adventure! Harper dislikes the control the most, but will begrudgingly do it with some insistence. Emerie loves it all the time and especially when going down any type of stairs or out into the world. She also commands you with hand! and then grabs yours and pulls you where she wants to go. Reagan mostly enjoys hand holding while playing or when in a new place. And that leads us to our first hike of the season.

Last weekend we took the girls to one of our favorite spots up the mountainside in town, a place we used to consistently hike every week before kiddos and have visited less than a handful of times since. My assumption that the trail would be back to dirt was incorrect; the snow was very slushy and incredibly difficult to push a stroller through. We didn’t go as far as we planned to; we planned to free them to play in the creek but we didn’t make it that far. Instead, we turned around early and found a good spot to let everyone roam free in the less snowy areas. The girls climbed over logs, splashed in puddles, and checked out rocks, sticks and leaves. They did very well but definitely wanted parents to stay closeby and hold hands. I can already tell they will be outdoorsy, like their parents, and definitely plan to do a lot more hiking now that they are bigger. It’s also the perfect activity during a quarantine. Social distancing by miles!

I’m ready to tackle the next week of this and try to find some fun activities for this weekend! Spring is right around the corner, the backyard is clear of snow and dog poop, and the trees will sprout into bloom any day now (hopefully!). Until then, I’ll be the one you can hear down the street, yelling at the toddlers to put their boots back on because we are outside and it’s only 40 degrees out and raining.

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