The 4th of July weekend was well spent just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine. We played with the water tables, in the pool, with our books and puzzles, and went to the nature conservatory in Portage. We packed a car load of gear and were out of the house by 9:30, with a short stop in Bird Creek to give everyone a stretch break and explore the exciting whale rock art and inlet views. At one point we successfully convinced all three to hold hands and walk; but most of the twenty-minute venture consisted of chasing toddlers and keeping them out of the parking lot. Grandma read books to our three opinionated listeners on the drive to Portage and showed them pictures of people on her phone. Apparently we just need a third row sitter to sit in the back of the car on a permanent basis, just to get some peace and quiet on drives!
They did great on the drive down, the longest one we’ve done in quite a while, as long as you allowed them to remove socks and shoes and have entertainment. They enjoyed wheeling around the refuge in the wagon and looking at the animals, then running free for a bit, then returning (unwillingly) to the wagon so we could move onto the next exhibit. The bears were the most popular for sure, where they exclaimed excited screams as the massive brown bears gallivanted around, about ten feet below the lookout, and the poor tourists sighed at the loud noises.
The plan was to do a quick lunch in the sun and then pack up for a driving nap home, but we got sidetracked. A lady popped her head out of her car as we were walking back, asking us if we had triplets and if she could take a picture (still a super weird request every time I hear it). Her next comment relayed we were the second set she saw that day, which is not a normal coincidence but turned out to be true! I first texted to our other triplet friends to see if it was them, but it wasn’t. As we approached the main parking lot to go home, disappointed we hadn’t found them, we ran right into them, a new, local set only three weeks younger than us. I am so excited to have another local momma that understands the current trenches! Needless to say, what a perfect story to meeting at a random place, on a random Fourth of July, at the exact same time!!
The rest of the weekend was spent outside enjoying (mostly) the hot, sunny temperatures, cleaning up the backyard and weeding the neglected raspberry patch and front garden. Regardless of the fact that fireworks awoke two of my three sleeping children at midnight, the weekend was not a wash. Harper is still up early each morning and used that time to help Grandma weed and get some on-on-one parent time. The gardens are looking the nicest it has since the girls came home from the hospital!
I really can’t complain about my week off with the kids. Why? Well it’s warm outside (at least it started that way on Monday) and that means spending the day outside. The girls have Grandma Sue to play with and with that comes fresh scones and other goodies. And, there’s lots of things to do to stay busy! Our Monday consisted of walks in the neighborhood with the wagon, meeting new neighbors moving in, taking a grand two hour nap, another afternoon walk with friends, and a lot of gardening! We expanded the back garden bed to accommodate the new golden raspberry patch and planted them after dinner, with the help of the girls (of course). They all enjoyed playing with the dirt, handing potted plants over to Craig for planting (or refusing to hand them over in a mischievous fashion), and playing with the massive worms from the pots. Harper ran around, showing off her wriggly worm and not wanting to share, Reagan would briefly hold it and Emerie kept dropping them and trying to stomp them in the grass.
Craig also replaced the lock on the back door to a keypad so that the nanny doesn’t get locked out anymore. This seems to happen a couple times a week to someone, although it’s easy enough to go to the key-less front door and get back in. We’ve been meaning to do that for years and just hadn’t gotten around to it. Emerie’s latest habit is to run inside from the deck, slam the back door, flip the deadbolt, and then set fire to the living room. Okay…not that last part, but I usually do find her standing on the table, tinkering with the TV remote in silent joy, awaiting her capture by the adults and hoping for the best.
Also, not because this is relevant to any story, but LOOK AT THEIR HAIR TODAY. Top/side ponies, with bangs long enough to pull back. Cute right?! We are starting to get more creative on the hairstyles, because the length is grown out and because bribery of the sugary kind allows me to give them bows and other pretties.
Today we toured the zoo with the visiting cousins. The girls were on pretty decent behavior and didn’t run off too much; having the extra hands was great and the girls really took to Maddie, Amber and Hayden. There was a trail of snacks across the park as they munched in the wagon and spilled their drinks all over the place.
We are improving naming animals and everything isn’t a moose anymore. Instead we hear whispers of bear, owl, kitty and porcupine (I think) at random cages. The tiger has yet to be close enough for viewing after three visits, so the girls could care less, the polar bear was hidden during our visit, but the snow leopards, referred to as “kitties” in this house, remained almost close enough to touch.
The only hiccup of the visit was Emerie getting two lower arm hornet stings as she was climbing up a wooden stairway after Harper. She took it far better than the average toddler or even adult, showing us the owies as they swelled up but without tears or being inconsolable. Luckily after some initial swelling, it decreased without intervention and she forgot about it until we made it home. But it did remind me to put some additional meds in the diaper bag in case this happens again. It seems Harper is our mosquito baby and Emerie our bee baby. Who knows what that means for Reagan!
Needless to say, Emerie received lots of attention and kisses and was still able to enjoy the last several animals at the park, including the young, honey bear and napping baby moose. It was great to visit with family and much overdue! Our next visit will have to be the Seward Sealife Center!
That night we ventured to Olive Garden for our first dinner out since February. The construction outside was very interesting to the girls, who now say loader and truck! as we drive by big equipment. I have to say, the restaurant’s social distancing and less busy environment was welcomed in my opinion. In the past we could barely get the stroller to the table. The girls ate a TON of salad for dinner, Harper had seconds on the black olives, everyone tried some bread sticks and butter licking, and ate all their fries and some alfredo noodles. It was quite the successful meal!
We are still trying to break the bottle before bed habit. It’s been over a month since we’ve tried to stop again, since last time was not successful AT ALL and resulted in angry, bottle demanding, screaming toddlers. Since the girls ate so well at dinner and we didn’t get home until almost bedtime, we tried doing warm milk in their sippy cups, saying the bottles are broken. All three drank less than normal, but overall sleep wasn’t any different than it usually is.
I woke up to a very dreary, rainy day. Instead of braving the the weather at the park, I packed the girls up and went to a play date. The last play date we went to was the week before quarantine and our first one is with our same twin friends.
The girls were moody for a lot of it, fighting over toys and with each other. Overall, they really took to role playing with the dolls, making me think I need to find some more doll furniture to use for inside activities. The double doll stroller was also quite the hit.
I also didn’t think to grab their portable lunch chairs, so they didn’t eat very well without being fully contained. Overall, we had fun and it was nice to catch up with one of my fellow multiples mommas, but apparently the trip didn’t tire them out enough to take a nap. It took me close to an hour and several spankings to get Harper and Reagan to lay down in their cribs and go to sleep. Emerie slept through all the toddler huffing and puffing.
The rain didn’t stop a little fun after nap, with the girls suited up in their raincoats and boots for a little fresh air. That lasted long enough for dinner prep and this time I put warm milk in their dinner cups. That also seemed to help with the new sippy cup only rule before bed time. I’m hoping we’ve broken the habit…but we will see.
Day four started off pretty normal, but with Harper and Reagan standing in their cribs and having a 2 AM discussion about something and waking us up to grab them before they woke up Emerie. The day was full of the normal toddler things, playing, running to the store and to grab some French fries for a car ride snack, and playing out back in the kiddo pool. I managed to catch Harper dunking Emerie with a tiny bucket of water (again). The girls ate grandma’s chicken and dumpling soup and corn on the cob for dinner and played until bedtime. Another new game is discovered; we now have toddler participation for Ring Around the Rosie and it’s sooooo cute. They all preemptively fall and think it is so hilarious. Throughout the day, Harper’s eye (brow) continued to swell up from a big mosquito bite and additional sister beating, but went back down by the next morning.
Another relatively uneventful day full of playing outside, more French fries, and a few new knick knacks from the store. Once the weather turned nicer, we hooked up the sprinkler pad for some fun and eventually moved the slide into it. I caught some of the water dunking fights on camera and watched the girls chase each other around the yard with miniature water buckets, trying to slosh them over everyone’s heads. Eventually they stopped turning on each other and went after Koda, who probably enjoyed the cool water in the hot sun and didn’t even run away from them. This game will be fun until they come after me for it! They also insisted on verifying the newborn baby living in the house behind us was okay whenever he cried, and creepily stared his direction, through the back fence, to make sure. We are all about babies right now, and by that, I mean THE GIRLS. Calm down.
Later we ventured over to a neighbor’s house to pick up some fresh eggs, and, of course, feed their chickens some grass and ooo and ahhh over the fact that they have chickens. It was a random afternoon of adventuring while soaking wet and barefoot in the sun!
I also want to note that we’ve somehow managed to break the bedtime bottle feed by day five, a little milk with dinner seems to fix the wanting of an 8 ounce bottle an hour later. This is great progress in our kiddo development and a long time coming!
A few other notable and cute moments observed this week, Emerie licking the Pringle chips and trying to share the less-flavorful leftovers with you. She already realizes that is the best part of the snack! One morning she sang the whole ABC song, at 27 months old mind you, to me at the kitchen table! Not 100% on all the letters, but she has a number of them down and the song part at the end. She would also not do this for me on camera, because I tried several times. The best part is when Reagan and Harper join in and they all fill the letter gaps for each other. She also sang me the “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” song.
Harper and Reagan now look at you and say “like” when they dislike something. Even in the last few days, it’s starting to morph into no like or me no like, all great phrases to learn, even when we now hear them constantly! Reagan will peekaboo through her fork at you at the dinner table and is handing out free hugs more and more. I’ve seen her hug an upset sister several times this week; they just stand there and take it but she smiles and reaches out.
All week Harper greatly enjoyed the wonder of the backyard and its worms. She is still using her buzzword soccer ball and wants to play the ball game. Soccer will be just around the corner! She is also occasionally listening more and not immediately running away from you when freedom is in front of her. She did great at harnessing her inner desire to fun away FAST and I hope this is a trend for the better.
We managed to pull together a garage sale for Saturday morning and the girls actually played in the front yard and driveway for quite a while, without running away and partially with the backpack leashes, reminding us it is occasionally possible to let them roam while accomplishing a task. The extra hands helped too.
And just like that, it’s almost Monday again! ❤ ❤ ❤