Busy Little Bees

It could be the fact that the girls turn three in a couple of weeks or the fact they are home all day again, but I feel like they are advancing a ton on everything the past month or so. For example, Grandma Sue helps them dress each morning but takes more time to help them do it themselves than our typical routine of doing hair, eating vitamins, removing pajamas and dressing for the day on the counter…one, two, three. Reagan is thriving at this newfound independence and can quickly pull up underwear and pants and push her arms through the shirt holes. A few times she’s pulled a shirt up, feet first, and managed to get it on correctly! Harper seems to be a little less coordinated on the steps and easily get flustered and demands you do it. Emerie is a bit more patient but often ends up asking (a little nicer) for assistance. At this age I continue to choose the outfits each day, partly because it’s fun to mix and match and partly because we’d never leave the bedroom if I let them decide each morning. Lately a lot of long-sleeved dresses and tights combinations make it easier to stay warm while shifted between inside and outside, not needed to deal with the dreaded socks (which, by the way, they are getting better at putting on correctly themselves). I am excited for the next season to show up, first because I’m ready for light hoodie weather and secondly, it will be amazing to get all the snow gear out for the summer!

An extra set of hands in the house the past few weeks not only allows us to get so much more work done without needing to do a lot of night hours; but it also means more hands-on activities. The play coloring house was a hit for a few days and surprisingly didn’t end with marker all over the living room walls. The girls continue to bring their dolls “inside” and demand we be quiet so they can sleep. Coloring is a key activity each day and I’ve tried to get a little more creative on things to do with all the crayons and markers we now possess. We colored custom yellow sun shines the other day to hang up on the wall next to the existing sparkle snowmen and moose. There was great conversation about this as I cut out the finished products. Markered orange moose will likely be up any day now as well. Everyone is close to mastering puffy sticker crafts and removing the paper on the back. We tried doing flower beds with sparkly flower stickers but everyone just wanted to pull the circles out from the middles and add those in. Apparently I need puffy shapes, since they kept asking for octagons- we’ve moved on from a love of the triangle to a love of the octagon.

Real baking and play baking

One cold morning we ventured into the garage and used the summer water table as a snow table, using the fake snow kits and giving the girls sand shovels and buckets. The girls insisted on wearing their slippers and winter hats the entire time and did pretty well overall. The mess was more minimal than expected and the “snow” felt like cold gelatin. Everyone enjoyed watching it thicken with water and dumping it out from bucket to bucket. This activity will definitely happen again.

The girls continue the Douglas baking spree and helped make fun shaped cookies (rainbows are a hit right now), blueberry/lemon scones (they taste tested both the blueberries and the lemons), apple muffins, and helped Grandma whip up a batch of stuffed peppers and even ate the finished product (with some threatening of no dessert). Stroganoff the other night was a decent hit for all three, who eventually cooperated and ate all the noodles and meat at the mention of some ice cream. Another night Reagan devoured everyone’s beer battered halibut, claiming this chicken is yummy.

Speaking of grandparents, another funny theme going around the household. All credit for everything, I mean everything, goes to Papa. They don’t specify if this is Papa Cliff or Papa Lon; I assume it depends on the moment and that some goes to each grandfather. If they put on new shoes and recognize they are new, when asked who got them, it is always Papa got them for me or they are from Papa. So thanks, both Papas, for “giving” us everything in the house, it’s pretty funny! The other day I asked Emerie who gave her the new slippers (new size since the older ones were getting tight) and she responded with someone got them, ummmmm, Auntie Manda. So thanks Amanda for getting those for the girls (when it was really me haha), they were clearly thinking about you that morning!

The repeating of Rapunzel, Wreck It Ralph and Moana movies over this winter inspired us to push the girls to branch out on their movie theatrics. This was not met with enthusiasm at first, but after a bit we now FINALLY have new feature films to watch for the bedtime routine. It generally takes a couple times before they accept something new and are now asking for Cinderella (Harper especially), which is also referred to as wanting to see Gus Gus the mouse; Snow White, where they want to see Dopey, and the other night they asked for Mulan for the second time. Cinderella and Snow White refer to the original Walt Disney versions from 1937 and I think 1950, which move at a much slower pace than most current animated movies, but they are still met with great excitement. You can often catch them calling out to each other in their cribs saying, Cinderelllleeeeeeeyyyyy like the mice do in the movie. We are now working our way through a few other selections like Beauty and the Beast and The Fox and the Hound. Another laugh-worthy observation at this age? They all harbor intense disdain for the prince in every movie. I couldn’t tell you why this is, but they will downright insist I don’t like the prince. I don’t like the bad guy (the prince) and it’s hilarious. We will see how long it takes to overcome that opinion, hopefully twenty years or so.

As we round out age two the girls are working on holding up three fingers and telling you their age. Reagan is very proud she can do it by herself now; she holds her ring finger down instead of her pinkie and it’s adorable. Harper is working on a birthday dance and song and Emerie is hard at work on holding up the right fingers. When asked how old they are the response is still two, with the occasional my birthday next! Having a number of birthdays in the past three months, starting with Craig and including mine, a cousin, Paris and Aunt Janelle, practice of the song and witnessing of candles has them excited for their own upcoming day, even though they don’t fully understand it yet. A calendar now hangs on the fridge, with stickers added each day until the big day! The girls are thrilled to count down AND use stickers! Pretty exciting stuff people.

The girls experienced their “first” decent earthquake, at least one they were old enough to notice. The 5.3 aftershock from our 7+ jolt when they were nine months was enough for all three to freeze and look at me while the waves rolled across the house and the light swung from the ceiling. We ended the quake in a group hug but otherwise they were completely fine and judging me as I ran across the living room to grab them off the hearth.

I should also remember to mention, after almost THREE years (and more for me since I couldn’t sleep very well past probably 25 weeks along), we’ve had the majority of nights in the past two weeks where Craig and I both slept through the whole night without a peep from anyone, who all stayed in their beds allll night long. This is likely our biggest accomplishment in 2021 and only two months in! Craig can claim the credit for this; he pushed to stop pulling them out of bed in the middle of the night when they wake each other up, where usually they’d fall asleep quickly with us, and spent a few full nights himself on the nursery arm chair until they started to settle. Will this continue? One can dream. For now it still feels strange to walk into their room in the morning and get everyone up together, since that is not the routine we’ve done the past year. It is, however, white wonderful to sleep in my own bed for a while. The girls were calling the guest room bed Mommy’s bed. That tells you how much I was sleeping in there with a kiddo! Exciting times indeed.

There’s no shame in a little bribery to encourage this either; everyone understands a yummy reward is available to grab if they sleep in my own bed! This usually involves a marshmallow for Harper and Reagan, which Harper enthusiastically calls a farshfellow with great seriousness, and Emerie opts for a jelly bean of her choosing. Candy first thing in the day may not be my best parenting choice, but we’ve worked hard to get overnights in their beds!

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