Dance, Dance, Baby

This spring part of Harper’s dance class included an official recital, with a big stage, a custom leotard, and about 120 other kids ages three and up. Since Craig ordered the costume, each week she runs up to her teacher, Miss Jess, and asks if the order was in yet. She was so excited to not only see it but wear it.

The last day of spring session everyone had a mini performance during the standard class time, with parents invited in to watch each kiddo perform skill routines. Because the girls are split out into two separate classes across the hall from each other, with Harper dancing and Reagan and Emerie tumbling in gymnastics, Craig and I knew we had to split to accommodate everyone, with performances offset by about fifteen minutes. Luckily Aurora Kids has a great setup and suggested Emerie and Reagan go first so I could sneak out to Harper’s class, after their floor and beam routines.

Both girls were somewhat shy to go first in their group, but overall committed to showing off newfound skills. Reagan did her first tumble and mini cartwheel without teacher assistance and her last backwards roll with a little help. She then immediately darted back to her spot and away from the crowd. Emerie also did her first tumble on her own but with a dramatic landing, her arms and legs flailed out on the mat with a silly laugh. She was also all smiles at the end. It wouldn’t be a floor performance without both of them picking a wedgie from their leotards, in case you were curious! Both did their beam routines with the help of one of the teachers and Emerie added a touch of personality with the goofy faces and tongue out.

Craig stayed to watch the bar performances while I watched Harper’s class perform a ballet and tap routine. Both Emerie and Reagan followed their teacher’s instructions well on different bar skills, and if I had to pick a favorite routine for Emerie, it is definitely this one. She again showed off some of her skills completely unassisted after class when we were all back together. Harper made sure to be front and center for both dances and right next to her teacher; pretty consistently to how she’s acted throughout the whole session.

All three were thrilled to go up front and receive their participation medals and played with them at home ever since now that they are jewelry and decoration. All in all, the entire session went much smoother than a year ago, and everyone is asking when they get to go back, which is only another week away. On the behavioral side, Harper going to solo made a huge difference on her listening, while we still have to intervene with Emerie from time to time, who can easily distract Reagan from listening.

The girls were excited at early school pickup on the big day; it was the first time I’ve picked them up during regular school pickup and right after nap time. Harper was thrilled to get dressed up and wear her outfit, have fancy eye shadow and her hair slicked back into a “ballerina bun” with a matching ribbon. After claiming to want orange eye shadow all week, she opted for a pink and teal that meshed together to look like colorful sparkles. Who knew finding kid makeup would be so difficult to find and we ended up with a big set that included every color imaginable.

Craig and I took only Harper to the fancy recital at the local college and left Emerie and Reagan home for an evening with Uncle Will. Emerie could care less that Harper dressed up and went solo with her parents, while Reagan stood at the front window and cried as we loaded up in the car; she wanted to go. Little did we know it would be a three hour performance, so thank goodness we didn’t bring everyone or we never would have made it through the whole thing.

After checking in and finding seats at the show, Harper was content looking around the full auditorium and finding her classmates, who all sat on the left side with us. The room was filled with so many sparkles and colorful dance leotards. I would guess about six dances occurred before Harper went back with her fellow Tiny Tappers to queue up for their ballet performance. After every single dance she asked is it my turn yet? When is it my turn?! She was also offended any time her favorite teacher, Miss Jess, wasn’t on stage dancing, which cracks me up. She did enjoy watching the routines once she got over that part, and was thrilled each time a princess related song came on.

Unsurprisingly for her routine, Harper confidentially walked out on stage and showed absolutely no fear in front of a crowd, pointedly going to the front both times. The amount of people in the room and the cheering didn’t phase her at all; I’m guessing she will be a crowd pleaser in the future and I can’t wait to see! For ballet she was placed right behind the teacher, and of course at the perfect angle to be difficult for filming, but moved around enough we could see her smiling face. At one point she lost focus and appeared to try to find us out in the dark crowd. Afterward she went backstage and came back to her seat for a few more performances, changing into tap shoes for the last routine. About halfway through the whole show she went backstage once more and stayed until her dance and the show finale.

Her tap performance to Aladdin’s Friend Like Me was super cute, and hilariously and in true Harper style, she turned at one point and shook her butt at the whole crowd and laughed. Being the oldest one in class, she also refused to let any one else stand on her front row tape spot, scolding the littles that tried to. So funny! Overall she followed this routine a bit better- I think the whole group did following Miss Mary- and everyone was all smiles at the end.

Grumpy and tired from the night!

At the end all classes went on stage for the finale bow, showing how many kids and how well coordinated it was. It’s impressive to coordinate one-hundred plus kids and twenty-nine dance routines back to back and it was well done. You could also tell it was getting late and kids around the auditorium feeling it. We quickly headed to the car ahead of the crowd, but Harper made us turn around for a picture with Miss Jess on stage. She also cried the ENTIRE way home that her teacher couldn’t come home with her, not that it has ever happened, showing how overtired she really was after three hours of solid stimulation.

It was a good evening overall and enjoyable with only one kiddo! Emerie and Reagan would never sit that long and instead enjoyed a fun evening with pizza and a movie. Both were awake when we arrived home at almost nine. While they immediately fell asleep in their beds, Harper whined for a while longer about her teacher and fought sleep hard.

It was a new feeling for me, enjoying watching my little have fun in a new environment and getting to enjoy it without pestering the other two to be quiet. I never considered the thought I could be a dance mom- clearly if you’ve seen me dance- but who knows! Miss Jess noted at the end of the performance that Harper really enjoys class time and has improved greatly from a year ago. She continues to claim she’d rather dance than go to gymnastics so it will be interesting to see if she sticks to that decision for fall session. And she’s already asking when the next performance is and when we can order another fancy outfit. Bring on next year!

The Finger Nail Saga

It’s been a bit since I shared the random quirks that raising five year olds brings each day. It is a never ending surprise how they will react to things and handle situations, but sometimes that is the fun part!

For example, for the past two months, Emerie has nursed a broken and dying fingernail. Of course, it’s also her middle finger, which she will proudly display upon request. And I’m sure most of you can guess exactly how this mass catastrophe occurred, and probably which kid contributed!

Going back to age three, Emerie lost a fingernail pretty early into our second daycare experience, courtesy of Reagan slamming her hand in the preschool bathroom door. The injury resulted in my tiny three year old getting picked up from school early and running to the pediatrician to get it all clean it up. It looked pretty brutal and Emerie was quite dismayed. I remember picking her up from the school office and she was just so upset about it. Over two years later and Emerie completely remembers this experience, often reminding her sister about the pain and sorrow she caused, and recalling the nice doctor and (sterile) water used to clean it. Overall her story is more factual and she doesn’t recount the blood or the associated pain, just the fact she left school early and met a nice doctor, who made it better and gave her a band-aid. I believe it’s likely her youngest memory, and what a doozy!

The second time this occurred I received less details, other than her hand was slammed in her bedroom door and all the screaming and tears. So this third time…have you guessed the culprit yet? But of course, it was again Reagan, and while at school.

So over the past two months her new nail has grown in below the old one, with the main issue other than pain that the door slamming broke the cuticle and it’s only slightly connected on on side. This means it snags on everything and she is easily able to con someone as school to provide her a new band-aid each day, even after Craig or I have refused to give her another one for the millionth time. She has nursed this finger for days, fleeing the scene anytime Craig offers to chop it off, pull it off, clean it out, look at it, or anything outside of the demands for more band-aids. We clearly should have purchased stock in the band-aid brand as soon as the girls became mobile, because we go through a ton of them. In fact, in the past couple of months, band-aids are a request on the daily and are often for scratches from prior injuries that ARE NOT BLEEDING. Apparently anything with a little red equals the need for a band-aid, at least that is what Reagan tells me. The last time I opened the box of band-aids in the drawer, I found about a thousand empty packages shoved back in, and a lot less new ones to use. Not to mention all the lovely used ones that are found everywhere as little presents….so gross!

The morale and ending to this story- I picked the girls up from school on Monday, after a solid week of requests to Emerie to try to pull of the half disconnected and rotting old nail, and the dramatics and running away responses received. So as I walk toward the gym to sign them out, Reagan and Harper run up to tell me Emerie lost her fingernail!!

I looked at Emerie and ask her how that happened- she shrugs with an I don’t know, and keeps walking; no reaction at all. TWO months of resistance to anything or anyone going near it, and it comes off and no response whatsoever. Kids…

Mother’s Day

This year I want to give a shout out to all the great, hard working and dedicated moms in my life. I have many ladies that I consider adoptive moms, and growing up I was luckily to have each of them for a multitude of reasons. My biological mom, of course raised me, taught to me walk and talk, excel at school and manage money intelligently, and be independent, in addition to doing that as a single mom for what I would say are the tougher years in a kids life (teenage), and coming out alive afterwards. I was an angel…for most of it. My mother-in-law, who raised a kind, sarcastic, supportive man that I would eventually meet, marry, and survive triplets with; is a tough woman who is always up for a new activity or challenges, handles my kids like they are easy to handle (a feat in itself), and whose “never sit still” attitude is quite the blessing.

One of my absolutely favorite mom photos ❤

On the non-blood related side, mothers are trickled throughout different stages of my life. It’s fun to think back that one of these ladies (Anne, i.e. “Mom Burge” in my phone) first knew me and my life long best friend (Janelle) when we were still bumps in utero, and I love that she she now gets to enjoy watching her granddaughter and mine grow up together! Of course we can’t forget my teenage adoptive mother, Shelly, who I spent countless hours with over many years, cooking and talk to about boys; she always welcomed me into her home and let me crash anytime. Some of my fondest memories to date are at her house, surrounded by a group full of friends, delicious cooking, and boisterous game nights. Looking back, I also can’t forget the mom (Cheryl) who had me over for more sleepovers than probably anyone else in my childhood, disciplined me when I wasn’t obeying (and probably needed to haha), and let me grow up feeling like I had a sister.

Now not to get all mushy on this holiday, but I will say Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mother. It is an excruciating amount of work by the day- and the night- to keep three littles successful, thriving, happy, and not completely burning your house and/or sanity down; it’s still not a job I’d trade for anything. A lot of days are hard, juggling a busy, full time job, household, and life, but when you have a supportive and exemplary partner, it goes a looooong way in my success. In fact, I easily admit my life would be so much more chaotic and difficult if I didn’t have Craig in it, who is also a rock star (he can wait to have his praises sung until Father’s Day next month!)! It is only fair we have a day committed to us, after all the puking, pooping, breast milk shenanigans, lack of personal space, lack of sleep, total household messes, and complete change from life before kids. But with that also comes the joy of watching them grow up, the love and snuggles, the dependence of a tiny human on you, and the fun watching them morph into their own, unique personalities. It is quite the experience for sure.

I asked the girls on the drive home from school what their favorite thing about me is, and their responses were:

Harper: my favorite thing about mom is when she sits in my room while I sleep. Sounds creepy sure, but that just tells me that she feels safest and coziest when I’m close by, so I’ll take it as a compliment!

Emerie: my favorite things about mom is sitting with her and listening to Elsa together. She said listening, not watching, and it’s likely because we listen to Let It Go multiple times, every single day of our lives, and that is love right??

Reagan: my favorite thing about mom is playing with her. This is a good reminder to remember sometimes chores can wait. Go be present and play while they still want you to!

The preschool class worked hard on a flowerpot hand print artwork project this week. When Harper tried to show it to me early, her teacher convinced her to wait until it was done and ready on Friday pickup. After a few mind games of close your eyes, look at this, don’t look at it yet! I read through their synopses of me and a few produced some chuckling (order is Harper, Emerie, Reagan):

My mom’s name is: Rebecca

My mom is: 26 / 16 / 23 years old.

My mom looks beautiful when: it’s summer / she wears a dress / it’s girls night

My mom laughs when: it’s Christmas time / we wrestle / we do silly stuff

My mom is really good at: cooking / soccer / painting

When I am at school, my mom: works / working at the airport / is at the airport

The best thing my mom cooks is: chicken nuggets / pasta / mac n cheese

My favorite thing to with my mom is: play with her / play hairdresser / making cookies

If I would by my mom a gift, I would buy her: a drink / a toy Elsa / a bracelet

I love my mom more than: playing outside / Elsa / pancakes

They are all clearly informed on what I am doing while they are at school each day, and like all the kid food cooked for them. Craig is much more exciting on the cooking aspect of our lives, so it’s funny they claim I am a good cook! Reagan picked up on the fact I actually put makeup on to attend girls night, while I don’t believe I’ve worn a dress even once for Emerie’s entire life! And Harper would buy me a drink…words of wisdom. I then asked everyone their favorite things about both of their grandmothers, and here are their responses.

Favorite thing about Grandma Sue:

Harper: ummmmmmm, playing with her when I was a baby, and playing with her when I go to her house. When she cooks yummy food.

Emerie: washing dishes with her and reading books with her (I tried to clarify if washing dishes meant cooking and she said no, washing dishes!)

Reagan: making donuts and eating the dough with her when she makes it

Favorite thing about Grandma Anne:

Harper: playing and finding treasure with her.

Emerie: only playing with her.

Reagan: playing with games with her and when we were babies and played with her.

This year I woke up to a wide-awake Emerie, holding a nightlight in my face and yelling, get up mom, we want to go to breakfast! Best part about that was it was 8 AM, which is quite rarely a morning wake up time in my life. It also didn’t phase the sleeping child next to me (Reagan), who was not as excited to move from her cozy sleeping spot and head out to breakfast. We enjoyed a day of sun and playing. Summer is finally here!

A mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.


Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Weekend at the Beach

Well, we finally made it out of town for a short weekend, to the Alaska version of the beach. You know, the version that is beautiful, but cold, and only has rocks, not sand, and is in no way the epitome of warmth, relaxation, and quiet!

Did it end up being rainy? Yes. Close to freezing temperatures? Why not. High crosswinds that made it feel twice as cold!? Well of course! But also loads of fun for the girls and nice to get out of town for a night to refresh from a busy winter of work? Yes, that too!

Family road-trip time with snacks and smiles.

We rescheduled the girls’ birthday weekend trip to Seward for this the past weekend, opting to wait until driving conditions through the pass were less wintery and icy than back in March. Packing up and loading into the car was easier this time around, even with the girls home from preschool, than it was for any long distance adventure last year. During the drive down the girls snacked on goodies, played with new My Little Pony sets and eventually watched a movie, as we slowly made our way down to the peninsula on Sunday morning. Road-trips continue to get easier, as I alluded to many times last year, and this year will be no exception. The girls asked more times when we will be there, but are also much easier to placate with toys, snacks and coloring books to pass the time.

Reagan was thrilled to see the waterfalls along the mountains melted and running and counted them throughout the drive. Harper was happy to sit on the inlet side of the car, constantly pointing out the sights to the rest of the passengers, who didn’t care nearly as much as she thought they should. Emerie, who fought for the coveted middle seat as we loaded up, didn’t say more than two sentences the whole drive, but wouldn’t tell us anything but she was tired. Everyone enjoyed viewing any construction activity taking place, seeing some of the larger vehicles, and three cranes at one spot down by Portage.

Luckily the clouds parted upon arrival in Seward and let brief sunlight in, long enough for a good park visit after sitting for the long drive. After running around for a bit, and Craig and I “playing Bowser” and chasing the girls (it was too cold to sit there and watch them play!), we ventured down and over the large rocks to find shells on the beach. All three excitedly looked around and climbed down much better than last year and with less complaints. Once the wind picked back up, we headed inside to grab a late lunch along the pier and everyone colored and looked out at the water and boats. The highlight of the meal- other than the demands for more ketchup for their fries- was the two wild seals swimming around the harbor. In true Harper style, she named them BOTH Harper. That seemed to be a naming theme over the weekend, every time an animal sighting occurred. The girls insisted on walking along the pier for a few minutes to see them up close, but it didn’t last long with the whipping wind and complaints of I’m cold!

Cute bed cutouts in the bedroom upstairs.

Eventually we found the rented bungalow; it took us just long enough to find it for Reagan and Emerie to fall asleep and catch some zzzz’s. Harper managed to stay awake and ask us one-thousand times if we were there yet. Apparently renting a property creates some major preschooler questions, the main one producing excitement that we got a new house. This prompted questions of, what happened to our old house (old by a whole three hours, you know)? Are we going to live here now? Where is my bunk bed; it’s not in my room? Why didn’t you bring it with us? Why can we only stay one night?! It took a bit of time to convince these crazy kids that we did not actually purchase a new house for them to live in, but rented it for ONE night to visit. Mind. Blown.

I do not have any epic triplet stories of the rest of our visit, other than it was nice and cozy in the bungalow and blowing and freezing cold out on the beach. We could not convince them to go play outside and collect shells, lasting maybe fifteen minutes before the mind-numbing cold hands pushed us all back inside to play. The girls did pretty well just hanging out for the evening, playing with toys we brought and running up and down the stairway a hundred times. We watching a movie on the couch and ate a light dinner and everyone washed and dried their shell collection at the table. I look forward to the day we can rent this place and enjoy the view and more time on the deck, when it’s not so cold and rainy.

The next morning Reagan was the only one convinced by Craig to collect more shells on the beach, while the other two insisted they were NOT going outside to succumb to the elements. Next time I should probably pack rain gear! We spent the rest of the morning at the Seward Sealife Center, our longest visit yet, checking out the animals and going in and out of the exhibit areas. Highlights include playing on the pretend boat (and blowing the horn continuously), shrieking in a combination of fear and delight at the touch pool (and asking the employee to touch the starfish for them because the water was cold haha), and watching the sea lion and seals swim in the water. And no, I was informed several times that all were seals and not sea lions, regardless of my attempts to explain they are different animals.

Harper was clearly thrilled the entire visit to see her favorite animal in action (seals and the sea lion because she thinks they are all seals), even more so than last year. She asked for pictures with them swimming behind her, with a huge smile on her face, named them all Harper, and commented and complimented at how super cute and super amazing they were. Her other main phrase as they swam by- I can’t believe it! Reagan and Emerie did NOT like the large crab crawling around and immediately avoided going near it, but did enjoy watching the birds dive into the water while we looked through the glass.

Reagan and Emerie were much more content running around and shrieking uncontrollably than their sister, but by the end of the visit they simmered down enough to warrant a stuffed animal for good behavior. Emerie and Harper chose mermaids (Harper already has two stuffed seals that are her besties) while Reagan opted for a white seal to “be like Harper.”

At the end of the day and on the way home, I asked everyone to pick their favorite thing during the quick trip. Harper instantly responded it was seeing the seals out in the water, while Reagan liked playing in the boat at the sea life center and Emerie liked the bungalow and playing with her pony toys. Pretty standard answers from all three, and you could tell everyone was happy to return home and play that evening. Before we left, everyone signed the guestbook- and received several threats NOT to write on any other pages on it- and collected just enough shells to make a mess at home.

It was a nice remind to Craig and I that we can better enjoy trips around Alaska and don’t require help to do them, even though we all enjoy when other family join in too. I look forward to having more trips soon and with more cooperative weather, and am very ready for summer to arrive! At some point Reagan will stop asking how many years until summer gets here!? So true kid, it certainly feels that way this year.

Waiting for Spring

Over the past few weeks we’ve had some grumps rummaging around our house, not wanting to settle down for bedtime and acting crazy; and the fighting! But we’ve also had girls mostly sleeping overnight in their new bedroom setup; which is in fact, a miracle. Harper and Emerie haven’t missed a single night since it was built, with Harper waking once or twice and going back to sleep with a bit of coaxing and Emerie getting up and using the restroom, then going back to her room and back to sleep without any assistance. Other than the one potty incident that required her (and me apparently) to sleep in Reagan’s empty bed, she’s been a rock star!

The guestroom bed remains untouched after three weeks and it might be a record, or should I say in “record time.” Reagan, on the other hand, is now more vocal in her snarky comments to sleep in your bed forever, and is entirely against any other options. She claims she doesn’t like to be alone in her bed– at this point we remind her both sisters are in the same room overnight, every night…After watching her sisters both get a tiny, stuffed bunny reward for 10+ days in their bed; she is now concerned she won’t get one and has compromised (in her mind) and given us a few kid free nights. Either way, it’s definitely progress and so far the new bed isn’t broken yet.

A few nights ago was a rough evening, from daycare pickup to bedtime, the girls kept talking back, arguing, throwing fits: being downright unkind to each other. The prior bedtime was late and everyone was clearly running short on a full night of sleep. At one point in the evening Reagan pointedly informed us that Grandma Sue is the smartest person we know, and that it wasn’t either of her parents with a huff. She followed that up with a teenage type comment that she knows everything about HER life. It’s good to know we are already hitting the teenage attitude at age five and looking forward to what a decade from now will be like.

Then no one wanted to get in their beds and settle down. During all the arguments and excuses times three, Emerie was whining my legs are soooo tired and that she couldn’t climb the FOUR stairs up into her new bed, so Craig did his dadly duty and shuffled her up there in one fell swoop. In that moment, she turned to him with unwavering, confident eye contact and said daaaad, I wanted to climb the stairs MYSELF! Parents are not kidding when they say that most kid fight outcomes don’t involve winning, when all options somehow equal a loss for the adult, no matter what choice you choose. In that moment Craig and I both cracked a smile and she knew she wasn’t in trouble and laughed too. Kids can be so silly and so fickle sometimes!

Winter colds finally caught up with us Easter week and somehow Craig and I both contracted strep throat. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had the pleasure, and somehow none of the kids caught it, but likely shared it with us somehow. On day three of my soar throat, Harper began barking orders because Mom’s sick, which meant trying to bring me a Pedialyte popsicle, a warm blanket and telling me to relax and take a nap on the couch. When I refused the popsicle offer, she informed me that is what she gets when she is sick and I should comply. Quite the little nurse when she wants to be.

Easter this year was pretty chill. With the multiple inches of snow falling over the weekend, it still doesn’t feel like spring is around the corner, but we tried to do a few things anyway. Once Craig and I were feeling a bit better we took them to see the Easter bunny, and it was quite a different experience than last year. They immediately ran straight to said bunny, asked him a bunch of questions all at the same time, and Harper instantly snuggled up next to him and provided hugs. Needless to say, snapping an insanely cute photo took about thirty seconds.

I should also share that it was about twenty degrees outside and yet all three demanded to wear the dresses we wore to the daddy/daughter night. Oh and when can we do that again? If you look closely, each dress has bunny ears and, of course, rainbow styled tutus. No, we had the pleasure of carrying their coats around the store because they wouldn’t wear (or carry) them; and yes, they wore dress up heels out in public in the winter. But excluding all of that, the picture sure turned out great and we all survived.

We didn’t let the falling snow stop some easter egg fun. Since the jump park was closed, Craig entertained the tiny humans for an hour at the fast food play-land while I somehow conned older cousin Corbin to hide the eggs in the frigidly cold and snowy backyard. My original plan to toss them off the deck seemed less efficient than convincing an eight-year-old to do my dirty work, and he willingly went out into the cold and hid them. In reality, everyone spent maaaaaybe five minutes out there in coats and gloves, and we will probably find the rest of eggs later this year once the huge snow drifts melts.

Jenny and I hid the rest of the eggs around the entire house while Corbin worked to make them a bit harder to find- those ones we found throughout the rest of the day. The girls started out sharing with each other, and somehow Emerie managed to convince Corbin to collect for her and fill her basket up. Everyone shared their colors with each other until I convinced them they could choose any color. This year’s eggs were filled with chocolate kisses, M&Ms, pennies, gum balls and smarties-pretty much anything I could find in the cabinet.

Everyone devoured their Easter baskets and nibbled on their hollow chocolate bunnies for a few days. It was a sugar filled day, and yet by the time it all wore off, they were so tired and ready to go to bed that they requested it. This was also the snowiest easter for the past several years, meaning we spent most of the weekend continuing indoor winter activities to avoid the lack of spring outside.

Hopefully by my next post we will be out of the eternal winter and into spring, breakup and a lot less snow. The girls consider to hold the parents personally responsible for the lack of warm weather and summer- not quite sure how we can solve that for them- but hopefully we are getting close to some outdoor adventures. We are so ready!!