All of the Glamor

You know what’s hard? Parenting. Raising nice, obedient, intellectual children in a high pace, technological and diverse everyday environment. Making sure they are healthy, safe, and comforted each and every day, that they get enough attention and one-on-one time, and grow and thrive.

The past week has been more challenging than our normal triplet life and not something that is depicted on my usual cute and happy social media posts. Which brings me to a point of irritation for my week: social media. It is great to sharing your life and updating multiple people simultaneously and be able to look back on prior years’ activities, but it glamorizes so many things that realistically aren’t. For example, Facebook and Instagram posts that show smiling babies, cuddled up with one another, with clean houses in the backdrop and parents nicely dressed, with perfect hair, clothes and makeup…everyone is smiling.

This is more realistic!

Can I call BS on this for a moment?! Not that those moments don’t exist, but they are not the everyday norm, whether you have one kid or three or seventeen! In fact, I really do understand the effort it takes to get a cute photo of three toddlers together, with no one blurry or screaming or looking away, and it usually involves me as a sweating mess by the time they are all camera ready and cooperative.

Don’t get me wrong, I post more happy and uplifting things on my accounts than any of our hardships, since the happy memories are easier to carry in the long run and especially in hindsight. But sometimes I want to see the messy photos from people- because we are all going through things, especially now. I want to see the struggles and how they are overcome! That’s far more valuable to me than a bunch of perfect, unrealistic (but very cute!) photos. We should want to remember the treacherous and highly active life we are experiencing; someday we will look back on it proudly…because we made it through! Is that so wrong?

Raising children, let alone multiples, is not glamorous or for the weak of heart. It requires a ton of energy, patience, dedication and sacrificing hobbies, sleep, socializing and often your sanity to get through each day. It’s survival mode, with one task following the next all day long and sometimes no time to enjoy the good moments. It can be very lonely, with not enough time in the day to say hello how are you, even by text, to other people who don’t generally reach out to you to say it.

Grumpy Harper

Now I wouldn’t trade my life as it stands today, but I wouldn’t mind it being a tad easier from time to time and like any parent, sometimes need some support. It can be frustrating to see other’s “perfect” lives, or at least the ones they want to show, on display. Now I definitely have my moments and tend to provide others with my “highlight reel”, but who really wants to see what the chaos is really like? Anyone? Besides me?

My day to day optimism is running a bit low these days, and while I don’t agree that talking about difficulties is the same as complaining about it, I venture to say this is what raising three toddlers really looks like.

Someone is always upset…it’s rare to have three happy at once although it does happen occasionally (and I try to be camera ready for it!). Typically they rotate on the fits. Recently Harper, who was inconsolable the entire weekend and cried for about three days straight, is slowly starting to improve in mood. Crying, whining, more crying and a lot of wanting the opposite parent who is holding her, about 100% of the time.

We checked her ears, any potential new teeth, looked her over head to toe and asked her about any owies, and are now just guessing she is simply anxious or in a major developmental growth spurt and trying to figure out how to manage it. We initially thought it was 1) a fear of airplanes flying overhead, 2) loud noises like airplanes flying overhead, 3) the wind hitting her face/hair, and the current guess is 4) anxiety of parents out of sight or a fear of the dark.

A not-perfect photo that depicts my day perfectly.

Mid last week she started with running in the house, crying for some unknown reason and not wanting to be outside, to insisting on attention 1000% of the time or continuing the total meltdown, to refusing to stay in her crib and immediately climbing out unless you were within eyesight. Prior to last Friday, she had never climbed out of her crib or attempted to, even after seeing Emerie and Reagan do it, and enjoyed playing outside without any issues. The normal nap time routine meant setting Emerie and Harper in their cribs, turning out the light with the sound machine on, putting Reagan down in the guest room bed, and crossing your fingers they all blessed you with a full, two hour nap. Fast forward to this week- we are surviving nap time with Nanny Chris laying down and settling Reagan in the guest room and me taking my “lunch break” and sitting in their room until they both fall asleep. Harper will emotionally instruct me to “sit” on the sofa in the nursery, and then immediately falls asleep, knowing I am sitting there. She then continues to wake up hysterical and occasionally we can coax her back down, but not most of the time. Emerie, my sleeper, will chats herself to sleep and mostly nap through Harper’s outcries. The double adult method is not preferred, to say the least, but we haven’t been able to resolve her stresses.

The mood disruption also means once of us must sit in their room at night, until all are completely asleep, because you can’t get up and sneak out after an exhausted Harper falls asleep, since the other two sense your movement and want to go with you. The past two nights I’ve spent two-plus hours past 2 AM, sitting and reminding them I am nearby so they’ll go back to sleep in their own beds. Sufficive to say, sleep patterns are not going great in the Douglas household right now, in addition to upset babies during the day and our usual busy routine.

As we navigate through another unknown of toddler hood, and pray the other two don’t step into it with Harper, toddler beds are now on order (unfortunately) and we are slightly scrambling to determine what other baby proofing needs to occur. Closet doors need to be purchased, painted and installed, more baby gates to block off other not babyproofed rooms, decisions on how to rearrange nursery cameras out of reach, those types of details that must be solved while still handling one upset and needy toddler AND her two sisters; all during a global pandemic that almost completely limits any support from outside our household.

So yes, even writing this made me tired, and it isn’t exactly joyous and uplifting; but hey, this is real life. Saying it’s hard is okay, because life isn’t easy or perfect and parenting three can be chaotic. I would not agree if you told me that my life was chaos- in fact people have told me that before and I semi-take offense to it. Why? Because my life is routine, routine, routine. It is very regimented. The minor (and major) interruptions are what we have to get through, because it is just a phase and we will get through it. We just might be a bit more tired during it…

So please…take a nice nap for me on this long holiday weekend, and send some extra patience our way. I think we are going to need it.

Have to end on a cute photo at least- Emerie, Reagan, Harper

Two Year Eye Update!

Last week we took Emerie to her eye specialist visit, that was conveniently scheduled out far enough that it wasn’t canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 closures.

Such a big girl!

The doctor’s office required I wear a mask and only one parent accompany the child. The one-to-one ratio is pretty fantastic and when the kiddo is well behaved, it’s even better! Emerie was a pro and you can tell that she likes Dr. Winkle. Not only did she sit very still on my lap while he checked her eye, but he also managed to get a few smiles, almost chuckles, out of her with some animals sounds. She took out on of the tools on the eye machine and nicely handed him his “toy” upon request.

The good news. She was great at her appointment and the eye patching is strengthening her eye. The bad news? Her eye muscles will require another surgery later this spring. Typically the over correction of the eye muscles accommodates the loosening over time, so that the eye ends up looking nice and straight. Since October’s surgery, her eye still trends inward a little more than it should and by now it over correction should be fixed. Dr. Winkle noted he would decide once she’s in surgery if the inside muscle requires loosening or the outside should be tightened.

I am hopeful that much of this quarantining will be passed us before she goes in, so her immune system doesn’t have to fight off any other potential invaders. Current rules also state that only one person is allowed back with a kiddo and that can be tough with a very unsettled and in pain toddler.

Harper and Reagan received their two year eye checkups with the specialist this week, more-or-less to confirm that no strabismus issues are present like their sister. The doctor did not appreciate that they were dressed alike, but did think it was funny! Both passed with flying colors and no longer need specialist eye care. Going forward, unless something changes, we will just monitor their eyes at the pediatrician. Great news!

Not often her mood with the patch on, but big smiles for Em!

Harper did well with the dilation drops and didn’t fight the doctor for the visit. She sat still on my lap and he examined those beautiful blue eyes without too much effort. (Random fact: light colored eyes like blue react easier to dilation!). Reagan, on the other hand, feels the way Harper feels about the dentist. Screaming, crying, trying to hold those eyes shut. She did not appreciate the drops and had her eye exam with arms held firmly down by Craig and her eyelids pried open by the doctor. Maybe we should be more appreciative that Emerie doesn’t respond to all the doctor visits like this.

They both had dilated eyes for the rest of the afternoon, but still enjoyed playing out in the sun and going for a family walk.

Bright light didn’t stop afternoon playtime.

All in all, things are pretty good in terms of the Douglet eyeballs. We will continue to patch Emerie two to three hours per day and encourage use of her weaker eye, much to her dismay. The next plan is to purchase another pair of glasses with larger lenses and see if she likes them more than her current ones or if they improve her mood. We are also thinking outside the box…maybe getting a yellow pair instead of her usual purple! Either way, we know they will be cute on her.

Keep those prayers coming; and we will keep you all updated on her progress.

Springtime Fun

The past few weeks have just been business as usual. Craig heads off to work and I pull out the laptop for the day. The girls enjoy their weekdays with the nanny while we work, and we try to come up with fun and exciting new activities to fill all the other moments in between.

Spring is finally here and its presence greatly impacts our day-to-day- in a good way. Hours are filled with playing outside, exploring, climbing in the raspberry patch, digging out rocks and dropping them everywhere, pulling each other in the wagon, “flying” on the teeter totter airplane, and playing on the toy explosion that is now the backyard. There are even moments that the adult can sit down in a lawn recliner…not long moments, but they are there!

Rocks are now in EVERYTHING. Everywhere I turn I find a rock. Could be a big rock, could be a small rock. Could be in the pocket of my jacket or my jeans, in the washer and dryer, under my foot as I step on it barefoot in the living room, or in the mouth of my toddler as they’re polishing one off with their tongue. We are definitely in the rock obsession stage; playing outside mostly consists of shoveling them from one place to another and littering the yard with tiny piles of gravel. I’m pretty sure we will need to refill the base underneath the shed or the hot tub before long! Maybe one day one of them will be an expert dirt worker like their cousins or grandpas! For now, we get to experience the world of tiny little pebbles all over the place and hope that they don’t eat too many of them.

The rock pit

I’ve been jotting down cute or funny things the girls do each day instead of making an effort to come up with larger blog topics. Everyone has their own personality quirks and they are shining more brightly as the days pass. It’s interesting to see how they shift since infancy- for example, we always joked that Emerie was “the diva” as a baby (and she was!), but now that mood has shifted into Harper, who now gives us a little more of an emotional roller coaster some days while Emerie remains more relaxed and independent. Other traits that vanished after a while are back- such as Reagan and her tiny baby smiles, even in the NICU, are now back and in full force, especially if you ask her to say “cheese!” She will give you a big, toothy grin.

My little mimickers now hold doors and baby gates open for me, waiting until I walk through to close them while ushering a few “mommas” my direction. Emerie will insist I pass her before shutting the door and even lectures me when I forget to lock the front door before a walk! Yes, they still slam the door on each other and have epic fights over who should control the back door, but at least they are starting to grow some kind of manners.

Reagan discovered a chore she now does for Craig…it involves harvesting all the leaves off plants and delivering them. Our poor vine plant looks so sad without leaves on half of it and is now relocated higher and out of reach.

The toddler arguing is in full force, and by that, I mean arguing with the parents. When pear slices are provided as an after dinner treat, they insist they are apples and fully disagree when you correct them. At least they eat them!

We’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that we can’t do everything we want on a day-to-day basis because our children outnumber us; we have learned we cannot let them walk out the front door into the stroller or toward the car yet. The other day this resulted in Harper and Reagan both taking off different directions away from us; Craig followed Harper and I caught up with Reagan before she hit the street. Harper ended up with her first skinned knee and side of her for head as she completely bit it on the neighbors concrete driveway. She took the fall better than I expected and only cried for a few minutes and was then fine. She still points out her “owie” on occasion. It may be the first big scrape but it definitely won’t be the last.

A few days later Harper dropped a metal toy on her foot and sliced it open. We didn’t even notice until the blood was dripping and required a bandaid! While Reagan has done a good job staying away from the upsetting injuries and has the normal bumps and bruises, Emerie has a badly smashed pinkie nail that is completely blue and likely to fall off any day. She tripped over a toy and smashed it against her plastic picnic basket. Poor baby. She also instigated a bite on Reagan’s forearm that is worthy of a photo and caused some major consternation in the moment.

What Emerie’s teeth look like on Reagan…

The only improvement on the injury side of toddlerhood is that they can now tell you where it hurts and point; if they smack you in the face with something you also might get a kiss or a “sowwie” out of them.

In addition to that, the girls try to help out one another a little more. Now yes, they are still beating each other with toys, trying to smother a sibling during a diaper change, and constantly finding ways to irritate each other, but they also have nice moments. When someone falls down, like when Harper or Emerie tripped on a root in the woods, Reagan would stop and pull them into a standing position by their arm. Occasionally one will give the other a kiss when upset, and once or twice I even spotted a hug. The handholding is still a new concept but coming along ADORABLY. Emerie favors it the most and Reagan thinks it’s funny. Harper is still not a fan and would rather be out running in the lead of the group.

They also enjoy chasing each other in the yard and the house and pulling on their hat strings or a piece of ribbon and going back and forth, back and forth. This activity can easily last 30 minutes and provide quite the cardio workout when you participate!

We tried eating at the kitchen table for breakfast once last weekend and it went far better than expected. We’ve had an issue since the girls have been small of keeping them from climbing on the dining table (or anything really), meaning our chairs are always flipped upside down on the table out of reach, end tables are in the garage, and furniture is rearranged to diminish all the “get downs!” we are always yelling. This past weekend we tried leaving dining chairs on the floor and each time a toddler climbed into one, made sure they were sitting on their butt and instructed them chairs are for sitting. I thought this was going to be an epic battle to the death but really they did great and seem to want to sit like big girls like we do. Maybe they’ve seen us do it enough to follow suit. We don’t have booster seats and need to purchase them; instead we are using the portable boosters we take to the park and to restaurants to eat. We also don’t have a dining room table that seats more than four, which is an issue when you have three babies and two adults.

Sitting like big girls

Other random points of interest from the past few weeks…the sight of birds sprouts joy and enthusiasm and a lot of shrieking and pointing. This is also the case for passing airplanes, except for Harper, who now has her first major fear of something and goes running into the house (crying) at the loud sound overhead. We will be working on that because this is an airplane friendly household, in a city that has constant air traffic overhead.

The girls are learning their ABC and 123s quite well for their age. Emerie quoted A through F to me yesterday and then hummed more of the song, Reagan can sing the entire twinkle twinkle little star song in her own little language, and everyone says random blurts of the alphabet or numbers throughout the day. They actually do it better for Nanny Chris than for us! We are also learning the different sounds animals make and the girls are expanding their vocabulary to more than just the basic farm and household animals. For some reason everyone is latched onto monkeys right now and completely obsessed with them. I need to find a couple books that directly relate so that we can continue that enthusiasm.

All in all, bring on summer! As I’m writing this, bright and early, another beautiful day is on its way. As the girls would say, “sunshine!!

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.

Egging Us On

Typical Easter routines this year are changed for many families across the country (and world), due to quarantining at home. We spent this time last year at home almost exactly as this year will play out, doing a basic egg hunt for our (then) just starting to walk toddlers, and of course munching on some candies and doing crafts! This year is far more exciting to me, because egg hunting will be a much more exciting experience for the girls.

I purchased Easter basket goodies the same time I bought all the birthday decorations, not suspecting all events would be canceled shortly after. The best part about the girls having a March birthday? All the Easter and spring inspired decorations and cute spring clothing are pink, purple, and teal pastels. Finding things for each color is very easy, including perfect dresses party favors, and gifts for their baskets.

Week three of quarantine slanted toward the calmer side of week one…thankfully. Feeling a little more like my pre-kiddo self- for those of you that don’t know me that means a little more cooking and crafting than I’ve done the past two years- and trying to come up with fun things to do while also accomplishing things around the house (my life goal each day is to stay caught up with laundry and go to bed with an empty kitchen sink). This included fancy brownies (that means with icing), a few new crafts to try, actual cooked meals (usually I defer to Craig, he’s better at it), and getting small household things like vacuuming under the cribs and cleaning up the moose poop in the front yard.

Working from home allows me to hear some of the fun, inner workings of a typical day with “nanny.” At one point I heard Emerie playing along with Chris as she sang the ABC song; each time she paused Emerie would say the next letter. Craig tried that later on that night and she wouldn’t do it for us! Reagan will sing along to the song and Harper is starting to hum different theme songs and she’s pretty good at Baby Shark.

We are working on our numbers at bedtime, reading the same book on repeat, that counts from ten to one with animals and stars. Emerie is convinced all numbers are nine, Harper continues to just throw crib toys at me, and Reagan yells nigh night on the last page. They all love page six, which has the monkeys.

The celebrity items for the week are 1) nanny’s truck, 2) stars (on the nightlight projector, 3) the word “no”, 4) Tay Tay music and 5) chalk. Off and on all day you hear nanny truck! with pointing outside.

A few new house rules, according to the girls, are: 1) Craig is the bottle holder during evening routine, 2) I must sit with them as they drink (these days are numbered, as we should already be off that pre-bed time feed), 3) boots can be worn throughout the day and should never require socks, 4) coats/hats must immediately be removed in the house or total, triple meltdowns, 5) every bath time should involve suction cups or crayons, 6) Baby Shark must be played multiple times, and 7) anything visible on the back deck, gross or otherwise, is fair game to taste test. Yes, this included the frozen dog puke, which they all tried to lick and cried when I stopped them!

A few implemented parent rules? 1) Everyone gets to nap, whether they cooperate or not, they are staying in bed for at least an hour, 2) if dinner plates are picked up, the food is taken away, and 3) daily outside time is required. Harper has not napped well the past two weeks, but will begrudgingly stay in her crib while Emerie sleeps through the whining. We are also working on hand holding, especially walking around with them as opposed to carrying them. Harper does not like this unless she’s walking across snow, but the other two are pretty decent with it. Emerie likes to insist you hold hands so she can lead you places.

Harper singing

Another fun thing to note from this week; the girls are starting to understand their singing voices; this includes humming random songs like Twinkle Twinkle and Baby Shark. Harper is really coming in her element and singing along after songs on television, but when we try to sing ABC with her, she literally says no after every. single. letter. A- no! B- no! C- no! and repeat. All three will sing parts of Baby Shark and the do do dos and then demand we play the actual song. They are also starting to pick up on the shark motions and do them.

In the past week, we’ve had two successful nights at potty training. Do not mistake the level of effort on this…in fact, because life is completely centralized at home (100% for me and the girls and just work outside the house for Craig), we are taking no drastic measures to change anything that could disrupt the routine that keeps us functioning. That being said, why not dabble a little here and there with the impending potty chairs and underwear and get comfortable with it without a bunch of pressure? So two nights in a row, after bath time, Harper wowed us by sitting on the potty until she went (five plus minutes each night!). Emerie ran around a bit, sat for a moment and went once! She was very proud to receive the M&M. Reagan was much too busy with the nearby sound machine to sit still and try it, but is still the most vocal of the three about a dirty diaper.

One thing I really wish we could do more of with the kiddos, because we see our singleton friends doing it and I always imagined it with my own kiddos, is cooking and baking. We are a very baking friendly household, both Craig and I grew up making things from scratch. With three, close proximity or sitting on the counter usually results in fighting over things, grabbing something that is breakable or inedible, or making food preparation very difficult when everyone wants to “help.” So we haven’t done this very much. One morning over the weekend Craig put all three small and very messy helpers on the counter while making breakfast. They thoroughly enjoyed watching the pancakes cook on the stove, out of arm’s reach of course, and tried to touch everything on the counter. They loved the new opportunity…until it was time to get down and eat breakfast, that is!

Easter Day x 3

We started off the morning with bright eyed girls who slept in long enough for me to set up the egg hunt for later that morning. I pulled out the fancy toddler table and chair set, the one we can’t leave out because they insist on climbing and standing on it, and prepped the Easter baskets. Not only did the girls actually sit at the table and explore their baskets, but they even ate a small portion of the breakfast we ordered from Southside Grill. There was definitely a great amount of “sit down on your chair” and “get down!” throughout the meal; I still call that progress.

The baskets consisted of little Target knick knacks, color coordinated eggs filled with scented play dough and stencils, a pair of flip flops, and tiny chicks that peep (that they did not find interesting at all!). Everyone immediately hated the flip flops on their feet so those will be saved for later this summer. The play dough was used several times over the course of the day, with everyone enthusiastically watching us cut them into shapes and mashing them together. I’m pretty sure there are bits of dough beaten into the floor all over the living room, but at least they had fun!

After breakfast, everyone received pig tails (refusing the bows I pulled from the baskets) and dressed in their Easter outfits, which remained relaxed since we had no plans to go anywhere and it isn’t actually spring here yet. That means June and January polka dot dresses over warm onesies, purchased so long ago I can’t remember when I did it, and adorable gingham printed capris (from primary.com) and booties.

The egg hunt was quite the success! The emptied Easter baskets were refilled down in the family room, with the girls picking up on the activity pretty quickly and enthusiastically running around the room and climbing under things to find them. Overall the fighting was minimal and only a few times did someone take eggs from another’s basket. No one realized goodies were inside the eggs until all were picked up and we “cracked” open the first one, highlighting a goldfish! The next few minutes were filled with exciting toddlers wanting ALL the eggs opened immediately and stuffing their faces. Since I assumed this is what would happen, eggs only contained a small treat, a goldfish or a marshmallow. All in all, we had very satisfied customers!

The rest of the day progressed pretty uneventfully. We all played and played…with the eggs, the play dough and stencils, around the house and outside. It was nice and relaxed and laid back, despite the dreary weather.

Uncle William came over to enjoy some steak at dinner and the girls happily repeated Uncle for the rest of the evening. They also “showed” him how to use the play dough at their little table and how to mash different colors together. That activity lasted quite a long time; once they started standing on it, back to the garage it went for another day! We all ate at the dinner table like grown ups, although the girls weren’t that into the food. They were, however, very much willing to eat their entire mini chocolate bunny and cover their hands and faces in a full layer of chocolate. Even Harper, who likes sweets the least, went all in and devoured the entire thing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and cozy Easter, spending time at home with their loved ones!