I spy with my little eye(s)…

Since Emerie’s cataract diagnosis, it’s been greatly on our minds if Harper and Reagan would share this issue and require the same procedure. Because they are identicals, we know there’s high probability that all three will share lots of things, good and bad. The doctor told us it could go either way since there is no way to know exactly when her cataracts developed.

We spent our Friday afternoon at the eye doctor, hanging out with both girls in an office less than equipped for 70+ degree weather (that’s hot for here ok!). Emerie had a fun one-on-one afternoon with Miss Chris while we took the other two in.

Unlike their sister, both girls were quite cooperative for the doctor, with Harper only making one peep from the eye drops. Reagan didn’t fuss at all and actually cooperated with great eye contact with Dr. Winkle. She was a pro!

While we waited for the girls’ eyes to dilate and the doctor tended to another patient, we entertained the girls with Baby Shark and Patty-cake. They explored the exam room and tried to climb up the exam chairs. They also enjoyed us sliding and spinning around on the doctor’s chair and some brief toddler dancing. I mean how cute is this…

Both eye exams proved what we were hoping for. Neither Harper or Reagan have any visible cataracts and both present with good vision right now. What a load of stress off our shoulders!

Harper was a little less excited at the checkup, and after further analyzing she has enough of a astigmatism that she is right on the edge of needing glasses. As the doctor explained it to us, her eyes are shaped more like a football than the roundness of a soccer ball. It’s something to monitor as she grows, but she doesn’t need any correction yet. With some luck she might not need it at all! Kids often outgrow it so fingers crossed.

Reagan also has a minor astigmatism, although less significant than Harper’s. All in all, it looks like Emerie will be the kiddo in glasses as a toddler and we’ll recheck the other two on their next birthday.

Emerie continues to wear a patch an hour per day. We’ve mildly slacked on that time the last two days with her cold making her unbearably upset during patch time. When she doesn’t have the cold, distractions keep her from full baby rage and time passes quickly. Post surgery patch time moods should also improve, as she will be able to see out of the corrected eye better.

A few other fun things with the Douglets this week. Emerie started choking on a cracker (not fun) but when Craig tried to get it out of her mouth, she chomped down really hard on his finger. Would you ever believe this adorable face would do such a thing?! Silly baby.

Big Emerie smiles

Outside playtime is a new daily joy, especially with the gorgeously sunny week we are having! The girls have taken to it quite well and some wonderful coworkers gave us several new toys, like a playhouse! Everyone still likes to eat rocks, grass, dirt, and anything else available outside, but they also like to open and close the playhouse windows and climb on the little tike slide. Emerie has even figured out how to climb it with her shoes on and then go down on her butt, unassisted. When did they get so grown up?!

Playtime with friends

They also run three different directions at all times, so outside time can be stressful! Everyone is getting used to shoe wearing since we are outside now. At first they walked around like dogs in new booties or just stood still looking at us; now they are pros and run around in their little summer jellies.

Saturday morning the three discovered escape from the parents is possible through the tiny dog door in the dining room. I didn’t think they would figure that one out so quick…thanks a lot animals…Harper made it through in no time and was running across the deck by the time I made it outside!

It appears teamwork is starting to occur, like this video proves! They are started to briefly work together on things (when they aren’t smacking each other with toys), so I know we aren’t too far from the trying to knock the playpen down in a triple escape effort.

Post Lenticonus Cataract

When you hear the word cataract, do you think of fading eye sight affecting someone like a grandparent, or generally someone your parents age or older? I definitely did, until now.

I never considered the idea that one of my children, at a year of age no less, could be presenting with pediatric cataract eye sight issues.

Emerie has had a bit of a lazy, wandering left eye the past few months. We forgot to ask about it at her year appointment, but had a follow up a couple weeks later for her ears. The pediatrician immediately referred us to a pediatric ophthalmologist to determine the underlying cause. After two appointments, the doctors confirm she indeed has a cataract on the lens of her left eye, known as a Post Lenticonus Cataract. As explained to us, the vision in her left is clouded around the center from the cataract, sort of like wearing a dirty contact that doesn’t come out and blurs vision.

Cataracts can actually occur at any age and develop over time or be present at birth. We estimate Em started showing eye symptoms just shy of her first birthday and don’t believe she was born with them or that they were caused by being a preemie. Harper and Reagan do not present with anything, but because they are identicals, everyone gets a checkups earlier than the typical 18 month eye exam. We have appointments scheduled for them in several weeks.

One constant reminder for myself, as we go through this new journey, is to stay optimistic. It’s a good thing we discovered it early, and all about perspective! We could dwell that it’s so terrible and scary, that she’s so young with this issue; or we can look at it as early detection gives us better odds at fixing her eyesight for her life, even if there will be a bit of a struggle to get where we need to be.

The first few years of life are incredibly important for eyesight. In fact, up to about age eight eyes continue to develop before leveling out for adulthood. In addition to the cataract, Emerie’s brain is teaching itself to rely on her good eye because it’s fully functional (and perfect according to the doc!). This can be even more detrimental if the problem is not fixed, and actually make her bad eye’s vision worse. Patching the good eye for a short time each day aims to slowly retrain her brain to use the other eye too; something Miss Emerie is not going to like.

The tiny patches arrived this week. In about a month we will go in for day surgery, where her clouded lens will be replaced with a new, clear one. Typically kids this young don’t receive a new lens and have to wear a contact until they are older and a new one can be inserted. In our case, the surgeon believes she is big enough and says it is better to replace hers now and we will reassess as she matures. She will also need glasses once her eye heals up. It should be quite the adventure to see how her sisters respond to something on her face. I’m told once she gets used to glasses; she won’t even tug at them, but who knows what Reagan and Harper will do!

The first day of patching went better than anticipated. In fact, Emerie did about 40 minutes with minimal fussing. I had angry, screaming Em pictured in my mind for this, so it was nice to see that with a little distraction she would forget about it for a few moments at a time. We purchased some fun, blinking light type toys that she can see better through the blurriness and that helped entertain her a bit. The key is to only bring them out during patch time so they stay exciting. The real hit was giving her a snack in each hand. Can’t pull off the eye patch when you are double fisting some vege-straws!

The second day was a bit grumpier, but we made it to the targeted hour of patch time. Once it’s on for a few minutes, distractions definitely make her more cooperative. It also helps when we put it on her correctly…and let her run around with her sisters in the living room.

Surprisingly neither Harper or Reagan seemed to notice the patch and went about their exploration/play time in the living room right along with their sister. Every few minutes Emerie would tug at the patch in irritation, but not scream about it and we made a point to shift her focus onto another toy or snack before she became mad. Hopefully we will get this new activity in our daily routine down with minimal issues.

We would appreciate prayers- most of you that know me, know I am a little weird when it comes to eye issues of any kind. This is not one of those times I can just avoid it because it makes me queasy to think about. We are hoping for the best!

From Fans to Curtains

As we enter into Month 14 the girls are moving (get it?) right along toward their toddler milestones.

Everyone figured out the food pouches this week, which is a great win to getting more fruits and vegetables into tiny tummies. While all three now understand to suck on them, they also tend to fiddle and play with them and squeeze the guts out over their heads and down their backs (Emerie of course…). Harper’s first job is as a table wiper; by that I mean she uses her arms as “windshield wipers” and pushes all food away from her seat, at almost every table feed. Once she does it, the other two usually do too and then no one is eating! She also likes to take a piece of food from Craig or I, look right at us, and hand it to the dog with a giggle.

As we increase food intake we are finding that they still want a decent amount of milk. In fact, on many occasions they will casually eat food but then insist on a bottle afterwards, especially Harper and Emerie. Reagan is a little less bottle enthusiastic than her sisters but I also think she is distracted by all the fun things she could do instead of eat!

Constant interactions are now occurring; not quite to the secret baby language yet but definitely sounds and giggles and staring into each others’ eyes for periods of time.

It’s really cute when they try to give each other kisses!! Makes your heart melt…like here- Harper is in pink and Reagan and Emerie (purple) are giving each other kisses.

Remember when everyone’s first love was the ceiling fan? This discovery was about a year ago and lasted far into 2018. The fan is now replaced with window/door curtains. This past weekend we opened up the living room, taking part of the baby prison wall for a few minutes each afternoon so they could all wander. This was quite the hit and the curtains were discovered to be amazing. Everyone played in the dog water bowl (before we put it outside), and enjoy standing at the back door, balking at the dogs and playing peek-a-boo with the curtains. The kitchen is also fair game. For the moment we are enjoying they do not understand how to open the cabinet doors.

Funny how I wrote that sentence a couple days ago…since then Reagan has figured out how to open them. I find it incredible how quickly they pick up on new things or try to mimic something you do. I constantly see mini hide and seek games or turn around and one of them is wearing something on their head and peeking out at you.

Reagan has her outfit and two dresses on her head for peek-a-boo

We also went to the elementary school park down the street and our twin/triplet outing overtook the play equipment! It is definitely a bit of chaos (and added anxiety!) when you have multiples. The girls certainly polished off some playground rocks before we pried them out of their mouths. Everyone enjoyed the swings and the sunshine.

I think I foolishly thought I could handle taking all three to the park at this age. After our outing I don’t quite think so, especially when they go three different directions all the time. Maybe once we are past the rock eating stage?!

What’s up, Chuck!?

Another triple parenting adventure to share with you all. Who doesn’t love to read about upchuck!?

Everyone on a moveable toy!

This past week we’ve been cruising on getting good, uninterrupted sleep at night. By that I mean, for the first time in over a year, the girls slept through the night FOUR days in a row, without even a peep. I attribute this to their new found walking skills tiring them out, and we’ve been very dedicated to ensuring they burn as much energy as possible each day.

Apparently we started getting overconfident. Last night was the complete opposite of good sleep, but not something we can really blame on the girls. I can’t blame the random thunder either; thankfully that didn’t wake them up!

I’m not sure exactly what food caused the issue, but my guess is the stuffed pepper Costco dinner was either undercooked or bad altogether, and my tiny little babies took the brunt of it. It doesn’t appear to be a flu related illness (thank goodness!!). Harper puked up a bit as we were playing at bedtime, but we didn’t think much of it, figuring maybe we pushed on her stomach picking her up or she had a gross burp. She went down fine at bedtime.

At about midnight the crying started. I grabbed Reagan and luckily the other two settled back down on their own. I set Reagan on our bed as she started puking and hadn’t realized her crib was covered in it. We changed her clothes and snuggled in bed and she threw up more. Nothing like some delicious rice and hamburger, fully belly cooked, all over our bed, my pillow, the baby…

It took over an hour to settle her enough to fall asleep, and she insisted on being very close to me (which is unusual). I ended up off and on sleeping halfway off my king sized bed, with my pillow on my end table, as to not wake her up!

About two hours into this joyous puking fest Emerie freaked out and Craig grabbed her and went into the guest room. I was pinned with a sleeping Reagan and didn’t want to move, but could hear Emerie puking on the only clean bed in the house. And she didn’t want to go back to sleep for several hours…so today is definitely a coffee day for Daddy at work.

It is also a laundry day. Lots of laundry from every bed in the house. As I’m writing this, Harper is the only one keeping food down. Reagan thirstily drank two bottles this morning and then sat up and puked all over me, the nursery chair, and Harper. She’s eating a bit of cereal so far. We tried some milk for Emerie and she puked it up too. Gonna be a long day!

Everyone was up early so fingers crossed they will take a good nap and start feeling better. While everyone is puky, their spirits are pretty good; not a lot of fussiness or crying. I will hold on to that and be thankful I don’t have puky babies in general.

I did not take photos of this joyous adventure so here so some cuter ones to enjoy.

We figured out pouches this week!

Mother’s Day #2!

My first Mother’s Day was wonderful, but very vague in my memory now (we were a bit tired last May lol). We left the girls for the first time last year to go get pedicures together for an hour. For my second one, Craig made all the stops!

They were so tiny last year!!

We bailed on work a few minutes early on Thursday and picked out a new wedding band for my ring. Is there really anything better than a request by your husband to leave early to go buy jewelry? Yeah not that I can think of lol.

I came home from work to a wonderful gift from Nanny Chris and the girls. They decorated a flowerpot for me to enjoy, in the girls’ colors, with tiny baby fingerprints. So very thoughtful and sweet! Also quite impressive she did arts and crafts during the day…that takes a lot of effort!

Craig took the girls to Dad’s group on Saturday and did another little project that I adore. It’s definitely going up on the wall once I get a frame on it! Emerie apparently made him work for it…she does not have a giant foot.

The other amazing present in honor of being a mom? The girls slept alllll night in their room (on Saturday night), with barely a peep! That means we both felt rested and I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee bright and early with some Netflix and my feet up. A rare occasion.

Of course, the girls ended that present with a very grumpy day and only a 40 minute nap for the day. Thank goodness we had a decent night’s sleep. They were still cute in their dresses, even through the grumpiness. Oh well!

Interaction Update!

The past two weeks or so have been very exciting! The girls are all figuring out their legs, balance, and coordination. It is crazy to see how fast they learn it, especially when you consider they were just learning to crawl a little over two months ago and earlier this year Harper wouldn’t even roll, let alone move crawl or walk!

It’s pretty typical for first time parents to be super (overly?) excited at the bigger baby milestones, such as rolling, crawling, HOLDING BOTTLES, and walking. I’ve been asked several times, “why are you pushing them to walk!? Do you realize how much harder it will be for you?”

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this situation is a bit different for those of us with multiples. Why? Because we are excited for them to walk, to be more mobile, while still containable. We are excited for the additional independence, because it makes our lives a little easier, albeit harder is a different way. The girls now entertain themselves for periods of time, we catch them giggling in their playhouse together or playing peek-a-boo with one another (without us!). Yes, we have to keep track of where they go, which is usually three different directions, but we also get the freedom to put them into the play areas and know their safe and having fun.

Harper is a pro walker after about a week of effort. She tries to walk places now as opposed to making that “in the moment” decision that crawling will get her to her destination faster. She ops for walking now over crawling! Her balance is greatly improving every day; she can walk around with toys and at a pretty quick pace!

Emerie believes crawling is still her fastest form of transportation. She will takes steps here and there, but overall drops down to all fours. She adores the singing puppy walker and practically runs forward when she pushes it. When it hits any roadblock, whether that is furniture, the dog, toys on the floor, whatever; she gets so angry, turns and looks back at us and shrieks. It’s pretty funny…and shows off her impatience to figure out how to move around the obstacle.

Reagan is somewhat in between the two. She can walk across the room, or to you when you call, but she often gets SO excited that she loses balance in a big giggle and flops to the floor. After more giggling, she will get up and try again. Her giggle “cackle” is pretty cute.

Once again we are rearranging the house. Last night we moved our china hutch out of the dining room and into the garage, with the hopes we can have use of our kitchen table back by the end of the weekend. It is rather impressive how much smaller a house appears after the arrival of children, let alone three of them! Outgrowing our house will be a real reality in another year or two, and ensuring we stay caught up on maintenance and other house projects is still important, even in our busy, everyday lives. More to come on that later.

For now, we should have a new and improved play area in the living room in the next few days. The family room, or now the playroom, will remain the same for a while and is mostly good-to-go for baby mischief.

Oopsie-Dais…er Douglets…

Funny story, something we’ve either done a bunch of times and never noticed or just did for the first time. Take a close look at this picture…what is wrong with it??

It’s a great photo right?? Everyone is looking, almost smiling, and in their matching Minnie Mouse pajamas. But if you look a bit closer…

You are right…we are swapped! We aren’t sure when that happened, either at bedtime or after the early morning feed (more likely), but I definitely picked up Harper from Reagan’s crib, thinking nothing of it. After putting on sweaters and settling everyone for breakfast, things just didn’t look quite right and they weren’t! Unlike when they were smaller, Craig and I can tell looking at them who is who (90% of the time), at least when we are paying attention! But it definitely doesn’t help when we dress everyone in matching pajamas…

Or maybe we just need some more sleep 🙂