How many does it take…?

Prior to our expanded family, we accomplished all sorts of house projects after work each night or over long weekends. Craig and I are generally quite productive when given a big tasks to tackle, and we can look back and say we’ve installed all new windows on two houses, all new doors and trim, new flooring and several completely gutted bathrooms, and even accidentally flipped our first house (we weren’t planning on redoing everything and moving but it worked out that way). We both like to work on projects, with Craig tackling all kinds of tasks and solving issues. I especially like to see how much I can change a space from an “old” look to a new and updated one, even if that is simply repainting a room or changing up the trim style.

Some of the family working hard!

Fast forward to one year post triplets; obviously the fun and productive house projects are now at a minimum as day to day survival does not include extra projects. While I would love to complete something new, there just isn’t time in the day! Raising babies in the new, high priority in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to accomplish other things, right? Refinishing the bottom kitchen cabinets took us close to six months to complete and that happened before the girls were mobile. I still need to start (and finish) the upper ones at some point. The new back deck turned out to be an impromptu (required) project earlier this summer because Craig put a foot through one of the rotten boards. Thankfully we had friends come help with that one.

This past weekend we attempted to construct a new shed in the backyard, having torn the old, rickety one down the summer we moved in. So the question is…how many people does it take to build a shed while keeping track of three high energy, mobile toddlers?

How many people does it take to build a shed?! A LOT.

The answer? A LOT. With two grandpas, a grandma and aunt, three cousins and a couple local friends and visiting ones in tow, we still don’t have a completed product yet…but are much farther than we were a week ago! Time is definitely limited when you must account for a midday nap time, have to keep to daily eating schedules for the girls in addition to keeping an eye on them the whole time, and can’t work late into the night because you must also account for bedtime and routine.

The Douglet household was definitely hopping this weekend; the girls greatly enjoyed seeing their older cousins and getting to play. It was fun to have family visit and get out and go to breakfast and also dinner with everyone- the girls are great in restaurants. We also made time for some backyard fun, climbing and sliding on the play set, running around and “flying” on the airplane teeter totter that is now quite the hit. We even had a dance party on the back deck.

With the bustle of daytime activity, you would think they would sleep well at night this past week, right? That’s what we thought too but unfortunately not…maybe we are just destined to not sleep for a while longer. It’s anybody’s guess! At least we have extra hands this week to help accommodate the grumpiness that comes with less sleep.

Emerie showing Reagan her game
Papa Lon and the creamer game

One other cute little game that Emerie started, now Harper and Reagan have joined in, is with three Costco vanilla coffee creamer bottles (empty) and Tylenol syringes. Who needs actual toys right…Emerie discovered she can take the medicine syringes apart and plop them into the plastic container, dump them back out, and do it again. And repeat. We ended up trying to drink the last fridge creamer faster so that three empty bottles were available for use…otherwise everyone continued to fight over just two of them. Now it is quite the entertaining game. I often look over and see Emerie sitting in the lawn chair, quietly playing her game on the deck, fully entertained. It is so darn cute.

Oh and before I forget…maybe I should show a photo of the shed progress I’ve discussed this whole blog…here is it! I can’t wait to paint it next year to match the house. It’s going to look so great.

Progress!

There are definitely more adventures to be had this weekend. Hopefully that includes a few finishing touches on the shed in preparation for winter and some other play dates…but we will see. There is so much to do before the weather starts cooling off!

Busy Days and Eye Update

The past few weeks have proved to be busy and full of activity. With family (and extra hands) in town for a bit, the girls get to explore and adventure a little more than normal, whether that is out and about in Anchorage or simply playing out in the backyard.

A few other developments- we’ve implemented a mild time out time for hitting. At the moment Reagan is the champ on this, although prior to her it was Harper, so I believe it will continue to rotate. Even when you use the “mom voice” and scold, they will still go right back and hit again. We are working on that…I’m sure slow and steady will eventually win that race. That, or great patience and repetition!

The new backyard play place is a total hit. At first everyone was a bit hesitant about the big kid slide but that time has passed. Reagan will trust fall straight off of it if you aren’t looking, and while Harper and Emerie were a bit more timid on the solo sliding, they will occasionally keep you on your toes.

It impresses me how quickly they’ve mastered climbing it in such a short amount of time. They scramble up the smaller slide, climb onto it without help, and even slip off the older kiddo ladder back to the ground, higher than their feet can touch!

No more daytime bottles!

This is a big one. At seventeen months old, we finally broke the daytime bottle routine. It was quite the battle to implement sippy cups- we tried multiple different types before finding one that really clicked. For the longest time they just weren’t interested in them and wanted a bottle. Interestingly enough, we aren’t even on heavy flow for the bottles we still use, and only on a size 3 nipple. We tried to size up but they didn’t like it. This past week Grandma Sue and Papa Lon taught everyone how to use the straw type, and now we have two different sets that work. They also have a mild obsession with adult water bottles…if they find one, the screaming, rage fest begins over who gets to tow it around.

It feels quite odd not having bottles to wash alllll the time. After over a year of doing it constantly (and I mean constantly), it is strangely freeing. Once the girls get up in the morning, they get a regular breakfast and then sippy cups as they desire until lunch time. After lunch and naps they don’t even seem to notice that they no longer want a bottle, and sippy cups are out and used as needed. Now if we could be this successful on naps…we’d be doing great!

We are still doing bottles for bedtime routine, trying to get about 8oz (or more) of breast milk down everyone (they don’t want to drink the supplemental formula as much at nighttime). The 6am bottle will also continue for the foreseeable future; it is the only way everyone ends up back in their cribs until morning wake up. Since we still haven’t mastered everyone sleeping in their beds again, this reset is quite important for us to get ready for work, maybe get a short, kidless nap in before the day starts, or have a little quiet, adult (ahem…Netflix…) time.

Emerie Eye Update

At the last follow up appointment for Emerie, the doctor informed us that a second surgery will be necessary. It is less invasive as her first one and will tighten the eye muscles that control her wandering eye. While it is currently scheduled for early October, we are on the weight list for earlier if anything opens up in their schedule. Healing time should be less than the last one and be less painful.

This procedure won’t really correct her eyesight, but it will help her eye focus straighter and potentially help with the dislike of her glasses. Eye patching is becoming more of a stress to her the past month, with Emerie trying to pull it off if you aren’t paying close attention, even with the tape on it. In true excellent Nanny Chris style, she came up with a solution to the glasses wearing during patch time- tape them on too! So far that is working relatively well (and better than no glasses time at all) and we are able to get a few hours in.

Miss Em un-enthusiastically looking at the camera

How does Emerie like it? I’ll let you decide…note the adorable bow over everything…

Thankfully she is a good sport most of the time. This past week Grandma Sue made it her mission to get those glasses to stay on her face; a hard mission but so far so good. She gets more one-on-one time and every kid needs that!

I’m not entirely sure how much of a difference this is all doing on her vision, since the eye is still wandering, but ensuring we patch each day is important and we try to make sure we get some time in. Only time will tell, or once she’s old enough to tell us whether she can see or not. And we aren’t too far from that…everyone is rapidly learning new words already.

Lastly, we may again be in the thick of teething. The past few days everyone is super drooling and grumpy, even with all the extra visitors coming to play. Each set of incoming teeth are consistent, with everyone having two molars in on the left side (top and bottom) and one in on the right with another peeking through the gums. So many teeth!

This long weekend’s mission is a new shed in the backyard and playtime for the kiddos. Fingers crossed the crazy smoke will lift and the air will clear for a more pleasant outside adventures.

I find myself angry…

It is a struggle to accurately convey my feelings over the past month into words on a page (or screen). I’ve never been great at displaying emotion, especially extremely fresh ones, but find myself wanting to get my thoughts out in an attempt to understand and comprehend those feelings.

Craig’s older brother Chris passed away in a motorcycle accident the night as Emerie’s eye surgery. This prompted an unplanned family trip to Juneau, an emotional week for all of us, our first plane ride with the kids, and a big shift in our strict daily routine. Not a lot of time was left for processing it all once we decided to make the trip south, but we are glad we could celebrate Chris’ life and spend time with family.

Quick visit when the girls were about 7 months old and still fit in one lap!

I find myself angry at this turn of events, because life can be really unfair sometimes. While this is not the first time I’ve felt angry with death, with someone being taken away from this world much sooner than they should have, it still provides a similar sting and ache in my heart. There’s never a good explanation for why these things happen, and I think that makes it even harder to process. I also know that if I’m feeling this way, there are many more family members and close friends that feel this ache even more deeply, and I try to stay mindful of that.

My anger is a little different since having the girls. I feel like so many amazing, future stories and memories were stolen from us in one, terrible moment. The girls absolutely adored their uncle; it was plain as day each time he visited or even through a Face Time call. He could get them to giggle and laugh and smile, crossing the bridge from “that uncle that lives out of town” into “the favorite uncle” in a matter of seconds. In fact, when he visit last March, about a week before the girls’ first birthday, he won over all three so quickly that they refused to let him get up off the floor and insisted on immediate baby wrestling and playtime, for a good hour!

Not everyone is a baby whisperer, but I can confidently say both Douglas boys certainly maintain the skill. It is always wonderful to witness, whether it is with my kiddos or someone else’s!

Hawaiian dresses from Uncle Chris’ trip to Hawaii earlier that year. He found three matching ones in their colors ❤

I find myself angry that the girls won’t get to know their Uncle Chris, see their Dad and Uncle’s playful banter when working on a house project, won’t get to ride four wheelers or dirt bikes and get into (monitored) shenanigans with him as they grow older. It surprised me how much impact this thought had on me, because I always counted on the fact it would happen. It never crossed my mind that it wouldn’t, and so much has changed the past month.

What can we do about it? While the ache remains and will for a while for everyone, we can remind the girls as they grow about their uncle, and how much he loved them as well as his family, friends and community. I see how strong my husband is each day, dealing with his sadness while continuing to get up and go to work, raise three growing babies, and make a positive daily impact on all our lives, even when it’s really hard and you just want to give up.

We can tell the girls stories, and boy, there are so many stories! I like to think if you compared the girls’ personalities to Chris and Craig’s childhood shenanigans (the ones that I know about anyway), Emerie would be the troublemaker (Chris!) and Reagan the behaved kiddo (Craig), with Harper more-or-less a combination of the two- willing to get into trouble but also willing to let her sister(s) go down for it (hehe).

While our trip caused a major disrupt in our daily routine, it was great to see everyone as well as extended family I hadn’t met yet! We packed up (a LOT of stuff) and made the trek down to Juneau with the girls and my Mom in tow, knowing the trip would be equally as hard as it would be emotional; both which proved true. Craig’s parents were right- babies do help heal wounds, especially ones wide open, deep, fresh and heartfelt. Hugging on a cuddly Harper, a tiny Emerie or a giggling Reagan certainly helped me heal a bit, and I know I’m not the only one.

We had a couple of fun adventures during the visit, but otherwise laid pretty low (if anything with three toddlers can be considered “laying low”). With Aunt Tami’s and Papa Cliff’s help we explored the local indoor water park, with a short walk over from our residence for the week, and played in the warm water with the girls and their cousins Gabe and Chatum. It was a nice break to have a little fun for an hour.

It was also entertaining to see the boys trying to push the triple stroller down the sidewalk. It is pretty big, especially when full of three wiggling toddlers, and that caused a little problem driving straight, but the boys figured it out!

The girls greatly enjoyed the water and it was the perfect setting for them to do a little walking around as well as floating with us around the lazy river. Because the adults outnumbered the kids for once, we didn’t put life jackets on anyone: having two arms per kid is pretty useful! Everyone thought the slide was exciting, even though they sometimes looked less than thrilled about it, as well as the small kid-sized water works and fountains. This experience also taught me my phone is waterproof, as I went down the slide with it in my shorts. Even fully submerged, it came out okay. Whew!

In true kid style, we made it all the way through the water park without any mishaps or incidences, until of course, we rinsed them off without their swim diapers on…I will leave that one up to your imaginations (refer to a couple blogs back if you are unclear…).

We also took the girls to a cute park, that wasn’t completely toddler friendly, but still workable with three adults to herd them around. The whole trip was so hot, in Alaska standards anyway, so we kept the midday outings for the fair skinned kiddos to a minimum. Realistically, I think the adults were just as hot!

We barbecued at Papa Cliff’s house a couple times, with the girls (and myself!) meeting extended family up visiting from down south, the kids and their friends, a big group! We also made it out to dinner with the family as well and they behaved perfectly, other than the major mess of rice left on the restaurant floor. They certainly enjoyed being passed around and mingling with everyone.

The girls especially loved Papa Cliff’s entryway closet doors. Who knew mirrors could be so very fun and bring some smiles to the room. Here’s a video to bring a smile to your face too 🙂

Giving kisses to the mirrors

Chris’ celebration of life was our last night in town and held at the beach. I’d never visited Auke Rec in Juneau before, and it was a great place to reminisce. What a beautiful view, even with the forest fire smoke in the distance. So many people showed up and it was really a testimony to how many lives Chris touched. He certainly impacted ours! Craig and I handed the kids off to many different people to say hello. It was their first visit to the beach and first time trying Rhonda’s delicious scones.I’m pretty sure they were mostly excited about eating the seashells- not so much the cold water, although Emerie didn’t seem to mind it so much.

As the days continue to pass, I am constantly reminded of Chris’ impact on our lives; in fact, it is all over my house! The windows, my beautiful, rounded third story loft window that the boys gave me so much grief over, the new pantry he installed on his spring visit to Anchorage, even all the tools used by the boys in the garage over the years. It still makes me smile that he shot a hole in one of the heater pipes, putting up trim in the family room, and yet when we discovered it and called and told him later that week, he blamed it on me because I wanted to paint and have new trim! Fair enough. While the reminders bring a sense of sadness with them, they also bring good memories. Chris and I became friends through these projects, as they often brought him up to visit us, and I remember the brothers hard at work for a weekend, arguing about trim cutting and decor…and just being brothers.

In closing, a quote I heard that seems appropriate:

A family is a circle of love, not broken by a loss, but made stronger by the memories.

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So please, I ask all of you reading this that knew Chris- please continue to tell us, and the girls as they get older, stories of all the shenanigans the Douglas boys got themselves into! I only know a drop in the bucket of all the good ones…and sharing these memories will help the girls know their uncle.

Chris teaching Harper to hold her bottle with a great photo of him and Craig on the table next to him.

New Activities!

We tried out a few new activities this week and some things went better than others; you just never know until you try! I am so excited to try out new things, especially related to food and arts and crafts. My saved Facebook videos are filling up with exciting new ideas to try as they get bigger. Now I just need them to, you know, BE bigger so we can try them.

The girls are big fans of the freeze dried yogurt bites (heck they are pretty good), so Craig made some test ones. He put dabs of blackberry yogurt on a cookie sheet and froze it, and they turned out pretty good. They definitely passed the toddler test. The main difference? Because they aren’t freeze dried, they melt immediately in your hand, so just eat them quickly!

The weekend’s windstorm (and now the intense forest fire smoke) prevented us from playing outside as much as the past two months. While the sun was out and it was gorgeous, the high winds certainly cooled it off and for the first time in a bit the girls wore pants and long sleeves! Now that fall is coming (triple yay!!), we will have to start coming up with more fun, indoor play activities before winter settles in.

First new activity? Coloring. It’s been a few months since we attempted it. Since the first unsuccessful time, I ordered the toddler “egg” crayons that are easier for little ones to hold. With everyone in the triplet table, we tried to do some coloring with wax paper. I was a huge fan of coloring as a good, and I am sure this household will be filled with many future hours of it, especially now that so many cool, colorable things are now available for purchase!

Will that be soon? Unfortunately, no. Harper immediately ripped the taped down wax paper, enjoying the crinkle sounds and teasing Reagan to help her out. Reagan took a huge bite out of the purple one (not sure if that is aimed at Emerie or not…) while Emerie attempted it a little and was quite interested in holding all of them. Needless to say, we are not yet into our coloring days, but they will someday be upon us. We will have to wait a couple more months before trying this again. The only visible improvement related to better hand grasping, but they don’t yet correlate the color can go down on the paper or that they can have control of that. Or maybe they just taste THAT delicious?

Another fun, indoor activity- I found a set of alphabet food letters in the Target dollar section a while back that are a hit! They don’t have any small magnets that can be swallowed (which are incredibly hard to find I’ve looked!) and are so cute. I’ve overcome the fact that the “f” doesn’t stand for French Fry (so disappointed…it is french toast) and the “r” is for radishes (yuck). The girls love that they can play at the fridge and not be in the way. Surprisingly the letters have stayed in that general area and not wandered all over the room, although I’m sure a few are missing by now. We are still working on pushing them onto the magnetic part, i.e. the fridge, and not on top of an already placed magnet, since that doesn’t hold as well. The girls will walk by and grab a letter, stick it to a different spot, and then continue to whatever toy they originally intended to get. This process occurred all weekend.

Now that toddler climbing is a central issue taking over our lives, we once again rearranged the playroom to better suit this developmental stage. By separating the sectional and putting half of it in the garage, no one can climb into the windowsill (temporarily anyway). The girls scramble up on the remaining couch piece and ottoman and climb over the side, flopping onto pillows below. Once again, for brief moments we can sit and relax downstairs without any impending injuries and they believe they’ve succeeded in being allowed to climb on things.

Back in the living room, baby jail has been reinstated for brief periods in the morning. They aren’t too concerned about their captivity for the first hour after waking up, and it gives us time to make breakfast, pop in some laundry, and clean. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when the kids are safely contained and playing nicely. It’s also amazing how quickly mundane but necessary tasks can be accomplished when you know the clock is ticking toward hungry toddlers.

Rearranged once again

Sunday morning they woke up at 6:52 AM, all three of them, and so their day started about 90 minutes earlier than normal. I really enjoy a silent house for that hour on the weekends, having “me” time is better than getting an extra hour of sleep, and I was snuggling with the cat and some Netflix when they decided the day needed to start. After the typical morning sleep feed (at about 6:00), Harper would not settle back down and woke everyone up with her. Once they committed to being awake this early, they nicely played in the playpen for long enough that I finished all dishes, de-cluttered the entire kitchen counter, started breakfast and laundry, AND cleaned out a few of the upper cabinets (tiny baby bottles are secretly trying to take over my house while I’m not looking).

After breakfast we normally open the playpen and block off the front of the living room so no one can climb on the furniture, but leave the rest of the room open for activities. If it is nice out, we open the backdoor to the deck too. This particular morning we finished breakfast, got everyone dressed, and headed on a Costco run. The girls sat in the carts for the first time (instead of their infant seats) and were so cute. The only random, stranger comment the entire shopping trip occurred as we grabbed diapers. An older gentleman smiled at us and said “this must be your favorite aisle.” Yes…so many diapers…

The Douglets “team” is continuing to learn together. It is now a team effort to push each other around on the walkers, especially on their little Minnie Mouse airplane (thanks Kimber!) and puppy dog (thanks Luke!). They help each other climb up on chairs, try to corner the cat together (they love the “kitties”), and full speed chase each other around the room. The endless energy is quite impressive.

Another new development involves the refrigerator. Harper now cries when I open the freezer door, because she knows there are fun things to hold within reach and we are preventing her from them. As you can see from the ice cream photo above, she quite enjoyed carting that around for a few minutes, proudly showing it off to her sisters…you know…until we put it back in the freezer.

In that same evening Reagan discovered the fridge produces water in the door. And she can just reach it. So there’s that…and no off button for toddler proofing. We will have to get creative; for now we just keep blocking her when she thinks about pushing the lever and that might work for a few more days. Nothing is easy!

This weekend Reagan discovered ball throwing. She figured out she can throw the plush soccer balls and thinks it is amazing when you throw them back to her. I still maintain that Harper will be my little soccer player; she’s the only one showing any interest in that area, and will kick them and giggle. Emerie joined in on the throwing fun too. The girls finally use the soccer/basketball/hockey toy gifted at their birthday, dunking the soccer ball in the hoop (Koda ate the basketball already) and tossing the plush soccer balls around. I can’t wait to be old enough for sports!!!

Another baby milestone? Everyone finally graduated from the infant car seats, meaning they will no longer fit in my car three across. We’ve actually stalled on this for a while because they are so much more convenient, portable, and we aren’t in the car that much. Their weight still isn’t even close to requiring the upgrade, but their height is the issue. How grown up do they look here??

I will leave you with the irony of Emerie’s glasses wearing. She will not keep them on for more than a few seconds at a time- we’ve tried all kinds of things and short of holding down her arms, she will not wear them. We have a follow up appointment with the eye doctor this week and will see what suggestions he has.

Another triplet dad suggested removing the bifocal and seeing if that improves her wearing time, and I think we might need to try it and will talk to the doctor about it in September. So what is the irony of it all? I turned around yesterday so find Emerie sans glasses and Reagan doing her very best to wear them. Sigh.


Emerie Eye Update: Glasses

Big Emerie Smile

The big day is here. Miss Emerie’s glasses are in; now the real fun begins…trying to get her to actually WEAR them.

We went to Cook Inlet Eyewear, down on 2nd Avenue, a couple weeks back and ordered two pairs of kid glasses. If you haven’t shopped around for pediatric eye wear before, the glasses made nowadays are really cool. They are bendable, some sides snap on and off easily instead of breaking off, and there are a ton of cute colors and styles. Not to mention…they are SO tiny and adorable!!

I was really impressed with the ladies at Cook Inlet. They are very prepared to assist with young kiddos and had a toy box out and ready for tiny tot entertainment. While she explained what type of glasses and lenses would be best for a one-year old, Emerie played with toy dinosaurs and Star Wars figurines; throwing them on the floor and wreaking the usual havoc while making a mess. We also discussed her prescription, which contains a left bifocal in it to help with focusing. Never thought my kiddo would have bifocal before me!

We anticipate a bit of sibling rivalry will occur with Emerie’s new look, so we opted for a second set as a backup. Impressively enough, there were several purple options to choose from, so she now has two different types of purples to keep her fashion trend going!

The past week she has not been thrilled that another thing is on her face in addition to the two hours of daily patching. She’s become much more cranky about the daily patching too; we are unsure why as things were going pretty well with it in July. Nanny Chris greatly helps us with this routine everyday, with “patch time” usually before lunch, around 9:30 or 10 to noon (when she cooperates!). It removes some stress on us later in the day having it done already.

Harper and Reagan now come to their sister’s rescue and help peel it off. It’s a full team effort if you aren’t paying attention every second. Not sure if that’s a good thing for sister bonding, or bad since we have to put on another one!

So far the longest Em has worn the glasses continuously is about 40 minutes. She either remembers they are still on her face and pulls them down, or one of her sisters pries them off. Similarly to the patch, you just have to find distractions so she forgets they are on. Several times I’ve caught Harper pulling Emerie around by the glasses around her neck. Still working on that…

We gave Harper and Reagan strawberry styled sunglasses (thanks Megan!) to wear in lieu of glasses, hoping that they will stop bugging Emerie when she has them on. They like to wear the sunglasses and put them on and off their faces. It’s pretty cute. When I tried this a couple months back, they immediately pulled them off. Now they like to look around while wearing them, at least for a couple minutes at a time.

Emerie’s eye redness continues to slowly vanish and she isn’t rubbing it in irritation nearly as often as right after surgery. The eye still trails a good amount of the time, but hopefully once she wears them more frequently it will improve. We have another appointment in September to evaluate her progress and see what else, if anything, needs to be done. There is potential that a second surgery will be necessary to realign the eye muscles and fix the trailing, but we won’t know that for a little while longer and are hopefully it will resolve itself.

So for now, we continue to put glasses on, she takes them off, we put them on again, and the cycle continues! We are not making a big deal out of her wearing them or pulling them off, hoping eventually she’ll just get used to it. Craig also ordered another back piece to see if it will be more comfortable, and we are still waiting for the second, backup pair to get here. If anyone has any parental advice to getting her to cooperate better, we are all ears (or eyes?)! If you want to come over and have baby time and play and entertain her during patch time, we’d be up for that too!!

We also greatly appreciate all of you that are still praying for her healing and success. ❤ ❤ ❤

Trust Fall

Our little climbers have been both grumpy and adventurous the past week. No matter where we are in the house, everyone climbs on everything! In the family room, they climb up the couch and into the window; in the living room onto the armchairs, end tables, and hearth; in their bedroom onto the armchair and ottoman. It is a crazy time!

Turn around for one second and they are on the furniture. Also, look at those baby blues!!

As the girls were climbing into the family room window, we tested who trusts us the most by seeing who would jump off into our arms (and the couch below):

Reagan? Craig told her to jump and she just thought about it…and no.

Emerie? Craig told her to jump and she looked at him, swayed a little…and no.

Harper? Craig asked her to jump and what did she do? Total trust fall forward, straight ahead. Good to know who trusts us at this moment in time. I also watched Harper do a full trust fall to no one on the bed other night…arms out, dead ahead!

This week marks my one year anniversary back at work, post babies. It’s crazy to think how quickly that passed, even with crazy busy days and many sleepless nights. As I write this, I revel in the fact that Craig and I are still functioning adults with full time jobs and three little ones, especially after nights like this one, where I might have a total of 3 or 4 hours of sleep, broken up into many tiny chunks, and now have another 8.5 hour work day to stay awake for!

Last year I remember thinking how difficult it would be to leave the girls and go back to the office, that I would miss them and not see every change that occurs throughout the day. There was definitely some stress my last couple of weeks home- a different kind of stress than being home alone all day with three infants. Looking back now, that adjustment period went much smoother than I had anticipated, and it wasn’t nearly as difficult to get back into the work routine as my mind had suggested it would be. It also helps that I get to enjoy breakfast and a hot cup of coffee at my desk each morning, with the knowledge that the girls are still safely sleeping in their cribs for another couple of hours.

Fast forward a year, and our work day routines haven’t changed that much. We still do an early morning feed and put the girls back to bed; we still do dinner time but now it’s with food and bottles before bed; we still have play time…it is just waaaay more rambunctious than last fall. It is easier in some ways and harder in others. The morning feed is much quicker now, taking about 10-15 minutes tops compared to 40 minutes. On days like today, that early feeding provides the opportunity to put everyone back into their own cribs (and out of our bed) for a couple more hours of sleep (for them and us on the weekends!).

I still pump at the crack of dawn every morning, while at work, and right after the girls go down at night. After 16 months, I am nearing the end of this part of my mom journey. Just imagine the free time I will get back (funny joke I know…)! This will occur once bottle weaning is a little farther along; we are progressing on sippy cup use now and are getting there.

I still enjoying getting off work in the middle of the afternoon instead of early evening (3:30 is a big difference from 5:00!). This was wonderful in the winter when I could drive home in the light instead of going to and from work in the darkness for much of the winter. Instead of hurrying home for the afternoon feed (which is no longer), I now head home for playtime before dinner. It was in the 70s and sunny yesterday, with the house overly hot, so we opted for pool time on the deck. This was the longest the girls actually stayed in the pool and played, mostly getting along! It is nice to be able to do fun activities and enjoy the nice weather. They really enjoyed putting the kitchen utensils to use- the measuring cups, spoons, and old yogurt cups…anything that could pour water. Reagan was really interested in drinking the delicious pool water straight from the measuring cup!

It is wonderful creating new and exciting activities for the girls. They now giggle at each other (not quite talk yet) and interact with you and each other. The bubble machine is quite the hit. Harper looked up at me at one point and said “bubba!” Another word for the Harper dictionary- check! In addition, anytime the dog, or especially the cats, go by, we hear little “kitty!” exclamations from all three. The dog and cat now have this title, whether they like it or not.

Just when I think we are cruising along great on this #tripletlife, I have a hilarious mom moment. Earlier this week we had a night that involved the triple wagon and watching it slide backwards down a driveway as I was handing Emerie off to someone, carrying Harper and Reagan with it. Yes, they were still strapped in (thankfully). For the record, I am quite impressed that it didn’t tip over AND neither kiddo shed a tear over their unintentional, backwards roller coaster ride. I’m sure I entertained the neighbors as I went crazy mom running after it. These are the beautiful memories to build your life on right?? Now if only the wagon had a brake on it…that would be helpful…

And I will leave you with this. Everyone has figured out the word “no”, and Harper wags her finger at us when she says it. Enjoy.

Emerie letting us “no” what’s up

Busy little bees

Toddler time continues to become more interesting! There’s certainly never a dull moment. I think I am overdue for another hour time lapse to prove that no one ever sits still!

Little Miss Em playing around with me.

Last night I could tell Emerie was chewing something that she wasn’t supposed to. I looked at her with a “come here” and hand motioned. She immediately came over and pulled air out of her mouth and handed it to me with a big smile on her face, all the while chewing! I then told her to give it to me again and she put her hand in her mouth, motioned, and dropped air in my hand again. Silly baby! Is she already learning sarcasm?? This repeated several times and she smiled so big while handing me nothing. The last time, she pulled out a tiny piece of plastic and placed it into the palm of my hand. One point for Mom (this time anyway!)

We are trying to teach the girls as much coordination as possible, even at this young age. Who knows if this will backfire on us later when they are coordinated and wreaking even more havoc, but for now their progression continues to move forward at a fast pace! The fine line is trying to determine what to learn and how to keep from injury while doing it. Sometimes that works out, other times it prompts a nice head bonk/goose egg (Harper) or slipping off a toy (Emerie) or baby to baby collision (everyone!). So far nothing is too significant except my anxiety about it! In another year or so they can safely use their new skills during gymnastics, dance, and ballet classes. And, of course, soccer too…counting down the days until we are old enough to break into the sport hobbies!!

At first we were skeptical about stair climbing, even after PIC clearly suggested we start it. The girls proved us wrong and mastered it not only quickly, but really well; they are already pros at it. The next logical “step” (haha) is to master going back down (safely), and while I’ve been a bit more apprehensive about it, Craig is proven right that they are ready for it. Ready for it, other than the occasional I will learn forward with my full body weight and forget I’m on the stairs…. The girls now climb up the eight stairs to the bathroom for bath time, and we are starting to add to the cycle by going back down afterwards. Craig will holler at them to come up once stripped down from their post dinner, full-of-food clothes (still with diapers on mind you-I learned that lesson!!). They will run across the living room and up the stairs, then full sprint down the hallway and into the bathroom. Most of the time they don’t divert into a different room or try to climb up to the loft; every once in a while it becomes an impromptu game of tag, 3 versus 1…

Taking off up the stairs. So speedy.

They all have different methods to climbing down stairs and all do it surprisingly well when they aren’t distracted by all the cool railings, or the dog, or the thought of running back upstairs. Harper tries to go down like an adult, on her feet, without holding on! She’s given me several mild heart attacks, but luckily an adult is always close by to catch her. Emerie scoots on her butt now and I’ve seen Reagan try both ways. We are working on railing safety and so far no one has fallen forward, even with the dogs “helping”. While the stair baby gates are not leaving anytime soon, it is good to know that they are starting to understand how to safely climb down. This is especially the case when the dog door is accidentally left open and Miss Harper goes through it like a heat seeking missile, running straight for the three unblocked deck stairs…

In case anyone was wondering, because it has been a while…yes, Craig can still carry all three at once, although he doesn’t test this out too often. For some reason they are starting to get heavier! Instead of immediate baby rage like prior months (insert the “stop touching me” kid voice), they all think it is just so funny! Nothing like carrying 65 pounds of wiggly baby at once and not letting anyone leap off, fall, or collide. Enjoyment ensued in the triple baby bedtime laundry basket ride, as Craig dragged them down the hallway in the midst of many goofy giggles. With the growth since December’s earthquake, I’m not entirely sure I could load everyone into a laundry basket and carry them to safety during an earthquake; they are much bigger now!

Laundry basket rides
Using that arm muscle!

Other daily activities include climbing on anything available, running maniacally around the house, speed running while pushing their walkers (into each other or anything in front of them), pulling all food utensils and cookware out of kitchen cabinets, and playing out on the back porch. Cardboard boxes are also popular; who needs toys when you can play with the Amazon box, or the macaroni and cheese box, or the huge goldfish box from Costco?! The girls also push each other on toys now, whether it is with one sitting on the lawn mower and one pushing or one sitting in the mini airplane and two pushing. It brings many giggles and hasn’t resulted in too many crashes so far. We’ve also started building blanket forts. That is a hit literally, as they run full blast at the fort only to hit their forehead on the table under the blanket. We are still working on that…

For the most part we have the danger zones blocked off on the main floor. They can’t climb into windowsills because it’s blocked by a baby wall, the couch and diaper changing area also behind it. Every once in a while someone will discover they can squeeze behind the armchair and make it to the windows, but this typically results in minor baby fights and enough yelling that we intervene and reset the blockade.

One new sport now invented in our household, the “how-to-catch-the-kitty” game. Now that everyone can pronounce kitty (sounds like “ki-eee”), they become unbelievably excited anytime either cat is within view. For the past year both cats have been fine with the random toddler petting, even purring from it, but now it’s progressed to a new level, with three babies running full blast across the room, after the cat, and yelling kitty! Apparently this is less fun for the animals, because they make every attempt possible to escape now.

Here is a nice collage of this week’s at-home baby adventures. We are loving the continued summertime shorts weather!