I don’t know about everyone else, but I am EXCITED for the snow this year; I would like ten feet!! Most of my adult life I’ve enjoyed the winter, even more so when the roads are either completely clear or completed covered in snow (because we all agree ice sucks). Once the sun drops below the skyline for a couple of months, then I can’t stand the cold, dreary, brown weather…until we get some snow! Not only does it become more cheery, but it’s also so beautiful (especially from insane a cozy house!). Working from home this fall greatly changes my perspective on weather events as well, especially now that I have a window and can enjoy the flurries and daylight during my workday. In addition, having kids increases a love of snow- it is a heck of a lot more fun to play in it then on the cold, dormant grass. Wouldn’t you agree?
We saw our first few inches in the last day or so, with a great fall while we went out and adventured with some sledding. Other than dragging everyone all over the neighborhood last year, when they were a LOT lighter might I add, we didn’t do a lot of real sledding with the girls. This year will be different and we are starting off right. We sold the small, single seat sleds and traded that in for a massive three (three plus an adult) seater.
All three girls stayed in their own room all night, which hasn’t happened since the first week of daycare in August, but were bright eyed and bushy tailed by about 7 AM, not wanting to sleep in any longer. The general rule of thumb in this house is if everyone sleeps in their cribs all night then the day may be crash and burn grumpy. You’d think it would be the opposite right, that good sleep would make for a nice, happy toddler day? Yeah, um, never.
With that in mind, we ate a big pancake breakfast and headed outside to meet up with a couple daycare buddies and test out one of the playground hills by our house. Everyone was a little timid at first, covered head to toe in boots, snow pants, coats, gloves and hats, but in no time they were all excited to go fast! down the hill and come back up and do it again! After a few minutes they would even opt to go by themselves on their friends’ single seat ones, since they are a bit slower and stop at the bottom, without running all the way to the trees. Craig was able to convince them to pull their sleds up after a few runs, with some hand holding and coaxing, until the slippery top where they needed help. Now we just need them to participate for a couple hours every weekend and nap out like a light!
I’m trying to decide which kiddo favored the activity the most and it’s a toss up. By the end, Emerie and Harper were both soloing down the hill as well as insisting one of the adults speed down in the faster sleds. Harper also liked to sprint down the hill without a sled and walk back up, great way to create a sleepy toddler. Emerie preferred going with someone and giggled and shrieked the whole way down with a big smile. Reagan wouldn’t go alone but liked sitting in the big sled with Craig. She was also the first one to follow Sage off to the playground, heading to the slide excitedly. Everyone also insisted on taking a hundred turns on the zip line; luckily two toddlers, even in full snow gear, still fit on it together.
The girls (and dad) are currently snoozing away as I write this and drink a hot chai tea while enjoying the beautiful white outside! I am not ashamed to admit we put the Christmas tree up yesterday and pulled out all the lights, the earliest I’ve ever done it…because why not? What other year are we both working at home during the holiday and practically confined to our houses due to rises COVID cases, meaning we are actually here to enjoy it!
The girls did not assist in any way and were grumps for most of the assembly (or should I say most of the DAY). I can say that they thoroughly enjoyed the big tree bag and spent the entire hour climbing in, zipping it up, zipping each other up in it, dragging blankets and dolls and toys into it, fighting over it and pretending to take a nap. I might just break that bag out again on Christmas and let them at it…who needs toys anyway?!
Yesterday was a day to get through and not a great way to start off the weekend or our unplanned five day stint without daycare (daycare is closed to get a new boiler); so far today is going MUCH better, thank goodness!
I’m continuing to really enjoy the random, silly things that the girls surprise us with each day. You just never know exactly what it will entail; I think that is part of the fun. Something crazy or hilarious is always right around the corner, you just have to take the time to appreciate and remember it, or in my case, write it down before my brain erases that it ever happened. Other small maturities help make our daily lives a bit easier and are most appreciated. For example, Craig and I walked our normal 1.5 mile loop around the house last night, but instead of keeping the girls in the strollers the entire time, we let them walk the wooded portion and look for sticks and pine cones. Over the summer freedom to walk was only prompted if friends walked with us and outnumbered them (imagine herding cats to walk on a trail- that is a similar…); this was the first time we did it solo and they did AMAZING. At the end of the trail Harper and Emerie voluntarily climbed back into their seats and puled the blanket up; we have a little more work with Miss Reagan, who tried to outrun Daddy and didn’t want to sit back down. This sounds like a small step forward but really, this improvement is soooo nice.
Here are some of the random happenings in the Douglets household as we wrap up our fall season and head (excitedly) into wintertime.
2.5 Year Update
The children are starting to become conversationalists on a number of new topics, emotions and opinions. The leader of the communication pack (at this moment) is Harper, who is growing increasingly good at stringing together full sentences and phrases and throwing adjectives in with it! She commonly states things like I want to go potty, Mom, I want to wash my hands, or my current favorite regarding her sisters, saying she touched me Mom. Mom she touched me! Mooooommmm. She will repeat that sentence over and over until you acknowledge her complaint. Emerie is part of the politeness police, ensuring she says please and (more often) thank you, or responding with no thank you to anything she doesn’t want. She likes to randomly whisper to us that someone farted, usually followed up with a farted like daddy (which is hilarious!!). What beautiful memories. Her constant response of yeah is now replaced with an affirming yes when you ask her something. She is also the one that reminds her sisters to bring the forgotten teddyor stuffed animal downstairs, and will adamantly DEMAND they take it or she will insist on bringing it herself. While Reagan may not be as much of a conversationalist as either of her sisters, she is definitely a singer and randomly breaks out into song throughout the day. This rule does not apply upon request; if you ask her to sing she might do a bar but then goes quiet; it has to be on her terms! She is also exceptional at telling us when she needs to potty and has those bodily functions down! The other day she also asked if she could do something for two more minutes– it cracks me up she is now negotiating with the adults in her life, which I know is only going to happen more and more as time goes on. She will also tell you who her boyfriend is if you ask, but I’ll leave that new for her to tell you.
We are working on the trading concept now- when Emerie’s precious monkey is taken by Reagan, she can trade another stuffed animal to get it back without a full on sibling disagreement and often without adult intervention. It doesn’t always work, but it is a noticeable change that they somewhat understand the concept and apply it when they want something in their sister’s possession. Progress. They also encourage each other to cleanup (Emerie usually instigates but Harper and Ray are starting to do it more), singing the song the entire time. We are making GREAT progress in this area.
Craig drops the girls off at daycare each morning, as it is on his way to work and I’m still working from home. After loading in the car seats, Emerie always requests a goodbye kiss; the other two recently picked up on the idea and now ask for it as well. We seem to load them the same each morning, with Craig taking Harper out first and putting her in the middle seat while I keep coats on the other two, then he puts Em in the seat behind him (it’s easier to patch her eye on this side when he arrives at the school), and I load Reagan up on “her side.” Reagan receives her kiss as she comments that they are going to school to see Madi and Dina (Diana, both their teachers) and I have to go around and plant one on Emerie or she gets demanding. She will then remind me to climb up and give one to Harper.
We went out to dinner at Red Robin the other night (just the five of us!). My more observant children excitedly shrieked through the restaurant at the “monkey” (actually the robin) standing in the restaurant lobby (we didn’t argue semantics here) and the carousel horse mounted across the room by another table, who they decided was Max from Tangled because he was white with a fancy saddle. Throughout dinner all three kept pointing at the “monkey” and telling us he was wearing shoes. Monkey shoes! Monkey shoes off? No shoes, monkey. It was pretty hilarious to hear this in between french fry munching and apple juice sipping. They also randomly re-noticed Max’s presence and shrieked that information out to all the tables on our side of the restaurant.
And the last gem on the new, toddler conversations in our house- Auntie Megan, who we play with constantly because the girls adore her boys, taught the girls about some new body parts that differ from theirs. This happened out of a diaper change, because every toddler in the house must participate in them and provide their inputs; she explained that boys have a penis and girls have a “gina”. Well, if you must know, this is a very hot topic in our household now that is randomly brought up day-to-day. One of those random times happened to be while we were at Fred Meyer last weekend and to my dismay (and delight, not sure?), all three were chanting daddy-penis, mommy-penis, rather loudly I might add, across the store. I could see the smiles and chuckles of passer-bys through their masks, as we headed for the checkout line at a bit faster pace! At some point they might accept that mommy does not have that equipment, similarly neither do they, but apparently that is not for my age two beauties. Silver lining of that shopping trip…we made it through the whole shopping experience without any diapers on or accidents!
The girls bring home random “art displays” a couple of days each week from school. Since they are in two different classes, they don’t always come home with the same thing or on the same days. I noticed the other day that all three happened to color the same sheet; it made me chuckle how different they all look. See for yourself:
They all ask to color more often now, with Reagan seemingly the most lately, followed by Emerie and Harper. And yet, with that methodology and looking at the pages above, you would think Harper would be asking the most, as she was definitely the most dedicated to coloring that animal and this is not the first time. It’s interesting to see the differences between the three; after all, they are all individuals!
Also, if you wanted to know, Harper is going through the color black phase, just like I apparently did as a toddler. She wants black bows in her hair, the black crayon; she keeps asking for black! When given the choice of silverware color at dinner, she always asks for the blue one (occasionally her pink color), but I am certain if I had a black option she would pick it. Emerie likes her purple more so than anything else and doesn’t like the others to wear her coats and hats; Reagan often wants to take the purple from Emerie! I’m pretty sure purple is her favorite color at this snapshot in time, although she also likes green and orange colored jellybeans.
As we continue subliminal binky weaning, which are now confined to the bedroom for sleep activities now, I feel as though I’ve been “stuffing” stuffed animals down their throats (see what I did there?) as a replacement. We are making great strides in this area, and the girls are allowed to take one animal of their choosing to daycare each day, mostly for snuggle time during their nap. Their preference varies each day for Harper and Reagan; Emerie brings the same one every time. For a couple of months this meant the stuffed pink bear for Harper and the white one for Reagan that I received at my work baby shower. The third animal was a soft elephant- not the one Emerie wanted because she wanted a bear like her sisters. This led to buying three new teddy bears that were a combination of pink/purple/teal, which lasted a little while, but the girls never loved on them as much as their original bears. Emerie then latched onto a pink “beany boo” piggie with big, purple eyes, so much that we had to buy a second one because Harper was quite insistent a pink pig should be hers. Fast forward a few more weeks and Emerie discovered her newest and most treasured companion, the purple tie-dye “beany boo” monkey. Monkey goes everywhere with her and has replaced any stuffed pig or teddy bear in her heart. It helps her flush the toilet, eat dinner, sit in the car, snuggle at bedtime and do all the other playtime toddler activities. I am currently trying to find two other similar, small stuffed animals to keep the other two from stealing her precious playmate.
Other preferred companions consist of the pig and chicken from Moana, a few soft, black teddy bears from Cousin Gabe, a stuffed sloth, and new Cabbage Patch dolls, whose names are CiCi, Stella, and Sadi according to their labels. It’s adorable to hear the girls yell where is Cici!? hi Cici. Sadi in time-out. Stella, no. They are working on potty training the dolls. I will often turn around to all three instructing their “kiddos” on the potty chairs in the living room, which sometimes results in cleaning them in the washer…
Reagan likes to snuggle with all of Emerie’s purple animals and has a very demanding regiment each night that often ends in toddler rage if she can’t get it exactly how she wants. It usually ends with a blanket wrapped fully around her body and over her head like a hood; then she HAS to either sit on the couch with Craig or I or sit at Craig’s feet on the floor. Harper is happy snuggling under a blanket with me and watching whatever movie is on, while Emerie rotates between her parents on who she feels like snuggling with that night. Everyone munches on apple pieces and explains whatever we are watching. It is by far the girls’ calmest moment of the day and one of my favorite parts.
Another memorable moment from this month- Emerie managed to lock herself in the upstairs bathroom as I was putting the other two in their cribs for bed. We learned in this moment that neither of us know how to pick this type of lock; after about five minutes of a stressed out and crying two year old on the other side of the door, she managed to flip the lock back herself. Thank God!! A little YouTubing by Craig and now we know how to unlock it. Even more than a week later, Harper and Reagan still comment that Emi locked the door, Emi pushed the “button”, and so on. Apparently it was quite memorable for them too.
Harper’s latest thing is sipping juice or taking a bite of food and then spitting it back out onto the table. Then, in true toddler style, she will sip that juice off the table and repeat the process. Have I mentioned lately that toddlers are gross?
We went swimming for the first time since March’s quarantine and took the girls for their first visit to H2Oasis. Going right at opening meant we had the place to ourselves, which was great. We discovered that Emerie is our main water baby now (it was Reagan when they were little in the bath), so much so she even floated the river on her own (with arm floaties on) without us holding onto her. Harper was holding onto an adult for dear life and Reagan was happy to sit in the inter-tube and collect the rubber duckies. they were all a bit hesitant to go down the small water slides unless sitting on your lap but all enjoyed walking around the shallow areas. We also made 200+ trips to the bathroom throughout the two hour visit, because they HAD to pee in the regular potty and not in their swim diapers. Overall it was a great visit that resulted in some happy toddlers; we will have to go again.
One night Nanny came over for dinner, playtime and some pumpkin carving. Reagan received a little one-on-one time while we took the other two for their flu shots (she already had hers). Extremely excited toddlers shrieked as much as the dog at her arrival and were mostly cooperative for the pumpkin crafting. We gave them markers to “draw” faces on their mini pumpkins, which really meant slightly marking the pumpkins and majorly drawing on themselves. It came off…eventually.
We put up a few fall decorations this year, which was more than I can say for the last two years. Craig put the Halloween pillowcases on and Reagan was quite impressed, telling us new pillows over and over for a couple of days. I believe the orange lights hung on the fireplace finally prompted the learning of the color orange, which is not a key color in this house so they’ve ignored it to date. Now Harper and Reagan always seem to want the orange jellybean when given a choice of color.
All in all, the pumpkins turned out pretty cute and the girls willingly participated in a photo on the porch. Most of that credit can be given to Craig and Nanny for their knife skills.
Dentist Take Over
We had our first triple dentist visit, figuring it would be more time efficient to take all three simultaneously than by individual appointments. We opted to take the double stroller in and carry kid number three; this way two were strapped in and accounted for while the third had teeth checked. We let them run on the way out of the office and they were more than excited for that.
The car ride over consisted of discussion about showing our teeth to the dentist, smiling and opening your mouth wide, but that wasn’t enough for them to cooperate and do that at the appointment. Emerie went first, figuring she would be cooperative because she’s a pro at her eye doctor visits. Unfortunately, she was not having it and screamed and fought it every moment. Her turn was very quick! Second up was Reagan, who remained chill and let him look in her mouth AND brush her teeth and everything. This is a pretty typical doctor visit attitude for her, unless you are messing with her ears. Harper went last, since she is typically the most anti-doctor (and goes to the doctor the least so that’s good) and because she hated the last dentist visit after chipping two teeth. Surprisingly she did great and smiled and let him brush her teeth without too much attitude. Kudos to the Libby Group for surviving a triplet appointment with minimal meltdowns from the children or adults!
We are looking forward to our last fall adventure for this year, Halloween, and jumping into the holiday season. While I already want to put Christmas lights up, rest assured I will at least hold out until Thanksgiving!
The past several weeks have been busy, full of outdoor adventures, “school” activities, grumpy evenings and toddler snuggles. While nothing incredibly interesting has occurred as we push into my favorite time of year (fall!), I have noted some silly things the girls do on a daily basis. Enjoy.
Harper is on a roll the past week, having two incident reports in two days. The first one involved her pointer finger and a bee sting, to which she proudly held up the band-aid to show us; the second a trip and fall face plant, resulting in a scratched up cheek, nose and forehead. The daycare teacher says she took the bee sting like a pro and patiently let them “fix” it; the face plant required a little more coddling and easing back into playtime, as expected. Luckily neither seem to be bothering her too much after a day or two.
Harper is getting really great at singing the ABCs and will randomly break out into song. She also joins in with her sisters for twinkle twinkle and will sing the full Jesus Loves Me song. She is also on a momma kick; everything is momma-do or ends with momma (it’s cute!). Things like sit down or help become sit down, momma or help, momma. She is certainly on the momma train this month.
That also includes evening movie time; the only time of day that we successfully get them to sit somewhat still and quietly. Pan! is still the favorite movie, followed by Moana and Llama Llama, but the most common request, ahem demand, is for Tangled. We’ve been watching it on repeat for a month now- while that does get old, I enjoy sitting on the couch and snuggling, especially since Harper will intently watch it and sit there for 30+ minutes, most of the time.
Lastly, the other morning I watched Harper put her coat on entirely by herself and was quite impressed. She laid it on the floor with the hood at the top, put both arms in the sleeves, stood up and pulled it over her head to her back. I imagine this must be something from daycare, but still. Genius right here! She is also the jewelry wearer and almost always has a bracelet (or five) on. This was Emerie for a time but has moved over to Harper enjoying the fancy style.
Harper likes the Little People Frozen sets and prefers the Kristoph and Ana (who she calls Elsa) figures. She is completely obsessed with every character in Tangled, especially the frying pan (which is considered a character in this house lol). She also often sleeps with the stuffed Hay Hay (chicken) from Moana.
Current favorite color: Emi color (purple)
Current favorite color to wear: Harper color (pink); unless it’s socks- she always picks blue socks- every single morning.
The daycare teachers tell me Emerie is thriving in school. We were concerned about the separation of classrooms at first- instead of being detrimental or upsetting, her independence is thriving. She is very attached to her teacher, Miss Maddie, and I’m sure that is one of the reasons for excelling. I’m told she is the class helper when it comes to cleaning up, which is an accurate depiction at home as well. The monkey bars are one of her favorite activities out on the playground. Breakfast and recess time have all the toddlers together, which certainly helps the mood when she misses her sisters; it’s great to see her doing so well.
Emerie will be the kiddo that remembers everyone’s name (NOT one of my skills). It took us a little while to figure out classmates’ names at school, not knowing exactly what she was saying at first. We now know that she has friends in class named Kyle, Luca (Reagan’s buddy apparently), Elise, Reya, and Kia (who she tells us she sees everyday). We haven’t figured out the rest yet, although there is an Emi in the older classroom that likes to share with us their names match. That usually follows by a who is who question as we walk by to pickup the girls for the day haha.
One of Emerie’s latest pretend activities involves putting stuffed animals into time out. This is usually completely unprompted and not right after someone is in trouble. She will sit them in the corner or on the stairs and tell them no! timeout! The usual inquiry of what they did answers with climb on table. So good, we are getting somewhere! Of the three, Emerie requires timeout the least, so it’s funny that she’s the one that pretend plays it. When Reagan or Harper are in it, she often tries to bring them a toy or join them for it, even if they are in time out from being mean to her. She’s a gentle soul!
Lastly, Emerie loves a couple of books, especially one that sings the nursery rhymes. It’s sooo cute, she repeats dumpty dumpty when the song plays and gets a big smile on her face. She also likes to sing Jesus Loves Me when her sisters are humming it.
She loves to put her dollies to nap and give them a blanket and a bottle and she enjoys playing with the bathroom Little People set. The Little People Olaf figurine is one of her favorites to play with, as well as any of the babies from the bathroom set- she is constantly putting blankets, or towels as she says, on them and putting them to nap. She still brings Harper and Reagan stuffed animals and ensures they are content to snuggle them at night or first thing in the morning. If they forget one upstairs, she always grabs and delivers it for them. Of the three, she is also the only one that will hand over a favored toy to her sister if we ask her to; the other two takes a bit more convincing but we are getting better.
Current favorite color: yellow
Current favorite color to wear: Emi color (purple). She will not let me put her in sometime that is all pink (like pajamas).
Right now Reagan is the rock star potty trainee. Daycare put her in underwear on day four- over the last month she’s had fewer and fewer accidents and pretty much spends the whole day using the big girl potty without diapers on. We aren’t quite as far along at home, generally because anytime we take Reagan to go, the other two majorly melt down if they don’t get to fully participate. We are still putting her in diapers when we go out for adventures, but yes, I know at some point we will have to take on the underwear 100% of the time. I optimistically think Reagan will be completely potty trained in the next month or so (other than nighttime and maybe nap), she can hold it and is doing so well. Hopefully the other two will be close behind and we can kick the diapers before the holidays!
Reagan loves to count and uses a different voice when she does it. I haven’t been able to capture it on video because she won’t do it when we ask; usually she just randomly starts counting in the car or while she’s playing with a toy. When all three participate, they always skip the number nine (we are working on that).
The Little People play sets and individual people are quite the hit right now. In fact, I am collecting new, small sets that seem to keep them entertained and less full meltdown when we get home for the evening. Reagan is completely obsessed with Little People potty set (sink/toilet/bathtub); so much that I actually ordered a second set so the toilet battles would become less frequent at the table. She is very attached to her Little People Elsa figure and carries it around the house all evening. I’ve found it clutched in her hand in the morning and in her coat pockets. So that it doesn’t get lost for school, she has to put Elsa to nap (much to her dismay), meaning in the doll crib in the living room with a blanket. The moment she gets home, she immediately gets her and holds her for the night. Thank goodness we haven’t lost it yet.
Reagan likes to be silly during book time and will laugh and ask you to read the monkey book. By read, I mean look at the first page of the book, where the sad monkey dropped its ice cream. She will then take the book from you and lick the ice cream on the page. Clearly this girl loves sweets like her father!
In the evening, Reagan always wants to cuddle with Craig and watch Tangled or Moana while laying under a blanket and on a pillow. Not any pillow, but the one with the white pillow case on it; if she can’t have that one then the world is just not okay. In the morning she is all about me, wanting me to get her dressed and do her hair, wanting me to walk her out to the car while Craig takes Harper and then Emerie. It’s fun to see how her minds works on the specific things she believes should be done by Mom while other things are Dad functions. For the most part we placate her wishes, letting her prefer both of us depending on the occasion!
Current favorite color: blue (sometimes green)
Current favorite color to wear: green, or Emerie’s purple tennis shoes
A few other interesting things in our household this month.
If you are in the mood to watch Tangled, Moana, or every once in a while Frozen, well then you should come over and hang out. The house preference is movies with songs, but we haven’t convinced them yet that the old timey Disney movies like Aladdin and Jungle Book are amazing, so a few goodies remain on repeat.
Tangled, being the number one hit movie in our household, causes a lot of toddler discussion about 1) pan! (frying pan + movie weapon), 2) Max! (we are starting to get into horses, you are welcome, Tami!), 3) princesses (a very popular word in the house right now), and 4) excited shrieks to tell us that when Rapunzel is singing in the Ugly Ducking Saloon scene, she clearly should be in time-out for standing on the table.
We have entered the bows portion of toddler hood (finally!), both having enough hair for them to stay on AND cooperative, little girls. All three now allow “pretties” to go in their hair and Craig is becoming a pro at it! I bought a few more bow clip sets with lots of colors, allowing the girls to decide what color bows (and then socks) they want to wear for the day. Can you guess what colors they want in their hair? You would think it would be the one they wear the most (pink purple teal) right? So far if Emerie’s hair is last, Harper and Reagan always want at least one purple one. Emerie is into black and pink ones the past few days, no purple. Harper usually opts for a pink with her purple one; Reagan is the most consistent to want her own color, whether that is blue or green. It’s fun to see what colors they latch onto as they get older- especially since we are trying to stay consistent for the daycare teachers, until they can easily tell who is who. It probably didn’t help everyone wore each other’s coats to school the other day because no one wanted their own. Also, if they don’t match on outfits (say we have two matching coats and the third was left at school), that becomes a show stopper and everyone has to have something in their own colors.
We experienced our first fire alarm beep since the girls were born (I think), which doesn’t entirely count since it was two separate beeps and that’s all. I was always concerned when they were tiny that the alarm would go off (for whatever cooking reason) and we’d have a super meltdown by all three, or it would be in the middle of the night and wake everyone up quite unhappily. Luckily that never happened. Well, those two beeps made quite the impression on the little ones at this age; after five days, they are still reminding me about loud beep and making sure I remember it. After the first day of constant reminders, we told them the beeps went night night and are gone. So now they remind us the loud beep is night night / loud beep went buh-bye. Harper especially tells me loud beep no like. It’s interesting to see that their minds still remember it, even those it was only about five whole seconds of their lives!
Loud beep no like
Miss Harper Anne
I will end this blog with a chuckle…the children were driving me INSANE after spending the whole day doing activities, stripping off their clothes and not wanting to nap well- after dinner I just gave up in stopping them from the naked, toddler rage and just went with it. You can only fight so long when you are outnumbered. Their answer? They told me to shake it offmomma, using hand gestures. At least they are putting their musical choices to good use. Sigh.
The past weekend was chocked full of toddler adventuring and getting out of the house. We find that getting the girls out and about drastically helps with the grumpiness side effect of daycare transition and keeps our sanity intact, so we made plans to do our first real road trip and drive down to the Seward Sealife Center.
As usual, I was super over packed for a half day trip. Part of this is to ensure we have everything needed for whatever comes up, the other part knows if an accident shuts down the highway on our way home (which frequently happens), then we need to have enough supplies to survive a night in a hotel. Thank goodness we didn’t end up testing how that would go, but you never know and preparation is key (I am a planner, after all…)! So in addition to the snacks, lunch food, drinks and extra clothes and coats, I had everyone’s cuddle blanket, stuffed animals, binkies hidden away, and the bedtime book. This clearly tells me we need to purchase a camper so we can adventure for whole weekends and not just half days. Then I won’t feel so over packed!
Everyone was up and ready to go by 7:45, with our fellow triplet road trippers meeting up for the drive down. We anticipated the girls would not sleep on the way down, so Craig sat in the third row and helped entertain them (ahem…keep them from fighting…), supplied a constant stream of snacks, and kept us from a two hour scream fest. I enjoyed my coffee and the beautiful scenery from the driver’s seat.
We arrived right on time for our sealife center reservations. The girls were released from the strollers pretty early on; eventually it was seven toddlers running amuck toward each exhibit, someone always trying to herd them in the right direction as they excitedly screamed about the animals. The sea lions were a hit, especially when they were up close and appeared soooo big. Everyone touched the starfish and managed to get their hoodies all wet. Everyone threw fits going back into the strollers. It was a very pleasant, albeit FAST, visit that we will have to do again soon.
The over energized toddlers released a vast amount of energy at the park down the path along the water. The weather was cool with bits of sun and wind, but overall very pleasant for a (almost) fall day in our great state. The park was amazing, with only two entrances, allowing the parents to breathe a little that they wouldn’t immediately run out to the water. Lunch went much smoother for our fellow triplet friends than for mine. We didn’t bring the food from the car so they were less than thrilled at the thought of sitting for a few more snacks instead of real food; they wanted to run around and go back to the playground.
All in all, it may have been a busy, stimulating day, but also a good one. It was really nice to get out of Anchorage for a few hours and I look forward to longer trips like this next summer. The girls napped the whole way home; Emerie was out before we left city limits and Harper and Reagan chatted a little and pretty much fell asleep mid-sentence.
To continue the weekend adventures, we went down to the Kincaid beach the following day. This includes walking down a massive paved trail until you break off toward the beach (and unfortunately walking back up it later), dragging strollers down a path not meant for them, and having to pull said gear back up that steep path at the end of the trek.
We succeeded at this with about twelves kiddos and only four strollers, lots of snacks and fun beach gear. The girls did GREAT. They didn’t explore more than 20′ away from us the whole time we were down there, they played with their shovels and buckets and walked around with the sand in their toes. Luckily the sun stayed out for most of it and it wasn’t too cold…Alaska beaches aren’t warm and we were ready for that.
The most exciting part of the morning was getting stuck on the beach side of the trail due to a mama and baby moose blocking our way. The girls kept pointing and yelling moose from the stroller. At least 20 people were held up by these creatures, who assumed we would patiently wait for them to have their lunch before we walked by. Other hikers went through the brush around them, something you cannot do with a double chariot and a ton of loud, little people. Eventually they moved far enough that we could walk quickly by and go up the huge hill that took us toward the car. It was another great morning, although it took a good hour into nap time for Emerie and Harper to drift off to sleep. This will definitely be a spot to do again; this time we will warn our friends to wear hiking shoes and bring better gear…which we did not do this time around (oops Megan!).
One of the most adventure packed weekends we’ve had in a while- in a good way- hopefully the rest of fall can proceed in a similar fashion.
Two weeks in and we are still surviving. The girls are doing great at daycare; in fact, according to their teachers, they are settling in better than expected! This just goes to prove that little kiddos are very resilient and I hope we continue this trend as they grow up. One morning this week Emerie even confirmed she understood she was headed to school for the day, saying”Maddie” (who is her preschool teacher who she has closely bonded with!).
At pickup last week I asked if the girls were climbing on the tables during meal times, running away when going outside or refusing to sit still for nap time; all typical things I would expect from my tiny toddlers. Things they all certainly do for their parents. The teachers looked surprised, answering no to all questions. So apparently this is just an issue that Craig and I have with our children and they have better behavior when we don’t witness it! They also have some magical skill at convincing them to nap.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take much to get them to comply with the new nap rules when they aren’t at home. In recent months naps have become much longer and needed to keep everyone pleasant for the evening. This has greatly improved from the 45 minute naps we had for quite a while, in a period my brain has mostly blocked out due to lack of sleep and stress. We also continue to have growth spurts that require more sleep and they make my babies look more like little girls every day. I love it and hate it at the same time.
The past two weeks has equated to more tired kiddos, which means that the parents FINALLY got a few full nights of sleep, without any kiddos pulled out of their cribs from anxiety or rage. This is a very uncommon thing the past year or so; almost every night requires some kind of intervention to keep someone happy. The other night I settled Emerie, put her blanket back on her, and she slept the rest of the night. That’s a little strange since she almost always sleeps through the night and her sisters’ fussiness. Harper is starting to improve after several months of extreme anxiety about her bed and soon I believe she will be back to sleeping in her room all night long. At this point I don’t mind laying down in the guestroom with her, mostly because I know one day I will miss that closeness- I should enjoy it while I can! Reagan’s sleep level varies between her sisters; about half the time she will call out at the crack of dawn for one of us and half the time she’ll sleep all the way through; sometimes we can settle her and sometimes not. Needless to say, the fact that we don’t wake up to full on panicked screaming at two AM every night is a blessing and much appreciated. My mom ears still pick up the momma! calls from the other room just as well as the MOMMAAA! version.
The new routine means the girls are up about 60-90 minutes earlier than normal. This is likely a direct factor why they are participating in nap time, being up so early, and also to the grumpiness in the evenings. Yes, the grumpiness. The girls are excited to see me at pickup, excited for their snack in the car on the ten minute drive home, excited to see Daddy, and as soon as we get settled in the front door, the rage and fussiness reappears for most of the evening. I try to remind myself it’s just the new routine adjustment period and the transition from daycare to home, but MAN, it takes a TON of patience after a long and busy workday. We mostly skipped this daily transition with the nanny because we were able to settle in from work while she was still there. Little did I know how much that helped each day! Fingers crossed this all improves after a couple of weeks.
One funny story out of this week. The girls “drove” a friend’s powerwheel truck at a park date last weekend and had a great time (other than the constant fighting over it). The truck was wide enough for three across and move on the pavement, inspiring us to do a little local, online shopping and find used ones to enjoy. We drove around the neighborhood the first night with all three crammed on and visited with a neighbor who has a similar vehicle. The second night we went down our street, in the rain, hoping for a few happy minutes as we transitioned from daycare to home. As you can imagine, using two vehicles when you have three toddlers doesn’t always go as smoothly as one would like. The three photos below say it all, some real life right here…it started out with smiles and giggles down the street, stretched into fighting over whose foot was on each gas pedal or wanting to be anywhere but where they were sitting at that moment, and ended with three total meltdowns in the middle of the street, both cars left on a neighbor’s front lawn, said meltdowners carried screaming down the street into the house (once we caught up with the little marathoners), and Craig retrieving the vehicles and carrying them home in the rain while I worked to calm the masses in the living room. True story, folks. You can’t make these things up.
All in all, I won’t complain too much about the grumpiness. It’s a phase, albeit not a very fun one, but we will get through it and move onto the next thing. I know the girls have fun all day while we are able to productively finish our workdays. I greatly appreciate the potty training efforts that I don’t have to do all day right now. I greatly appreciate knowing they are learning new things and becoming a little more independent, even though I’m not totally ready for it. And I’m greatly looking forward to the upcoming fall activities and more outdoor adventures, hopefully with happy and excited toddlers in tow.