Seward (Day) Adventures

I’ve learned to pack some extras before going on a drive anywhere out of our city and this week I am very thankful for that predisposition. We loaded up yesterday morning to adventure down to Seward and the SeaLife Center for the day…and then come back home…right?!

Wrong! Can you hear Mother Nature laughing?! She likes to do that type of thing to us (aka triplets!…).

We started the day with quite a snowy and windy drive out of town. It was close to questionable if we should call it and head home, but our group is tough and headed along with eleven kids and five adults spanning three cars. We eventually made it to a wet and more breakup looking Seward- a TON of snacks were eaten and movie clips and songs played; we managed to get there without too much grumpiness. Having Grandma and/or Daddy in the very backseat, feeding the food into the tiny minions hands definitely helped.

We unloaded and hustled the kiddos through the wind and inside to see the sea lions! as the girls quoted the whole drive down. All the kids did great checking out the exhibits and actually returning when called. As you might imagine, it is not easy to smoothly move through anywhere with a headcount of ELEVEN kids under age eight…but hey, we like a challenge and it went really well! They really enjoyed the large sea lion exhibit, looking at the different types of fish and the temporary touch tank (since the normal one is under renovation). There were a lot of little hands touching the sea urchins and star fish with great enthusiasm as well as the comments about the cold water. The kids lasted a little longer than our visit last summer but we still went through the whole thing faster than preferable. Everyone picked out a stuffed animal at the gift shop (three black bear requestes were vetoed since we already have them!) and Emerie ended up leaving with a cute, green turtle, Harper grabbed a red octopus, and Reagan a spotted grey seal. Reagan keeps asking me to hold her seal so her sisters can’t take it. Silly kids.

Instead of sitting down at a restaurant and eating lunch, we dressed everyone in full snow gear and pushed them out of the vehicle to play at Seward’s awesome toddler park. It was windy and very icy and met with great enthusiasm from the whole bunch. I cannot wait for summer when we can visit again under more pleasant conditions. This outdoor activity inspired half the kids to demand use of the portable potty chair we brought and several clothing changes. By the third kid we were ready to load up and head back home.

I do have to mention one of my favorite moments from this adventure. Two of the kiddos in our group were chatting and one noted to the other that she was related to the triplets. She proceeded to say that she can’t tell them apart so she calls them Strawberry (Harper), Grape (Emerie) and Blueberry (Reagan). I love seeing how other kids view the girls when they indeed look identical unless you are constantly around them and can distinguish by personalities or small differential traits like chipped teeth. This makes me want to design them cute fruit shirts!!

The touch pool!

Cue a change in background music…because little did we know the real adventure for the day was just beginning. The roads appeared clearer than the way in, with the temperature finally above freezing and the roads more wet than icy, making us feel confident and optimistic on a faster drive home than that morning. This thought was shattered when our speed demon driver of the group, Heather, called about the time we arrived in Moose Pass with a warning the highway was closed from an avalanche, making the road impassable.

We managed to meet up at the pull off ahead of it with our whole kid entourage. More snacks were consumed and we made the executive decision to head to Kenai and see if the road would clear in a few hours. At this point I wasn’t sure how well the girls would do with more time in the car, especially after a busy morning and no one napping yet; overall they handled it really well. I should also mention avalanche news inspired us to open the wrapped presents from Cousin Jamie and crew, because why not? The singing baby sharks greatly assisted in keeping toddler moods pleasant as we detoured an unplanned direction.

Before everyone started running around.

After hitting up the Soldotna Fred Meyer for more snacks (of course), melatonin and changes of clothes for the rest of the group (we had enough for us due to our forethought!), we sat down for a nice dinner in the backroom of a restaurant in Kenai (the name is already escaping me). The whole evening adventure worked out well for two reasons, 1) we have a great group of kiddos and parents that help each other, and 2) the backroom allowed for said hyper children to run circles, snack on some dinner, run more circles, and repeat. By the time we finished dinner, it was already past the girls’ normal bedtime and yet we weren’t completely immersed in meltdowns. This was both surprising and glorious, and shows that when given the chance, kids can adapt to things. We haven’t tested this theory very much in the past three years, since the triplet bubble remains tight and regimented, so it is really great to know when a wrench gets thrown in your plans, it is survivable!

By the time dinner was over the highway was not yet clear and open. Instead of chancing driving that distance again and not getting through with very tired toddlers in the car, in the dark on icy road conditions, we opted to hit up a hotel for the night and take our chances with convincing the girls to sleep somewhere new.

Checking out the hotel potty

As we drove to the hotel, the toddler questions in the backseat eventually ended with a we are going on an “venture” and met with acceptance, even though they had no idea what that meant.

It was close to dark and way past standard bedtime by the time we made it back to Soldotna’s hotel and the girls (and adults) were definitely losing steam. First things first, everyone HAD to check out the bathroom, test to see if the potty is loud (which it wasn’t), open the mini fridge, push microwave buttons until it turned on, and jump on the beds. No pajamas meant the girls slept in their dresses from the day, but luckily had their normal bedtime stuffies and a single binkie we packed for each. Within an hour or so everyone was snuggled in a bed and asleep; Emerie snoring quietly next to me while holding her monkey, Harper cuddled with Craig on the second bed, and Reagan sound asleep next to Grandma Sue on the pull out sofa bed. And everyone slept WELL and extra pillows meant no one fell off the sides!

We made it!

There isn’t much to tell about the ride home, with the avalanche cleared and no snow falling or potty stops needed, but I will readily admit I am really excited for summer conditions to get here already so we can try out more planned out-of-town adventures. Three years mostly confined to this city is a long time and we are lucky to live in a central location with many fun places within a few, short hours. It is nice to know it might be doable to try new places out and let the girls see other parts of Alaska that we grew up enjoying. Things should go fine as long as there are enough snacks, an overnight bag in the car just in case, extra hands and lots of car ride activities!

Birthday Plans

I planned to write a super cute birthday blog today during nap time…but the reality of triplet and homeowner life had other plans.

In fact, this is our only family photo of the day, and man do we all look tired!

After staying up late last night, the girls slept in a bit this morning and then excitedly got up to open presents. Reagan stood up in her crib and demanded to go do presents first thing! Knowing that only a few would actually be opened before they wanted to play with them, we opted to give everyone their small, individual gift, their dolly sleeping bags and a couple other little things. The girls all traded their individual gifts with each other, with Emerie wanting Reagan’s driving garbage truck, Harper wanting Emerie’s doll, and Reagan wanting Harper’s Gus Gus plush. So much for guessing that on my part.

We had a couple friends over to play and eat some lunch like we do most Saturdays. The crack in our plan began after a refusal to nap (Emerie wanted to but her sisters were preventing it) and finally giving up on that reality about three o’clock. By that time the water was pooling more under the carpet in the family room and enough to be more than a suspected dog pee puddle.

The girls went upstairs with Grandma entertainment while we tried to pinpoint the leak by pulling up the soaking wet carpet and pad, unscrewing one of the pantry cabinets and pulling it out, and eventually cutting the drywall out in the garage. This proved water leaking but no luck figuring out the source. One of our great neighbors popped over and helped figure out it was dripping down the wall and coming from above; about this time the ceiling started to drip and sag by the washer in the family room. Long story short, the girls were very curious when parts of the ceiling were gone and more than dripping a decent amount of water onto the floor while we scrambled to put totes out to catch the run off and continued to try to find the leak.

Watching the downstairs destruction

Long story short, our master bathroom vanity had a pin size leak putting pressure on a fitting (I don’t speak plumbing….) and spewing into the wall, down the floor joists, across the ceiling of the family room, and down the wall along the garage until we noticed it it pooling on the floor. The leak had to be relatively recent because everything isn’t moldy, but long enough to travel that distance before we noticed it.

Some great friends loaded the girls up for a dinner date at their house so we could get the plumber out and cleanup the major catastrophe we call our house. We managed to prioritize what to put back… such as rehanging the TV and hooking the internet back up so Disney movies can be played…oh and covering up carpet tack strips, vacuuming and busting out the fans.

I feel terrible that we missed not only eating dinner with our littles on their birthday, but also not getting to enjoy the whole day together and feeling majorly stressed out. No nap days are not my favorite (shocking) and neither are major, unplanned housing renovations! Unopened presents are still sitting in the living room and I need a nap!

All in all, the night ended with cake at 8 pm. The girls joined in to sing Happy Birthday and ate mostly frosting and berries while licking more frosting off their decorative princess toppings. We snuggled and watched a few minutes of Cinderella before they wanted to go to bed.

What a busy day. Hopefully tomorrow is a little more relaxing (if we can ignore the wet floors and the open (unplanned vaulted!?) ceiling downstairs.

If we missed phone calls with you today…let’s try tomorrow, when it’s not raining on the inside of our house.

Age 2 Family Favorites

Everyone that knows me knows I am a fan of taking pictures of everything. This “problem” has grown exponentially since having children and more and more I’m trying to resist the effort to snap a photo versus being in the moment and enjoying it. All these photos do pay off at the end of each year when I can look over the fun adventures and challenges we’ve faced as a family, as a parent, as a society; and recognize the happy and fun parts in the midst of a very interesting age two.

Here are my favorite family snapshots from March 2020 through March 2021:

The Anchorage Zoo is always a fun stop; I’m unsure if I prefer it in the summer or winter more! The summer time brings warmth and less gear to drag around, but the snow makes the experience so gorgeous on a sunny day and allows us to go without a stroller (in other words, they can’t outrun us in their snow gear!).


Best friend play dates occurred so much over this year and I owe Aunt Janelle a ton of credit for keeping me sane throughout the chaos of 2020. This is one of the few photos I have of everyone a good sport at the same time!


Grandma Sue was here for the 4th of July this year, where we went to the wildlife preserve and made a few exploration stops along the Seward Highway. It was a beautiful day to see live bears and moose and check out the mountain views. Grandma rode in the back seat and entertained the tiny minions on the drive down and back and they loved it.


I didn’t realize until looking back how very tan our household was from spending every day outside for the whole summer. The girls loved playing on the back play sets, “riding” their tricycles on the back deck and sporting swimming suits through the sprinkler pad and small pool. Maybe this summer they’ll stop yelling about the cold water! and allow us to stop dragging hot water buckets out to fill the pool.


Fun morning adventure out to the local sand dunes. Easy trek to it with three littles and a beautiful, cool but sunny day. The girls enjoyed walking in the sand without their shoes and exploring up the big hill.


Yay for neighborhood walks all spring, summer and fall. We are blessed to live in a neighborhood with multiple playgrounds, a gravel walking trail and a creek! It has gotten us through many grumpy baby days and allowed us to get some fresh air, sanity and a lot of mosquito bites.


Can’t complete a summer in Alaska without a trip to the Sealife Center. For our first, big roadtrip, it went really well! The girls loved the park along the water more than anything else other than maybe touching the starfish in the aquarium and the silly seal outside. They napped the whole way home and it was quite the fun (and tiring!) day.


This is one of my favorite photos from the whole year, the day the girls went berry picking up in Arctic Valley for the first time. We went a bit late and missed most of the wild blueberries, opting to pick a good amount of moss berries while the girls looked for any left over blueberries to eat. It was such a fun day and I can’t wait to go in 2021!


Random visits from Cousin Tyler are adored by the littles and you should see them fight over the phone for a moment to FaceTime with him.


While Halloween was a more unorthodox this year than most, we still took our little Aurora, Cinderella and Pan (Rapuzel) princesses around the neighborhood and were joined by Papa Cliff, Cousin Tyler and Uncle Will. It was cold but the the girls were good sports and enjoyed some candy at the end of the night.


Some winter days getting out of the house meant donning snow gear and heading to the dog park for a walk and snowy adventure. Most of these ended with french fries and a hot drink…


As you might imagine, it’s a rare moment to trap these four in a photo together, especially one that doesn’t include some form of flour or butter.


It didn’t take long for the girls to overcome their fear of the loud four wheeler and understand how much fun could be had on it! Constant four wheel trips around the neighborhood as well as seventeen houses down to our friends occurred throughout the winter. As their circle snow pile grew, so did the requests to visit Jessie and crew and her chickens!


Papa Cliff visits are loved by all and the girls constantly ask when he is coming to visit again. While FaceTiming almost nightly is a great way to stay in touch, they really love his visits and all want his attention and presents!

This is our only family photo on Christmas Day. We ended up shuffling the kids out the door after presents and breakfast and trekking around the neighborhood on the four wheeler and sled. Our neighbors were kind enough to snap a quick photo (note the donut trails on the ground behind us!)


Grandma Sue’s baking extravaganzas are always meant for the memory books! This includes pink donuts and pecan bars, homemade scones and dinners, mini toddler decorated pizzas, and a LOT of flour spread across the house on a daily basis. It also means some pretty great food for us to eat!


Cousin visits are the best and we love that most of Craig’s family is only a short plane ride away. Have to celebrate these times with some sweets and adventures around the city.


Walks at the nearby boardwalk, even on cold days, give the chance for the girls to search for their favorite moosie and get some fresh air. It wasn’t so long ago they were running down the plants as new runners, excited to see if they could outrun us. How fast it goes!


I will end on our Christmas village snapshot plus Kaden. Gingerbread villages, hot chocolate (and spilling it everywhere) and running around one of the local hotels turned out to be a fun morning.

Drop us a comment on any family photos you guys have over this past year that I haven’t included here!

Getting into the Groove

Week one juggling full time work and full time kiddos went off better than expected. I’m not sure why I feel my attitude is better than our two week daycare closure in November, but I’m feeling optimistic and strong that we can manage this daycare gap and come out alive and thriving on the other end.

Don’t quote me on that…it could simply be the coffee and wine speaking as I’m well aware it is the dead of winter and being contained inside is hard. But! One week down and we are looking onward to the next one. Much of this is credited to the help of some wonderful friends, one that came over for an evening so I could have an art night with the bestie, two that came over one night so Craig and I could have our first date night in I don’t know how long, one that brought us coffee and donuts bright and early, one that opened her house up for a play date, and of course the bestie who visited several times so we could make work calls and survive playing inside. Each and every one of you…we thank you!!

The Amazon and Target shopping is a bit out of control since we pulled the kids from school, with my mind on what activities I need to encourage each week to keep them learning and thriving. Anyone with ideas on easy, manageable times three crafts while one versus three, I’m all ears!! So far we’ve come up with a few ideas, including:

  • Triple coloring sheets arrived yesterday so everyone gets to color the same sheet each day. First day was the #1 and today we all colored Little Baby Bum animals that my biased self thinks are soooo cute. Harper spent a lot of time perfecting her animals and everyone thought was amazing when the same monkey getting colored was on the tv!
  • Play dough: stencils, cut outs and of course new colors. Now if I could get them to stop eating and licking it (Harper and Emerie!!)
  • Mini button game: haven’t tried yet but it’s little buttons that shape into animals.
  • All things puzzles! You can never have too many puzzles…errr…until you are cleaning a million pieces off the floor and always missing a few…
  • DIY paper plate face art, animals edition
  • Jewelry sets with string
  • Stamps and sticker time: this is a new and now favored activity. We decorate paper plates with stickers, deck out little plastic boxes and the wooden food toys. So far they aren’t all over the house yet so that is a win!
  • Reusable sticker scenes still cover the backdoor windows and now the actual sticker books
  • Watercolors (and I fear for my life lol)
  • Valentine’s Day crafts for next week…I might have gone a bit overboard but WHY NOT?!
  • Magnet blocks: I finally caved and purchased a set after watching another toddler friend construct awesome things out of hers!
  • Fused bead kits: we haven’t tried yet and might be a wild idea but I’m excited! I always loved them as a kid.
  • Spray bottles: I am excited to try a fellow twin mom’s toddler entertainment hack…”washing” the car in the garage with mini spray bottles.

Much time is spent each day playing with Little People and their sets, play pretend with princesses and dolls, block building (tower time according to them) and dollhouse time, along with coloring, some cooking and dance parties. Don’t get me wrong, the level of disagreeing, tantrums and impatience is often off the charts, but let’s not dwell on that! It also extremely helps that Craig and I bounce back and forth between the kids and work, because, well we all know that the break of those two options is work! Breakfast time is the calmest part of the day and allows us to not only make breakfast, but answer the phone and respond on more emails while they quietly play and watch some nursery songs with their monkeys and princesses. This may become my favorite part of the day, second to right after nap time when everyone wants to snuggle.

First tattoos in a long time!

And that leads me into why we are still surviving; so far nap is going wonderfully. It’s almost relaxing to get a few quiet hours of laptop work done while everyone snoozes away across the room and the other parent conducts work meetings!

One morning we broke out tattoos. The girls thoroughly enjoyed Auntie Janelle getting everyone a princess and a heart or butterfly, with Paris doing a matching one at home! The girls demanded we call Papa Cliff and Grandma Sue and show them.

In addition to our artwork, letters and numbers, we are working on learning names. The girls have each others’ names memorized, including middle names, and will also tell you both mine and Craig’s. What’s cute is they never say “Craig;” it is always “daddy’s name is Craig.” Whereas mine is just Becca…not to be confused with the teacher Rebecca, so I differentiate that a lot. They also ask us to remind them Grandma Sue and Anne and Papa Cliff and Lon’s names and they are getting increasingly good at them. They randomly asked for Koda’s name too…which is pretty funny since it’s, well, Koda.

The phrase of the week is I asked for it. This often relates to answering what movie or drink they want at a particular moment, someone will respond with Moana, I asked for it already or Reagan asked for it already, momma (usually Harper). Not sure where they picked it up but Harper started the trend and now Emerie and Reagan say it too.

Right before they took off running on us.

We are in full parent mode on breaking a few bad habits- this is likely due to minimal socializing outside the house and daycare all winter and something that just has to be learned through practice. We continue to harp on everyone to improve listening and obeying while we are out and about, with Emerie complying the best and Harper and Reagan taking turns on actually doing it. Emerie prefers to hold your hand and has no desire to run off, while the other two seem to embrace their adventurous nature. The few excursions we’ve attended lately resulted in several major tantrums on the ride home, when we give them all the chance to obey and walk to the car and climb in and they choose to run into the parking lot or the opposite direction. This is apparently a hurdle to overcome for Harper and Reagan, Emerie complies every time and has received rewards for it while the other two scream they “want to listen!” but don’t actual listen. Obedience is a bit better getting out of the car than loading up and they will stand by us and wait until everyone is out. I attribute this to being in a new place so they don’t want to venture off; not so much to obeying us. Hopefully our disciplinary measures will be enough by the time the snow melts or we are in for some interesting (and grumpy) toddler adventures next season.

And just like that, we are into week two and the start of February! That means spring is right around the corner….right?!

All of the Glamor

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

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

This is more realistic!

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

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

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

Grumpy Harper

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

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

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

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

A not-perfect photo that depicts my day perfectly.

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

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

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

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

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

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