Interests and Personalities

It’s that time of year ago, to celebrate another birthday. I can hardly believe it! In honor of year two, I am breaking out the girls separately to highlight that while they are sisters and triplets, they are also individuals with different interests and personalities too!

Birthday girls in their birthday dresses!

Due to the eventful societal issues right now, two year checkups were canceled so we measured heights and weights ourselves. In my head the girls were already 30 pounds and I was way off! While I look forward to turning the car seats forward facing this year, we are definitely not ready to trigger that yet.

At two, the girls constantly call to each other and it’s very cute to see. Emerie is the chattiest and consistently talks to Harpa and Ray-gi; Harper says Emmi and Ray Ray; and Reagan says Harpa and Emmi. Emerie also calls herself Emmi (emphasis on the “i”) when she explains something happening to her. The girls also say Momma (me), Daddy (Craig), Papa (Lon and Cliff), Nanny (Chris), and we are still working on Grandma…and not to be forgotten…Koda and Kalli (dogs) are consistently spoken to and about. They are not on a first name basis with the cats yet.

We are amidst the terrible twos and have been for several months now. While the scale of tantrums is less than I would have guessed, everyone has their moments. The loving moments trade back and forth with the hitting, biting, crying, and toy stealing…and timeouts. The toddler grumpiness will be interesting over the next year, and I’ve yet to capture a full-on, triple temper tantrum but rest assured, I am prepared to catch that on video!

In the midst of that, small tasks allow the girls to be more helpful. Everyone throws their laundry downstairs at bedtime, sometimes help clean up toys, and will put their boots and coats away when asked. If directed, they will bring a toy or juice over to their sister as well as a binkie for comfort.

Harper

Height: 35.5″ tall

Weight: 27.8 pounds

Harper Anne is two!

Harper is a social butterfly and quite a sweetheart. She gives amazing hugs. But, she is also what I would call a “bulldozer;” once she puts her mind to something, you better go with it or move out of the way. This goes for her sisters as well, they can be collateral damage when she is on a mission. Like her dad, she is either still or moving one hundred miles per hour… something we learned when she started walking and immediately started running. I certainly consider her the sprinter of the household.

She is our best sleeper and a grump when she misses a nap or has an interrupted night of sleep. If Emerie or Reagan abruptly awakes her in the middle of the night, it is very difficult to coax her back to sleep in her crib. If they don’t wake her up, she sleeps fine. She wakes up in the morning happy and ready to start the day, but usually grumpy after nap time because someone woke her up before she was ready.

She is not a fan of snuggling under a blanket, but loves to wear them around the house, curled around her head and shoulders. She absolutely refuses to have one over her feet to go to sleep. She loves to pretend drive the toddler cars that are currently in the dining room and will sit there and spin the wheel and giggle.

By this age I figured everyone would have a bit of realistic “fear” in them from the possibility of getting hurt. Harper? Not a chance. She’s a daredevil and freely trust falls off things, expecting you to catch her, climbs as high as she can for the view, and dives off things just to try it. While she doesn’t like to be cold and outside on frigid days, but she enjoys the excitement of sled rides and when we swing her around on it. She also likes to help shovel.

She is by far the chillest baby of the three (unless her hair is getting done), even from infancy, and she still loves watching and interacting with animals. It seems to be quite the heartbreak when Nanny Chris goes home each day, as she sadly called out Nanny to us for a good five minutes before we distract her with something else! Two of her front teeth are chipped (and did not enjoy the dentist), she likes salty over sweet, and she loves an occasional snack of dog food, that happens more often than I care to admit.

Emerie

Height: 34.5″ tall

Weight: 25.2 pounds

Emerie Faye is two!

Emerie is our little peanut and the smallest of the three. She doesn’t let that stop her and can definitely hold her own with her sisters. She enjoys discovering how things work, building blocks, and playing with the little people dollhouses. She runs around the house with a purse filled with all kinds of goodies or a dolly, yelling “buh-bye!” Any small box or container becomes hours of entertainment, whether it is filled with snow, an ice cube, snacks, or random specs of dirt.

She is the main talker (maybe I should say the most demanding) of the three and mimics words like a pro. She then teaches them to her sisters; even relatively large words, such as caterpillar, broccoli, french fries, and so on. Her most common words are shut, no, and Daddy and while she doesn’t yet say colors, she seems to believe the color pink is called “Harpa.” She is also a daredevil and climbs on anything and everything. She can do a somersault and enjoys running away from you and standing on her head, just so you can’t change her clothes.

Her latest obsession is Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and the song must be played first thing each day…and repeated…and repeated. She has smooth dance moves and enjoys solo and group dancing. After three months (Christmas present from Shelly!), dancing with the singing monkey is still as fun as ever and she will tote that animal all over the house.

All of her front teeth are intact (for the moment!). She is a good sport at doctor appointments, even when she’s visited so many. One of her favorite places is outside, hot or cold, and she would stay and play for hours if we’d let her (and didn’t have two others!). After a sled ride she generally melts down when forced back inside. This would be easier if she would wear her gloves, but so far she doesn’t mind being outside with tiny, frozen fingers.

She doesn’t mind getting her hair done and getting “pretty.” She likes to check out Mom’s jewelry and will tell me it’s pretty with a big smile. Lastly, she is the only one of the three that actively helps clean up the house- she will put toys back into the bins and close them, even before any prompting from an adult.

Reagan

Height: 35.5″ tall (identical to Harper)

Weight: 27.8 pounds (identical to Harper)

Reagan Jean is two!

Reagan remains the shyest of the three and is the binkie baby. Not only does she constantly yell “binkie” at you, but she often has one in each hand and one in her mouth. Her love of binkies reaches to her sisters and she is more than willing to share one when a sister is upset. Little does she know this phase of her life is nearing an end, when the binkies will be out of sight and hopefully out of mind… that might be a rough week. She is a daredevil in some ways, but also willing to hang back and see what Harper and Emerie do first.

Since infancy, she always loved to dance and definitely has rhythm from her Dad (thank goodness). She often grabs a blanket and binkie and sits on the couch with you for a snuggle session. At bedtime, she must have a blanket on before turning off the light and she will remind you to do it. Of course, of the three, Reagan requires the least amount of sleep and she knows it! She fights nap time and bedtime the most and ends up in our room to settle more often than the other two. On the other hand, iff we are in the car, she is always the first one asleep and will sleep like a champ.

Taking after her Dad, she LOVES sugar and sweets and is adamant we share anything we are eating that relates to dessert. Her front, right tooth is nearly chipped in half from a fall in the dining room a couple months back; although she didn’t mind the dentist nearly as much as Harper did. If you want to check her ears, she is much less thrilled. Teeth? They seem okay. And she continues to climb like a monkey, so fingers crossed for her other tooth…

While cleaning up toys is not a constant practice with her, she does love to run around the room with the toy vacuums and pretend to clean the floor and rugs. I think she will be the kid to vacuum the house once she’s bigger, as the real vacuum is quite intriguing. She greatly enjoys bath time and standing at the faucet and playing, but will run from you when you try to brush her hair afterwards. Luckily, with a small bribery of chocolate chips, she doesn’t fight getting her hair done.

Reagan is the most advanced in terms of potty training- she’s been telling us her “business” for a few months now, although sitting on the potty chair is more of a game than a practicality. A dirty diaper must be changed immediately or the yelling will continue. She will tell you and then walk up the stairs and point to where you should go to fix the issue. She was also the first to figure out clothing removal: shoes, socks, pants, shirts, and now her diaper. She will not wear her pajamas at bedtime unless we put her in a full sleeper and safety pin the zipper until sleep sack time. In the car, she is the first to remove her shoes and often trades boots with whoever is sitting next to her so they are mismatched.


Favorites

While many foods and activities are the same for all three, if you really look at it, some traits are different. Here are some of the highlights between the three, in order of Harper / Emerie / Reagan.

Favorite Food: green beans, broccoli and corn, cheese, sausage, applesauce and white rice

Favorite Snack: fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, apples and peanut butter

Favorite Toy: pink riding airplane / singing monkey or any container / mini vacuum

Favorite Song: Tay Tay’s (Taylor Swift) Shake It Off, Baby Shark, and This Little Light of Mine

Favorite TV Show/Movie: Llama Llama (if you can count 30 seconds of watching TV as a favorite…they love and dance to the theme song every time though!), music from Moana, Frozen and the entire Trolls movie soundtrack

Favorite Sport: soccer or sprinting (she’s our runner) / soccer (she likes to kick the ball) / basketball or baseball (she has quite the arm)

Favorite Songs: Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Baby Shark, all the songs from the Trolls movie, and Pharrell William’s Happy

Favorite Word: buh-bye / shut or no / binkie

Current Obsession: nursery sound machine and nightlight!


It was quite the year, and to quote myself from last year, I look forward to seeing what new things the girls comprehend and learn in 2020. I’m also genuinely excited for spring to get here already (and summer), so we can play outside without taking fifteen minutes to get everyone dressed, enjoy the sun, and go on more outdoorsy adventures than the past two years, even if we have to practice “social distancing.”

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!

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.

Mother’s Day #2!

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

They were so tiny last year!!

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

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

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

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

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

Mobility Level: Crawling

And just like that, we have babies on the move.

As predicted, Reagan is the first crawler. Emerie followed about 24 hours later over the weekend. Harper is sticking to her backwards crawl, but pulling up on everything and briefly standing without hands. She’s done a couple paces forward but doesn’t like it.

It might seem a little late to some people since their birthday is in two weeks. Realistically, their adjusted age compensates for this, meaning the crawling started at about 9.5 months developmentally.

Here is Reagan giving forward crawling a try!

She is getting pretty good and it and going from a laying to sitting to standing position. She also refuses to settle in her crib now because there is too much adventure to be had.. she likes to peek over the side of the crib and talk to her sisters.

Emerie is not quite as graceful, but can get from A to B so it works! She is constantly exploring her crib and standing up to chew on the side, you know, with her two bottom teeth…she is also on a mission to explore everything.

Emerie checking out the tv

Harper is really great and pulling herself up to a standing position. A little too good if you ask me.

Harper checking out the lay of the land

She isn’t thrilled to crawl forward yet, but has done a pace or two.

Everyone is obsessed with playing on the piano and getting there by themselves. They push each other over on it, crawl under it, and will lean down to pick up toys while holding onto it.

The house is in definite need of final baby proofing. We might attempt that this weekend! The plan is to create a baby prison in the living room, encompassing the jumpers and hearth area and full of toys. The family room downstairs just needs a little more cleaning out to be mostly kid proofed; we also have to mount the TV higher and on the wall. Overall that room is almost ready for TODDLERS!

I’m curious how fast we will have walkers…and a little terrified.

On an unrelated note, I bought shoes for the girls for the first time. First size guess was a bit small, so I repurchased them bigger and they are so cute (yes also impractical at the pre walking age!), but I couldn’t help it when their colors were available.