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.

A Day in the (Triplet)Life

We’ve been getting a lot of questions how we handle three babies all day (and night) long and not go crazy. I figure I should write this down before I forget or block it out entirely in the future. The first few months, with a very tight 3 hour round the clock schedule, are already blurred in my memory; although I attribute that to much more sleep deprivation than I have now.

Starting to look pretty alike!

Back in May and June, after the girls came home from the NICU, we did round the clock feedings every three hours for at least six weeks. That meant several short 1-1.5 hour naps each day was all the sleep we would get in a 24 hour period. Other triplet parents take shifts for feedings so one parent gets an extended length of sleep, but it worked well for us to tag team everything and then settle the girls back down.

Now that we are 8 months old, the day to day is dramatically easier, but in a different way than when they were younger. They can grab a toy or binkie and chew on it themselves, so self soothing is vastly improving, although the next leap teaches them awareness when Mom and Dad aren’t nearby (that’s gonna be fun…). Since they occasionally entertain themselves for moments, that allows for laundry to get collected and washed, dried, and folded, dishes and bottles to be washed, the occasional vacuuming and random household cleaning…but mostly, it’s babies babies babies or Craig or I are doing a household chore while holding one and keeping an eye on the other two.

The first feed of the day is at about 5:40 AM.  At this point, I’ve already been awake about an hour to pump and prep their bottles, and start to get ready for work or the day at home.  Typically someone will be waking up and ready for breakfast as soon as I flip the nursery light on, or Craig has gone in a few times to re-binkie to hold them off until I am ready. Everyone gets a diaper change and arms released from their sleep sack cocoons for the feed and everyone is propped on the nursery armchair.  We have this feeding down to a science and have everyone fed, happy, and back in their cribs to chat in about 30 minutes.  After a few minutes of sisterly chatter, all fall back asleep until nine or so. Sometimes one is up earlier or one sleeps until 9:30, but overall they are relatively consistent with the normal schedule.

On the weekends we often take a nap while the girls do, and get up about 8 AM to start our day (mind you we’ve already been up for the first feed!).  First thing in the morning is by far the happiest portion of the day. The girls wake up happy and relaxed, and hang out in their swings for a few minutes while we eat a quick breakfast.  Then we get everyone up and dressed for the day, and let the fun begin!

On an average day at home, we try to switch up activities when moods start going downhill.  Once we implemented a nap schedule, it was 1.5 hours of activity, feeding, etc. and then down for a quick nap. Now that they are a bit older, we are in the vicinity of 2 hours up.  The girls are not nappers; in fact, they believe 30 minutes several times per day is plenty of sleep, and rarely give me the satisfaction of an hour or more nap, and never all three at the same time for a long one!  We are nearly out of 3 naps a day, and don’t seem to be able to convince them it is important to have all three anymore.  I usually have just enough time to pump before someone is hollering to get back up.  If the nap is in the car, it stretches to about 45 minutes, and we’ve learned that driving from our house out to Indian and back is the perfect amount of time for them to wake up as we pull back into our neighborhood.

Daily baby activities now include lots of jumper time, for everyone, rotating who goes in which one as they all have different things to play with and chew on.  Sometimes we make 30 minutes with three happy babies, sometimes one adamantly refuses to jump at all and wants to be held, and sometimes no one is in the jumping mood, although that’s rare.  The bouncers are now liked (previously hated) and all three girls think it’s hilarious to pound their legs as hard as possible and pull on the dangly toys.  That results in a little enthusiasm as well.

Another activity is tummy/sit time on the floor with all three. They are getting much stronger at sitting up and can do it pretty well with only minimal assistance needed.  During this time, the girls are starting to steal each other’s toys and look around for anything fun around them. There is always a plethora of teethers to choose from.

While feeding schedule is a little less regimented than in prior months, we still do five feeds per day: the early morning, 3 main day feeds and a bedtime one at six o’clock.  If one gets a bottle, everyone gets a bottle!  During the day we prop them in their room and can have everyone fed relatively quickly when they focus. Other days no one wants to eat and it’s much more of a battle!  When we are out and about, they actually eat pretty decently in their stroller/car seats with direct supervision, but we don’t do that as often.

The girls side prop or can eat bottles straight on, and we are so close to them holding them outright!  They are definitely interested in the bottle and understand it is food when we hold one up.

Reagan licking her bottle. Not quite the right way yet lol

During the summer and fall we did a daily walk to get the pups energy out and everyone some fresh air. We have a great 1.3 mile loop by our house that is in the trees and feels almost like an easy hike! It’s secluded enough the pups can run off leash for a little bit and we don’t have to worry about vehicle traffic. Now that’s it’s older out, the girls get bundled up if we go. Sometimes, like earlier this week, we get stopped by a young neighborhood moose on the trail.

Mr. Moose trying to prevent our walk!

Matching bear hats (Em has one on with Dad!)

This is pretty much our daily routine. Feed, play, tummy/sit time, cuddles, maybe a walk or leave for an errand, nap time, and repeat. Somewhere in there we do one baby food feed in their sit-me-ups. Somewhere in their we eat, I pump, and we try to get a few household things done too. Here’s the girls eating blueberry and something else (I forget!). Emerie is the baby bird if the group although Harper and Reagan both liked this one too.

Nighttime routine can take anywhere from 30 minutes (our personal record) to 2 hours.  Starting at six, we put everyone in pajamas and start the feed. The girls eat a ton at night, Reagan more than 8 ounces now, and Harper and Emerie that much sometimes but not as consistently.  The fidgetier ones get swaddled mid-feed, and everyone gets to settle in their crib when they decide they are done eating.

Don’t get me wrong here, the bedtime feed is an epic battle every night.  Everyone wants to go to bed except the babies? We usually have one baby that goes down pretty easily (often Harper!) and then one who takes some coddling and one who refuses and tries to wake everyone else up. Emerie and Reagan vary on this day-to-day.  Once everyone is down, we sneak in and out of their room for mini cuddles sessions as needed or to re-binkie someone who sneezed, coughed, or spit theirs out. I tell you, baby binkies have been a life saver in our household. I also believe we get our exercise simply by running back and forth from our room to theirs…alllll night.

For the most part, everyone is asleep by 7:30. The past month or so we’ve been getting up 5-10 times per night to settle someone, and in the past couple weeks someone ends up in a rock and play in our bedroom, just to keep from waking the other two up due to the snuffles. But overall, the girls sleep quite well for their age and it’s quite a blessing.  We make it to bed by 9 PM, and other than our diving out of bed to quiet a screamer as fast as humanly possible, get to “sleep” until 4:30, when it all starts over again…

NOT a Minivan!

We’ve been blessed to be able to borrow Craig’s dad’s truck for the summer while he is out in Western Alaska doing construction work.

All summer we’ve been reviewing what vehicles can handle three seats across (that aren’t a minivan), and ones that have four wheel drive or good winter traction. After a lot of research by Craig, we found a Ford Expedition that has three rows, can seat up to 8, has middle row captain chairs, AND fits the car seats 3 across in either back row, WITH the stroller!

Big stress off our shoulders now. Purchased it yesterday and might take it out joyriding today (how cool are we!?). Even have some new custom plates on the way, and I finally got around to updating my terrible drivers license photo while we did the rest of the car paperwork. Priorities right…

Since I’m sure everyone wants to know about the exciting part of our blog, let’s get back to the Douglets! Nothing too crazy the past week. Everyone is close to figuring out their hands exist and they are starting to play with toys more and be more observational.

Reagan playing with her favorite owl.

Play mat time is more fun and the girls are much more interested in reaching for things. They discovered rattles are fun to hold, shake, and bash into their faces.

Harper and her foxtail.

Emerie enjoying the play mat.

Reagan figured out today she could chew on Emerie’s toes.

Breakfast of champions…

We implemented the “diaper test” in our house this past week. The test consists of stripping the girls down to their diapers (which they love) and swapping them around, then seeing if the other person can figure out who is who. So far we’ve been doing pretty well and guessed correctly every time. I can’t really tell you how I know who is who, but I can.

4-6 Adjusted Week Growth Spurt

The past week or so has been full of fussy babies and finicky eaters, but also new facial expressions and sounds from the girls.

We were warned a big growth spurt was about to occur, and it started slightly ahead of the 4-6 week timeframe, with the girls 12 weeks old today, but 4.5 weeks adjusted.

This growth spurt is more developmental than physical and involves sight, focus, and hearing. Their vision is starting to improve, with colors a little more visible. They are starting to listen to sounds and music more intently and can focus on it. They also begin recognize our voices better, and the change is very noticeable. Such big cognitive leaps!

The girls are all starting to really smile when we talk to them and express new facial expressions. Reagan, who has always been our smiler, now smiles even more and with eye contact and in response to minimal coaxing.

Harper now enjoys the play mat a little more (or maybe she’s just tolerating it now) and is showing us new sounds and shrieks.

Emerie, our little pea pod, has started to smile in response to our voices and be much more interactive with us.

It is exciting to see the changes and I look forward to the next few weeks of growth!

First solo workweek

On Monday a friend texted me how the first solo baby day was going with Craig back at work. My one worded response of “hell” pretty much summed up day one. The girls would not sleep at all, they wouldn’t bottle prop, and there was a great deal of crying. Thank goodness the week improved from that.

Now that it’s Saturday, I look back at the work week and see how much I’ve learned on 3v1 baby days:

  1. Leave the house – going somewhere, even just to hit the McDonalds drive thru or a coffee stand, counts as leaving! Getting everyone loaded up and prepped takes a lot of time and really makes the day pass quickly. The kiddos get a little more stimulation in a changed environment and that changes their moods after a tough morning.
  2. Time your feedings – one day Craig left for work midfeed and I was up the rest of the day with cranky babies. We’ve discovered if the feed is mostly done, i.e. maybe two girls are back in bed and I’m feeding the last one, then I can actually go back to bed for an hour or two. Huge game changer.
  3. Tummy/play time – feeding three babies at once when alone is really difficult, especially if they don’t feel like cooperating. Feeding two simultaneously is manageable. If one is on a play mat within view, that seems to entertain them long enough I can feed one or even both their sisters. Helps a lot when Reagan is on the mat; she likes it a lot more than Harper does!
  4. Support – attending a multiples group with women who have multiples around the same age as mine is really great. It gives us the opportunity to have grown up conversations, hear advice from those ahead of us, and once again, to get out of the house!
  5. Prep the night before – having all the bottles washed and in the nursery, snacks in the fridge, and my pumping gear ready to go is really helpful when three babies are all screaming and hungry at the same time!
  6. Tracker – keeping the food/diaper tracker current helps with my sanity! I often can’t remember who ate what after like an hour!

The most valuable thing I learned this week was that I can do it – I can leave the house solo with three in tow and we all survive! It’s definitely time consuming, stressful, and would be a lot easier with another set of hands, but also good to know that I can do it.

Here’s to a few more weeks of solo girl time. We still have the fan for moral support too 🙂