The big TWO x 3!

Birthday number two turned out to be greatly different than the last year’s. The original plan was another large party, at the same place as last year, surrounded by visiting family and friends of all ages, to celebrate another birthday milestone.

Well, that did not happen. With impending quarantine in Anchorage, and many other places across the country already implementing the new rules for a couple of weeks, we knew our big birthday party was not only not happening, but probably not the smartest thing to do given current circumstances.

The recreational center canceled the party and closed due to public safety concerns, so we considered doing a smaller scale party at our house. After the passing of another week, even more things are closed and people seem to have more questions than answers relating to the spreading virus.

With any plans outside our little kingdom (house), we tried to make a fun and eventful day, as much as possible, for the girls.

Frozen hoods as mats

Everyone woke up in good spirits and ready to take on the day. Finally able to give a present, I pulled out their new, Frozen themed hooded blankets. They love to wrap up in blankets and run around and these blankets allow just that. While a big big, they are soft and the girls happily “wore” them until they pulled the next gift off the table, a tiny, metal pot and pan set.

Does anyone else have a hard time not giving presents to their kids as soon as they buy them? It took a great deal of self control to keep those hoods upstairs this past week and not give in and go get them. I feel that this is going to get more difficult as they grow, since new things bring so much excitement and enthusiasm!

First birthday photo of the day.

The girls played with the pots/pans until breakfast was ready. The set also came with a strainer, whisks, and other realistic kitchen utensils, making their stir stir stir exclamations and motions completely adorable. Any birthday should start out with something delicious, and what better breakfast than some bacon and chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream topping? I assumed Reagan would scarf everything down immediately but she and Harper remained more skeptical. Emerie, on the other hand, probably ate half a pancake as she repeated chocklat, like she couldn’t believe it was in her breakfast!

After breakfast birthday dresses were dawned, ones that specify the day and say TWOnados, and everyone sported pigtails. Grandma Sue and Papa Lon came by for a visit and we did a couple other presents. The letter magnet boards I’ve been saving were opened without much help from adults! The coloring boards only keep their interest so far and after a while, they need something new to try when everyone is sitting for a few minutes after or before a meal. Reagan ensured her sisters opened everything satisfactorily and ripped her wrapping paper like a pro. Harper and Emerie more daintily pulled on the wrapping paper. It was quite the change from Christmas time, when they couldn’t be bothered to sit for five seconds and open something.

New toys and birthday dresses

We didn’t go wild on presents this year because we already have so many different things in the house. If I could have predicted the possible quarantine, I might have purchased a few more things to peak their interesting when stuck at home all week and weekends, but for the most part, we can be creative enough to survive.

All in all, the morning was full of new toy exploration, snuggles with Grandma and Papa, and hanging out in the living room, enjoying the sunshine. I finished a batch of triple colored cupcakes (pink, purple, teal of course) that turned out great, and the girls played in the backyard with Grandma for a little while.

It is always nice to have a beautiful, sunny day when stuck at home. I’m spoiled by the amount of sunlight that flows through our windows and it makes the mood cheerier, even when outside boasts huge snow piles and ice. Last year at this time grass was showing; this year the front yard still has four feet of snow.

The warm day prompted an afternoon walk. With Grandma in-tow, we stopped at the playground just off our normal loop and let the girls check it out. Reagan confirmed she still enjoyed collecting handfuls of playground rocks and testing out a few of them for flavor; hopefully this will be over by the time all the snow melts.

They did great at the park, climbing right up and sliding down the slide unassisted. Emerie climbed all the way up and didn’t even wait for Craig to meet her at the bottom. How they have grown! The girls again played out back after a little more ice chipping on the driveway, taking full advantage of the sunny day. I cannot WAIT until spring gets here.

The rest of the day remained uneventful. We face timed Grandma Anne and Papa Cliff simultaneously as we all sang Happy Birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake. Everyone devoured the frosting and questioned the cupcake; Harper at most of it, Reagan only a little, and Emerie shared hers with Koda.

All in all, three clothing changes, two hair changes, triple 1.5 hour nap, one toddler escape (Harper) and fun day with Mom, Dad, Grandma Sue and Papa Lon.

Mini Birthday Party

This year’s birthday party consisted of inviting the best friends over for a play date (Paris and Kaden). While it was not as fun and exciting as I hoped it would be (and legally had to stay under the 10 person rule recently implemented), the girls had fun, opened a couple gifts, and played with their friends, nanny and grandparents.

Dr. Emerie?

The doctor play set, even after a few days, is still a popular item. Depending on who has stolen which part from the briefcase, the girls will come up to you and “check” your ears, listen to your heart, and give you a shot. Not all ear checks are considered sanitary, as everyone enjoys sucking on the end of it and then shoving it into your ear, saliva and all. Maybe that will give us ear infections for them to “check.”

We opened up the living room for the play date and haven’t closed it back up since. Now that they are in year number two, closing off part of the living room almost seems like more of a hindrance than a help, with their main game plan to figure out how to escape. Luckily the main floor is well blocked off, with the stairs going up and down gated off and impenetrable for the time being.

Cupcakes!

My spur of the moment cupcakes ended up turning out great! I mixed the batter into their three colors, with pink on the bottom, purple in the middle, and teal at the top. Craig “whipped” up a whipped topping (see what I did there?) that was devoured with requests for more.

Colorful streamers were hung across the living room, out of reach of the tiny hands, and even a fancy tablecloth put out! The girls definitely tried to empty off the table by pulling it, but didn’t knock anything off.

We sang happy birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake for their morning snack for the second day in a row! They did not understand blowing out the candles, looking at all the faces smiling their way and wondering what in the world to do. After helping blow them out, Kaden and Paris joined in on the sugar and everyone calmly munched down their treat. It was cute and Janelle captured a little of it on video for all of you to enjoy!

Birthday number two varied from last year’s in a couple ways. Last year they were crawling and just starting to learn to walk; this year they RUN everywhere. Last year the baldness was still real; this year enough hair exists for tiny pony and pig tails (yay!!!). Last year’s party had 25+ pre-toddlers yelling and playing; this year just a handful. Last year the sleep deprivation was real; this year…oh wait. Yeah that’s not that different haha.

The whole birthday felt very laid back- staying home the whole day and spending time together. I feel that we were able to better it and process the fact we’ve made it two years! They played with gifts, dressed up in fancy dresses read new books and spent some time out in the snow. I recognize this will likely be the calmest birthday we will ever have!

2019 Memories

I thought it would be fun to ask those closest to the girls a few questions and document their answers. Here we go!

What is your favorite moment of the girls this past year?

CRAIG: Taking the girls swimming- they all seem to love swimming and being thrown into the water.

BECCA: I really enjoyed some of the random adventures, going to the reindeer farm, taking summer photos, and taking the girls to the toddler swim area at the Juneau rec center.

AUNT JANELLE: I don’t have just one because there are many! I love every dance video I see, every giggle or laugh is just so precious, and every new word they learn is one step closer to arguing with their mama.

GRANDMA ANNE: There are two things I most remember from the last year. Watching the girls jump like crazy in their little jumpy seats in the living room and the joy and excitement as they did it. The other activity was decorating Christmas cookies. Smearing frosting all over their hands and faces as they attempted to “decorate” and eat the cookies was priceless to watch.

GRANDMA SUE: This summer, watching them with all our family out on the deck and how they interacted with each of our family members.

PAPA CLIFF: My favorite was seeing them do their water coloring, all over their bodies. That made me laugh.

NANNY CHRIS: When the girls started crying for “nanny” when I left. They really missed me and that makes me feel loved by them!

What is something that makes Harper, Emerie, and Reagan each unique?

CRAIG: Each of them have their own personality and express themselves in different ways. Harper is a brute and rough houser, but gets very upset if she gets hurt. Emerie plays by herself and enjoys exploring how things work, like puzzles and new toys. Reagan must have all binkies…at all times. She will assign the binkie she doesn’t want to the other girls.

BECCA: The older they get, the more unique they look to me. But excluding looks for this question, they each have little personality quirks individualizing them from each other. It’s fun to watch Emerie sit and try to understand how a toy works, when you can see her mind working hard and focused. It’s entertaining to see Harper’s devious side, when she will pause, smile, and then 1000% commit to whatever shenanigan she puts her mind to. It’s adorable to watch Reagan rockin’ out to a song on YouTube, fully committed to whole body movement without a care in the world.

AUNT JANELLE: Emerie is a bit more of a trickster daredevil compared to her sisters.

GRANDMA ANNE: I think the hardest thing for me when I visit is being sure that I spend individual one-on-one time with each girl. To encourage her own individuality and interests. Although they are identical and still very young, their personalities are different and unique.

GRANDMA SUE: Harper’s little giggle as she looks right at you and teases you or wants you to snuggle with her and read a book. Emerie how she has such a desire to learn and giggles in your face when she accomplishes something. She has done so well with so many words and the girls follow. Reagan has learned so much and I love how she tries to help her sisters.

PAPA CLIFF: Harper hugs. She came up to me and had me pick her up and sit in my lap and cuddle. Emerie is dancing around in a box, showing me where the caterpillar is. Yaba do! Emerie also seems to take more chances than her sisters. Reagan seems to be the calmer one. She will let her sisters do something or start something and then follow their lead. She is good at throwing Papa Cliff kisses.

NANNY CHRIS: Harper is so sweet and funny. She knows what she wants. Emerie rolls with the punches- she’s very loving and forgiving. She reminds me of her Dad- very much like Craig. Reagan is a thinker. She’s cool, calm and collected like her Mom.

What was the hardest thing this year in terms of raising triplets?

CRAIG: Everything we do takes a lot of effort, getting dressed to go outside takes 20 mins, going to the store involves loading and unloading everyone. We need multiple shopping carts to take them out.

BECCA: The lack of sleep, especially when everyone was sick all of January, was very difficult; but I’d say the hardest thing overall is having to go at 110% every single moment of everyday to keep everything going well. Routine, meals, work, house upkeep, activities, all of it.

AUNT JANELLE: All the colds and trips to the doctors, so many ear infections and chipped teeth!

PAPA CLIFF: The hardest thing for me was seeing the two sleep deprived parents!

NANNY CHRIS: December through March- staying inside and keeping them happy and busy. Winter with toddlers.

What was the girls’ biggest milestone?

CRAIG: The girls are becoming more independent and able to help themselves when they are hungry and thirsty.

BECCA: Last year this one was easy! It was learning to hold their own bottles. This year I would say learning to walk (run) and become more coordinated. It completely changes the triplet game and while it makes things harder is one way, it’s also easier than the infancy stage in other ways.

AUNT JANELLE: Learning to climb out of the cribs by themselves hahahaha

GRANDMA ANNE: A huge milestone was graduating from the NICU in just four weeks. They were so tiny but went home before their expected birth date.

PAPA CLIFF: I think the biggest milestone was realizing and recognizing they each have two sisters.

NANNY CHRIS: Talking! The girls can tell me what they need and who hit or bit them.

What’s the funniest thing they did this year?

CRAIG: When they all shit on the floor before bath time…

BECCA: While it isn’t always at the time, it’s enjoyable to see what shenanigans the girls get into, how they plan an escape or climbing onto the table, how one of them will be the bandleader and take the other two with them. The five minutes of no diapers in the living room was pretty hilarious too, except for cleaning it up…

AUNT JANELLE: Most of my favorite funny moments are ones that haven’t gone into the blogs but have been texted to me, usually with an “OMG!” before the story. Those are my favorites because these girls have no shame sometimes!

GRANDMA ANNE: Love Emerie demanding that everyone shut the outside door, or the refrigerator door, or the gate. It wasn’t funny at the time, but watching Harper bonk her sisters repeatedly is funny long after the event. Observing Reagan so easily and quickly climb out of her crib and then explore the nursery makes for a great laugh.

PAPA CLIFF: For Reagan and Harper, it was dancing to Baby Shark while Emerie was at her eye doctor appointment. For Emerie, it was dancing around and showing me Yaba Do.

NANNY CHRIS: Harper- she makes the funniest faces and she knows she does! Emerie- getting in trouble then trying to make me laugh by laughing! Reagan- getting out of her crib and finding her in the living room.

What are you looking forward to this next year?

CRAIG: Hopefully they will be potty trained and we can stop buying diapers!

BECCA: I’m excited to see their skills continue to develop (loving the word explosion and interactions with each other) and greatly looking forward to putting them in ballet or soccer.

AUNT JANELLE: Since age 2 – 3 was my favorite for Paris, I can’t wait to see the girls become even more independent with mobility and conversations. Their little imaginations will grow even more so too which is so fun to watch. Plus they might be able to start new activities like sports, dance, etc. How fun!

GRANDMA ANNE: I look forward to the girls language development so they can express themselves better. Also am curious to see what sort of unique sister language they develop between themselves.

PAPA CLIFF: I am looking forward to just being with my babies and watching them learn to ride their tricycles.

NANNY CHRIS: Them becoming more independent and playing with one another, like play dough, coloring, etc. peace, peace, peace!

What do you miss the most about their first year compared to now?

CRAIG: When they could not climb everything and everywhere. They were lighter and easier to carry then.

BECCA: I will miss the bouncer stage; it was beyond cute. I will also miss the baby giggles…they are different than their laughs now and no sound in the world is as good to hear as when all three just learned to laugh together.

AUNT JANELLE: They were so much easier to catch, now that they’re mobile it’s harder to pin them down.

PAPA CLIFF: I miss the bouncing up and down in their bouncers. They would really go to town!

NANNY CHRIS: I miss the rolly-polly age where they didn’t move much but cuddled and were very happy. They were so cute and weren’t moving so much!

What are your favorite memories to share?

I would love to hear them from this past year, from post infancy to pre-toddler-hood to full on toddler-hood!

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.”

On this day in 2018: Part 2

I cannot believe we successfully made it a full year as parents to THREE little girls. Some days my mind still doesn’t grasp the fact I am a parent, and especially to three; hell, other days I still can’t believe I am even an adult. It’s very surreal and such a blessing.

The past year is full of firsts. First time parents. First time seeing dawn EVERY day for the entire summer. First time attached to a breast pump. First time enjoying baby snuggles with MY kids. First Christmas with the girls. First teeth. First projectile vomit (haha). So many firsts, some fun, some a little less fun!

So tiny!!

Looking at how tiny and fragile they once were throughout the NICU days, it is amazing to see how far they have flourished into happy, bright eyed, smiley toddlers! And we are a week from completing the next developmental leap.

What has been our favorite part this past year? Craig and I agree on this for the most part. His response was watching the girls grow and change into their own, individual personalities.  He also enjoys that having triplets gives us the opportunity to see into other people’s lives in a new way. It lets us get to know those that have similar pregnancy histories as well as many who struggled before getting to where they are today and gives us a glimpse of their journeys.

Personally, I enjoy seeing every milestones. There were often days where the end was invisible, where everybody was grumpy or wanted more attention and the day didn’t seem survivable, but somehow we managed. After those days, a smile or a giggle was enough to reign me back in to enjoying parenthood, and remind me that babies constantly grow and change, meaning the hard times will too.

Our support system post kiddos sure has changed. I love the multiples moms and dads that are so busy themselves, but still willing to chip in and help when you’ve reached wits end. Words of encouragement are so needed after a sleepless night(s) or a week of intense teething. I hope I provide some of that encouragement to them as they have done for me. It is great to remember we are all in this together.

As we approach toddlerhood, I must remember this next phase will be another learning experience, both as a first time parent and a multiple mom and dad.

Craig says the hardest part for him has been the change in lifestyle; not being able to go and do things at the drop of a hat and having to plan everything out. I may be a planner by profession but I am definitely less of one in my personal life, at least when it comes to planning outings and trips. We were much more spontaneous pre-babies, and now have to plan out all outings ahead of time. He is also not a fan of cutting the tiny finger and toenails as well as the wiping the sniffly noses during a cold!

We took the girls in for their year checkup this week. The appointment took a full two hours!  Now that they are mobile, it is much more difficult to corral them in the exam room, especially when there are three of them and two of you. Luckily the pediatrician’s office is helpful, both the nurses and our doctor, and snuggles the third while we each have one after the shots.

This month’s milestone checkup was a little more complicated than prior ones, with the continuation of winter and battling of illnesses. Everyone received their one year appointment shots, including the MMR against measles. I have been anxiously awaiting this specific shot for the past two months, especially with the measles outbreak in Washington. The room was full of some baby rage for a bit. Surprisingly, no one batted an eye at the foot prick to check their hemoglobin levels. On the sickness side, Emerie either has her third ear infection or is still holding onto her second one from earlier this month. Another round of medicine for her! Harper has a croup cough, the doctor noticed it right away. She’s had it for a couple weeks but when we took her in previously, were told it was just a cold cough and it would pass.  Harper also has fluid in an ear that we need to recheck to see if she develops an ear infection like her sister. Reagan, thankfully, just has a runny nose and cold (the other two do too).

Now let’s get to the good stuff, an update on the girls!

No one broke the 20 pound weight, but we were pretty close!  Harper now weighs 19 pounds, 6 ounces, and is currently winning the weight category again for the first time in a few months. Reagan is 19 pounds 5 ounces. Emerie is still our little peanut, coming in smallest at 17 pounds 10 ounces, moving up a bit in her percentile to 17th.

Everyone has grown so much the past year. Here are all 12 month photos.

Other updates!

Everyone is on the move and crawling. Walking is right around the corner and everyone is pulling themselves up as much as possible! They really like standing with the jumpers (while not in them) and playing with the toys on them. The other day I caught Reagan chewing the tv stand knob.

The jumpers are still used, but not nearly as much. Floor playtime is the new jumper! We keep rearranging the house to fit everything now that everyone is mobile.

Harper is the first to stand without any assistance. Reagan and Emerie are doing it a little, but she can stand and hold a toy for 30 seconds without plopping down. No one is side stepping too much, but they will hold things, crawl, pull themselves up somewhere else, and so on.

Mango in all forms is the favorite food. They also all love the yogurt melties, all flavors. I wish they made the vanilla banana in adult sized bags… Harper is giving Grandma Sue hell over her food choices and fights eating any real food she makes. Emerie and Reagan like her cooking. We are still introducing lots of foods; so far the girls seem to be a bit picky about textures, but like food in general. We are a little behind in the game and just starting to introduce sippy cups this week. They all seem to understand them pretty well!

Harper feeds the dog the most. Kalli will even take food out of her hand if I’m not paying close enough attention. She has to have small tests bites from the spoon or she will completely refuse anything you feed her. Emerie, on the other hand, will pretty much eat anything unless she’s grumpy. Reagan really likes to shovel everything into her mouth, whereas sometimes Emerie will only try it from the spoon.

Yes, I am still pumping…a lot… I meticulously write everything down (big surprise there). In total, for the first year, I have pumped 22,155 ounces of milk…or 173 GALLONS. That equates to, in average, about half a gallon per day. My goodness, that sounds like a lot as I write this! I was ahead of the girls for a while and pumping six times per day, the past six months or so I am down to five times per day, which feels much more doable. When teething, I am ahead of them. When everyone is happy with no colds, we supplement a feed or so a day with formula.

The teeth are back. The teething is definitely back!! It’s interesting to see that all have teeth coming in on the top left hand side, both front and “i” teeth.

Favorite toys have not changed in the past several months. The singing toucan and the play table are definitely hits still. Grandma Sue just bought the girls little dollies and they think they’re silly and giggle at them. Kalli also tries to eat them…YouTube remains a favorite in the house, with Disney and princesses themed music.

Thank you to everyone who is sharing this journey with us. Here is to year number two!

On this day in 2018: Part 1

On this day in 2018, our lives were forever changed, for the better! We didn’t start the blog until the girls were a couple months old, so let’s flashback to hospital bed rest and Delivery Day!

14 Week Ultrasound

I think back to the last few weeks before babies a year ago, how I was SO ready to not be pregnant anymore, with the swollen feet, smooshed stomach thanks to Emerie, crushed bladder courtesy of Harper, and crunched rib cage thanks to Reagan, and wonder how I made it through!

If I had to pick a toughest week during the pregnancy (ignoring the 4 months of solid “morning” sickness that lasted every second of the day), it would be Week 30. I actually felt better Week 31 and 32. We measured the belly on the weekend of that brutal week, and I grew 5″!! Granted some of that was probably the girls shifting around a little, but FIVE INCHES. Not enjoyable and no amount of repositioning made me feel comfortable.

Big belly the day before they arrived!

Much of my one-day of hospital bed rest is a blur and I wish I had written it down! I do remember I could not get comfortable in the bed, even with a ton of pillows, and had a really hard time getting up to go pee!  My hip joints were excited at the prospect of baby delivery, with my left side hurting more than my right.

Once admitted, the nurses worked to get an IV line in my arm.  My veins did not cooperate and looking back, it’s pretty funny (not so much at the time).  Providence has a two stick rule, so after three nurses gave my IV a shot (a “shot”, get it haha) and failed, one of the anesthesiologists was called. Like a rock star, she was able to access the vein in my left hand on the first try and did it so fast, I was bleeding on the floor.

A beautiful day for triplets!

I started hospital bed rest at 32 Weeks+6 Days gestation and was very happy to have stalled that long before being admitted. Dr. Ritchie knew and understood my concern on staying in the hospital, and agreed to closely monitor but allow me to stay home from January to March, where I spent my time working from the recliner and helping the girls cook a little longer. I believe they stayed in longer because I was at home, in my comfort space, and not uncomfortable and confined to a hospital room. There are many expecting moms in my Facebook group that handled extended hospital stays so well and I really applaud them.

I did a 24 hour urine test, which ultimately determined the babies’ arrival. The test returned with high levels of protein, signifying kidney function issues. My blood pressure also indicated pre-eclampsia may be an issue. Dr. Richey gave me the choice of a March 20th or March 21st birthday, and I chose a soon as possible. In retrospect, if given the chance again, I would pick the latter, because my breakfast order was canceled with the surgery scheduling. It was a LONG day full of nerves and starvation. Ice chips can only help for so long!

Birth Plan!

Scheduling the C-section took about eight hours- Dr. Richey had to call in staff to ensure enough nurses and doctors were available to handle three 33 weekers plus me! Each baby required a nurse as well as a few others. The dad even gets his own support nurse during surgery. I also needed an anesthesiologist and several doctors.

It was quite the party! It really surprised me how quickly that time passed. In total, I was only in the operating room for maybe an hour, and I walked myself in there and sat down on the operating table for the spinal block. It wasn’t as bad as I expected and felt like a warm rush of water drifted down my legs. Before I even realized it I was on the table, ready for go-time. Simultaneously, Craig was out in the pre-op area getting on his gown so he could come in.

My support person while Craig tended to babies!

About to be go-time!

What I found out later was the planned C-section became emergent the moment I received the spinal.  Doctors are used to handling pressure and gave no indication anything was wrong, just that everything was getting ready for go-time. What I was told later was that Baby B’s (Emerie) heart rate significantly dropped into the 40s, and there was no time to wait.

Dr. Richey asked “can you feel this?” to which I responded no, and within seconds the first of three, Baby A, was born. Instantly I felt a huge relief of pressure. It is hard to explain, because everything was numbed, but I could tell when each was born. We requested prior to surgery that the girls come out in the A, B, C order we had grown accustomed to and tracked throughout the pregnancy, knowing they would be referred to that until they received real names.  Conveniently at this point, Baby A was in the middle (bladder baby), Baby B on my left side, and Baby C nestled on the right, so the order worked perfectly.  With B’s heartrate dropping dangerously low, A was pulled out with the cord still connected while B was born.

Looking back, it makes sense that little Emerie would want to make an entrance, while Harper and Reagan patiently waited for their sister to get attention. By the time Craig made it into the OR, Emerie was already out and almost headed down the hall toward the NICU. There was a bit of commotion, as Dr. Richey ensured the nurses knew this was Baby B, NOT A, even though she was the first out of the room. Baby A followed a few moments later and then Baby C. Craig was able to see Harper and Emerie as they were whisked away to the NICU for assessment. Dr. Richey surprised me with a view of a screaming Baby C (Reagan), freshly born over the curtain, before she headed off to the NICU.

We joked much of the pregnancy that if a fourth baby was hiding out in there, Dr. Richey would be taking them home, unless it was a boy, then they’d get A, B, or C. Luckily, she had correctly counted three girls all along. Baby A, Harper Anne, was officially born at 4:58 PM, with Baby B, Emerie Faye, about 30 seconds behind her, and Baby C, Reagan Jean, at 4:59. No one officially received a name until we saw them in the NICU; and it turned out pretty great that the order spelled out “HER”. That was not pre-planned!

Craig headed off to the NICU with the babies as planned, and I was stitched up and moved into recovery. At this point my high blood pressure indicated eclampsia was an issue. My memory is a bit blurry here, but I do remember that I was arguing against a magnesium drip and on the line of getting it whether I wanted to or not. My blood pressure was checked every five minutes and took over an hour to come down. I didn’t get to see the girls until about 8 PM, partially due to shift change and partially due to my blood pressure issues.

I spent more time in post-op recovery than the actual surgery and ended up staying in the hospital a few more days that originally planned. When Emerie’s heart rate plummeted, Dr. Richey immediately sliced, once I agreed I felt nothing, to get to her. This meant I did not receive the full cleaning beforehand, which opened me up (pun intended!) to a higher risk of infection. I was given an antibiotic drip that took 1.5 hours to administer, a handful of times per day, for five days. Between that, pumping and spending time in the NICU, things were pretty hectic.

What a relief to have made it to my goal of 33 weeks gestation! At that mark, the risk of brain bleeds goes down over 90%. The girls all briefly had CPAP air as well as jaundice lights, but overall came out incredibly healthy and good sizes for their age.

Harper Anne Douglas: 4 pounds, 8 ounces, 17.9” long

Emerie Faye Douglas: 3 pounds, 2 ounces, 15.3” long

Reagan Jean Douglas: 4 pounds, 5 ounces, 17.7” long

How has it been a year since they arrived?!

The girls at about 6 Weeks, taken by Alaska Photography & Design