Santa Baby (or not!)

We took the girls to visit Santa twice this month, to see if a different venue would improve the toddler attitudes toward the jolly bearded man. First we went to Cabela’s, where we had a super cute triple photo last year with everyone sitting fine on a random, bearded stranger’s lap, at least enough for a picture. This year? Baby RAGE. Emerie was the only one of the three that tolerated it enough for a photo, without screaming her head off. Harper and Reagan took the whole scene very personally; Harper was screaming before I even handed her off to the guy. If I even leaned in while holding her, she screamed and wailed even more. Reagan wasn’t a fan either. They forgave us afterwards when we looked at the fish and let them run free a bit. Luckily four adults versus three toddlers is pretty manageable. By the end of the outing, everyone was back to the rage and ready for dinner. But overall, the photo turned out pretty great.

The post screaming photo with the parents.

Needless to say, some of the best holiday photos are ones with less-than-cooperative children in them and mine are no exception. I wish the photographer had captured it about two seconds earlier; by the time the photo was snapped Harper already slid off the lap and was trying desperately to escape the jolly red man.

The second Santa try was on my Friday off at the Midtown Mall Santa. As soon as we entered the lobby doors and Santa came in to view, Harper was already unsettled and upset. Apparently she and Santa are not going to be friends for a good while. We watched our twin friends do their photos before us, having about as much success with their toddlers as I knew we would have. But their angry photo turned out amazing too! And as expected, Reagan cries because Harper was freaking out and Emerie just looked at the view whilst on Santa’s lap, calm, collected, without any emotion either way. And here’s what we captured for the memory box this year!

Love that Santa and I are smiling while they shriek us. So mean.

It will be fun to see how they react next year and if the screaming collection will be added to or not. So mean, I can’t help it…

Santa photos for 2019

We also had our first adventure to Get Air’s toddler area. The girls were a little shy at first but after a few preferred to play in the trampoline part than anywhere else. They tolerated the foam block but did not love it.

We jumped with them a little in the main area; that brought a good bout of giggles and no one had a total meltdown when we left. Overall success! We will have to go again and hit them by storm with some of our twin buddies. And they gave us a triplet discount, bless them!

And yes, this mom went a little crazy on the matchy matchy clothes for Christmas, much more than last year. It’s not my fault, there were some super cute clothes that warranted all three wearing together. So sorry, not sorry!

Rose Colored Glasses

I feel like the past few months (and blogs) have contained less than my normally optimistic self…when it comes to far less sleep than I’d like, picky eaters that throw most of their food on the floor, biting and hair pulling, ear infections and head colds, busy work days and a more monotonous, routined life with less relaxing or fun than I’d sometimes like to have. I fear we are branching into the “terrible twos” and have definitely had a number of days with grumpy and confrontational toddlers. All. Day. Long (well if we are being realistic that involves night too).

Triplet threat: matching doll strollers that moonlight as chairs.

And while this age is hard in a different way than infancy, it also has some really great parts that are worth dwelling on more than the difficult parts. So what are some of the things that I love about this age of the #tripletlife? At this busy age of mobile #toddlerhood?! At this age of the girls figuring out how to better interact and react to new situations?

I’ve come up with a few things that I try to appreciate each day, even when I really just want to put my feet up, watch a Hallmark movie (or any movie really) and take a break in silence (or a nap?). At some point in the future that will once again be realistic, so for now let’s enjoy the sweeter side of toddler time…to name a few:

Lap Cuddles

One of my favorite things about this age is something that could be seen as insignificant, but I really enjoy experiencing it. Getting down on the same level as the girls (i.e. sitting on the floor instead of a chair or the couch) during playtime allows additional interaction that generally involves a rotation of lap babies. They will bring toys, books, blankets and binkies over to you, turn around and plop their tiny butt right in your lap for a short cuddle session or to share their toy. This rotation lasts until they see other sister doing something more interesting or decide it’s time for more marathon running across the room- once they get up, the next one sees opportunity and immediately plops down. It is an endless cycle that is very sweet; I know this won’t last forever.

If I sit on the floor with a blanket over my lap, Emerie is always the first to show up with a toy and sit down to play with it. She likes to sit in the blanket or have it around her shoulders and will occupy herself for a good amount of time if uninterrupted. Harper and Reagan will venture over at some point, if I sit there long enough, but Emerie certainly favors playing with her toys and sitting with you. Reagan often brings a book over to read, but won’t sit for more than a page or two before she’s up and running again. This cycle will repeat several times; I’m hoping at some point the length of book patience will improve page by page. Harper, on the other hand, always full force runs at you, huge smile and all, and will hang out for a bit with whatever toy or book she’s found. She often likes to snuggle up in a blanket for this, while Reagan always has to have her feet out!

It sounds silly, but I love that they all do this and will miss when they are bigger and don’t anymore. It is a sweet gesture of love and trust that they show for the people in their lives they love. So for now, I try to appreciate such little gestures of love they display throughout the day.

Sloppy Kisses

A momentary hug session in the kitchen between Reagan and Harper.

This can be gross at times, but the adorable part easily overrides that. We are working on improving the slobber level and everyone does the “muah” sound. All three are still sloppy, slobbery kissers but starting to understand what “give me a kiss” means. In fact, in addition to sharing those sloppy kisses with Mom and Dad, Grandma or Grandpa, they are starting to share them with each other. It doesn’t always go very smoothly, ending with a head bonk and sometimes tears. But when they successfully plant one on each other, it usually involves some type of giggle; only for a brief moment and you’ll miss it if you aren’t paying attention!

Kisses are starting to fly across the house now…by that I mean the girls are starting to blow kisses at you and saying buh-bye. It results in a handful of “thrown” kisses and big smiles.

Every once in a while I will turn around to a mini, baby hug session. They are all starting to see if someone is upset, they can help remedy the situation by giving a hug or patting their head (petting really). This seems to apply even if they are the one that initiated the crying (biting, collision, stealing of a toy, to name a few). The moments are very brief before they switch gears to something else, but they exist nonetheless!

Temperament Changes

Team huddle in the kitchen

This one is a real “kicker.” As we all know, toddler temperament is like drawing an emotion out of a hat, every five seconds, and immediately reacting at 100% full force to whatever emotion is chosen. It can change in a split second- like holding a screaming rager one second to holding a giggling baby the next…just from flipping them upside down and dangling them by their ankles. I assume this is going to continue to worsen before it improves, so I try to find the humor in some of their reactions, because- to be honest- they can be pretty entertaining to watch. The triple temper tantrum hasn’t fully occurred yet; I am waiting in anticipation to film this and share it with all of you when it happens.

I did capture a short video of Harper throwing a ten second fit the other day. She throws her hands up and…well…see for yourself. Emerie is starting to mimic her sister, now similarly starting throw her hands up when upset too.

Another triplet parent told me it’ll be rare to have the tri-fecta (tri…get it!) of all three in full out rage tantrum. Why? Because they see the long term game plan…which means one kid throws the tantrum at a time and then continues to trade off. After a few years, that’ll certainly wear those pesky parents down, day by day…I feel like this shared knowledge will be far truer than I’m prepared to handle.

Another piece of advice, that I will really try to remind myself for the next several years…kids often save up all that pent up emotion for the whole day, so by the time the parents get home, the emotional rage is real. Why? Because Mom and Dad are their confidants, their safe place; so releasing all those feelings means they feel safest around you. The probably is, young children don’t always know how to express what they are feeling, good, bad and in-between, and that is the true form of the tantrum centralizes from. While I realize I am still a relatively new parent; this advice hits pretty close to home and is something I need to remind myself as they continue to grow.

Complete Trust

This can be daunting at times when your arms are outnumbered by one, but if you really think about it, it wreaks of sweetness. The girls have complete and utter faith and trust in their parents, knowing they can dive off a slide or piece of furniture and there is no doubt in their minds you will move heaven and earth to catch them. Is that realistic? Well no, not when they are ten feet away and you are holding a sibling and have to superhero dive (in slow motion and over a plethora of toys and obstacles) across the room to reach that tiny diver before they hit the ground. Can’t you just picture that? I will tell you…it’s definitely not that graceful. There might be a bit too much trust when I’m trying to catch more than one at once, but the thought behind it is something to smile about: they have complete faith and love for you!

They have complete faith in you!

So until they fully understand that gravity really exists and can when challenged, it can lead to injuries (an idea not yet achieved but hopefully soon). I will remind myself that they trust us fully and count that we will be there, a sentiment I hope to keep throughout their lives.

Overnight Snuggles

A sleepy Reagan in the guestroom after a grumpy night.

This is a hard one, because I love actual sleep but it is but a vague memory at this point in my life! It’s probably better to block out that memory for another year or two; although Craig and I had a brief glimpse of it a few weeks ago when everyone slept the whole night without a peep. That was the first occurrence of seven straight hours of sleep for the parents in almost five months. So while a reminder everyone once in a while of how great sleep can be, getting up at night to comfort and calm a baby isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, why wouldn’t I want to get lots of snuggle time in while they still want to?

What I find utterly ridiculous is, on the rare occasions that everyone stays settled in their room, I actually miss them. Not enough to pick one up out of their bed, of course, but certainly to peek on the baby camera at their cute sleeping positions. So while not all bedtime cuddles actually involve them sleeping right away, I definitely enjoy the individual time…even when it means less sleep for me. But don’t you dare tell them any of that…they need to sleep in their beds sometime!!

This past month is full of lots of overnight snuggling. The girls all had a head cold and cough, making them restless at night. Coughing fits will wake up someone at some point during the night, and involve a repetitive calming each time another one presents. Emerie even had a couple nice snuggle naps with me or Craig after her coughing prevented her from settling down. Luckily we didn’t experience coughing babies until they were twenty months old! I definitely would not have enjoyed this same type of cold when they were much smaller and am glad our prior colds last winter only involved the buckets and buckets of snot. I can say that colds are not quite as brutal now that they are a little bit older, but I have to say that while wearing my rose colored “life glasses.”

Comprehension

Everyone is steadily learning new words at an exponential pace; but what amazes me more than that is their comprehension of other words and phrases. While they won’t necessarily answer you verbally on things, they definitely understand what you are saying on much more than they can express themselves.

For example, if you say “let’s go get your shoes on,” someone will run over to the shoe bin in the living room and try to pull them out. Sometimes they will even grab a shoe, sit down and attempt to put it on (not successfully yet but they try!). Other phrases that they fully understand now:

  • If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! (and they clap…the patty cake song works well for this too)
  • Let’s brush our teeth! (they point and say teeth!)
  • It’s bath time! Go see Dad! (and they will run upstairs to the bathroom and usually arrive in the correct location)
  • Where is the kitty?! (they will turn around and search until they see him and shriek in excitement)
  • Go throw away your diaper (which results in a run across the living room to the trash in the kitchen)
  • Not nice…more normally spoken NOT NICE (commonly used now and they know it means they were being unkind or are in trouble)
  • Say bye-bye (this results in a bye bye and wave when they are feeling like it…)
  • Multiple body parts…nose, belly, ears, teeth, mouth, eyes…
  • Each other’s names
  • Do you want more?
  • And the exciting, are you poopy!? (We are working on this one and sometimes they understand!)

One other cute comprehension- the past week or so everyone has started pointing out to you if they get an “owie.” They don’t use the word yet, but will run over to you (usually crying or upset), finger pointed straight out, and expect you to fix whatever is wrong. What I recently noticed about the finger pointing…it’s not that finger that is hurt like we initially thought. It is a variety of body parts, but they all stick their pointer finger out straightforward as the indication. So not 100% figured out yet, but progress.

I haven’t heard any phrasing from them yet, but do enjoy watching their word and phrasing comprehension continue to grow. I also anxiously await their conversations to one another; so far it’s pretty limited but I know it’s around the corner and I’m excited! Much of their communication so far results in giggles and inaudible sounds.

New Experiences and Skills

Kids are all about learning new things right? That’s part of growing up. This is something we take for granted as adults. For example, Craig found a cool new adventuring toy called a Pickler. This ladder like toy is meant to improve coordination in young children. I was shocked how quickly the girls could climb it like professionals; and enjoyed that sentiment along with the mild heart attack of them climbing high up.

Harper and Reagan goofing off on the pickler

I’m still enjoying their daily advancement of physical and mental life skills, such as climbing a ladder, going up and down the stairs like pros, figuring out how to build their block tower taller without any assistance, pretend stirring one of their teacups, things like that. Switching out old toys and for ones that spent some time in “toy jail” also allows their creative juices to flow.

They continue to learn new life skills as well. For example, I purchased a clip/clasp pillow a month or so ago that is quite the hit with all three. It lets them practice clipping different, colorful styles of clasps together and is in constant use. No, we are not teaching them how to unclip anything; just how to put them together. I am not ready for them to escape out of their strapped chairs quite yet!

The girls are also learning about shoes and socks. They now try to put their matching slippers on and almost have it down! They try to put socks on as well; every once in a while they succeed but more commonly they plop down in front of you and demand assistance. Emerie was the first to put on adult shoes and slippers and now all three can do it and slowly try to walk around. Such grown up girls!

SOCKS!!

Emerie

In addition to new experiences, they’re learning how to interact with new things. Like after an ouch, they sometimes bring sister a toy or a binkie to be nice. Each morning they give the dog a cute greeting, and she’s learned that if she leans into the crib they will pet her (nicely).

Kalli greetings in the morning

So What Else?!

I’m sure there are more things I could appreciate in the day-to-day that I just don’t pay attention to. Looking back I’m sure I will see a few, especially as they get older! I know lots of you have kiddos similar in age, and I’m betting my eyes still aren’t seeing all of the great things that are happening before me…it’s all a matter of perspective. Some days I’m great at looking at things with my happy glasses- other days? Not so much.

So what other treasures am I missing?

30 days of night…err…Christmas…

We thought we were tired with a triple cold in November…apparently the girls didn’t get the memo that mom and dad wanted to sleep in December.

Christmas went pretty well. My mom is in town and has provided a nice extra set of hands. Christmas morning started a little earlier than we would have liked (maybe Christmas Eve just started late?) but eventually we had everyone up to “open” presents. The past weekend everyone has been super fussy and that results in each of us getting a baby for the night. Emerie sleeps in a rock and play with Craig, randomly freaking out every few hours, one night I had Reagan and the next she slept with my mom, and another night Harper and I snuggled on the nursery chair until my normal 430 AM wake up call.

Did I mention Craig’s back is also out?

Anyway, Christmas: the girls really liked participating in the presents; i.e. chewing as much wrapping paper as possible. Here’s my attempt at a time lapse video of present opening. Apparently I preferred not to have my head in the video, but please enjoy the chest view (sorry!) lol

Emerie was very grumpy on Christmas and started running a fever. I took her to the doctor yesterday and discovered she has a double ear infection and is really not feeling well. She’s finally taking long day naps, but getting sick to make for better naps was not really how I envisioned it!

Wrestling a baby to get medicine down them is quite the feat. So far I think it’s Mom, 1, and Emerie, 3.

Matching pjs for the win!

Other than the sickness hitting our littlest and minimal sleep, the week hasn’t been a complete loss. Presents are a hit and the girls are enjoying their sit-up time with them. There are lots of snuggles too and floor time, and as I wrote some of this was enjoying the fresh snow falling and not having to go out in it!

We attempted the matching family pajamas and it turned out very cute! Paris (the Douglet’s future BFF!) was not really feeling the group photos, but had a fun time playing with the girls. I think Craig might be tired of all the outfit changes; but little does he know what toddlerhood with three girls will be like…

Wish us luck that we can get babies back to sleeping all night…and in their cribs, and that Craig’s back will improve. He’s getting lots of floor time too…but not in a fun capacity. Emerie should start feeling better from the antibiotics soon and hopefully we can get back to a normal schedule.

Happy Harper

Goofy Reagan

Emerie starting to feel a little better

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and we look forward to an exciting new year!

9 Month Babies!

This week is the nine month marker for the girls. It’s incredible how quick this winter is flying by, even with the sleepless nights and busy work days.

The girls are advancing and growing quickly and have changed a lot since their six month checkup. Harper and Reagan weighed almost 14 pounds in September, and Emerie a little over 13.

Here is a quick update on how everyone is doing:

Harper Anne

Weight and Growth Percentile: gained over two pounds and grew an inch! 17 pounds (29%) and 27″ (25%)!

Favorite Things: First of all, Harper loves the YouTube princess videos. She can be full raging and instantly smile and laugh when she hears the first Snow White song. She still loves her jumper and has discovered she is able to pound her feet in her crib, while awake and asleep, much to the dismay of her sisters (and our sleep).

Likes: Harper loves the blanket game and playing with toys during floor time. She shares pretty well with her sisters and twin friends!  She is also an avid animal watcher and enjoys watching the dogs or cats anytime they are nearby. She also thinks sloppy dog kisses are so hilarious.

Dislikes: She is not the biggest fan of baby food most days and generally prefers her bottle. She is also not a fan of teething or tummy time…other than that, she is still our chillest baby most of the time. Like her Grandma Anne, she also seems to run a little cooler than her sisters and often has cold hands and feet.

Personality Traits: She is such a sweet baby, loves cuddles and talking (or growling) to you. She is a little shier than Emerie but will still let people hold and play with her that aren’t Mom and Dad.Development: While we try to encourage it, Harper has decided rolling over is not something she is interested in learning STILL. She has done it twice. She is great at sit time and can hold herself up pretty well and reaches for toys in all directions. Harper does like to chat and is now saying “dadadadada;” that, or she’s growling at you.

Emerie Faye

Weight and Growth Percentile: Em jumped from the 5th weight percentile to the 8th in about 2 months according to her last doctor visit. This time she weighed in at 15 pounds 6 oz (8%) and 26.5″ (11%). She is tiny but working on catching up!

Favorite Things: Emerie enjoys the princess videos, but I would say her favorite thing is FOOD…all types, any types. She has about mastered the spoon feeding and prefers to lick off the spoon at the end of the feeding (or steal it from you and refuse to give it back). She also enjoys her jumper and reaches for the sky!

Likes: Emerie likes the blanket game, play time, and any snuggles she can get. She likes to chew on everything, especially the frozen teethers and loves food if any kind.

Dislikes: I think she is our most impatient baby, when it comes to baby food, tv commercials, or having to wait for anything.  Teething is definitely not something she signed up for and keeps her pretty cranky.

Personality Traits: Emerie is our biggest cuddler. She loves attention from anyone, even if that is the dog licking extra food off her face! She also screams the loudest when she is mad.

Development: Em loves her toes and constantly pulls off those pesky socks covering them. She is greatly improving on sitting up, and her head shape has improved dramatically from her six month update. She enjoys yelling “dadadadadada” constantly and in numerous octives.Reagan Jean

Weight and Growth Percentile: gained over two pounds and grew 2.75″ since her last checkup! (16 pounds, 15 oz (28%) and 27.5″ (44%)

Favorite Things: Previously our little girl did not like spending time in the jumper, and refused to even try to jump.  All that has changed! She loves jumping now and also enjoys the new activity piano that plays music and lights up. She is also a fan of the princess videos.

Likes: Toys. Reagan is definitely the toy hoarder. She tries to gather all toys near her into her lap; it does not matter if Harper or Emerie are chewing on said toys, they will be hers… She especially likes toys that sing and light up, and her singing toucan! Reagan also took to the frozen teethers the fastest. Lastly, she has a happy shriek sound that is the sweetest thing!

Dislikes: She still dislikes abrupt, loud noises, but who doesn’t? Sometimes she also gets overstimulated and needs a break from the noise and even cuddles. She usually works it out herself and then is back to being happy Reagan. Both visits to Santa have resulted in a blank stare, no smiles, so she might just dislike the big red guy.

Personality Traits: Reagan is still the shiest of the group; although I think she is getting a bit more outgoing now that the jumper isn’t so scary. She still startles a little but has greatly improved on that the past few months. She is our daintiest eater, and general remains pretty clean for baby food feedings.Development: Sometimes she decides she can hold her own bottle, just to show me briefly that she can! She is definitely the strongest of the three and will wiggle around to grab something near her. She just started making sounds that are soon to be words and has started with the “dadada” as well.

All three girls reach out for Mom and Dad now as well as for their bottles. We still receive big smiles in the morning, although lately those come from the rock-and-plays instead of the cribs!

They enjoy book time – by that I mean chewing on a book while we try to read it. And no, we can’t just have one book out; there MUST be three so everyone has something to play with.

Parents

The parents are hanging in there. In the past two months, we’ve had three babies with a cold, six baby teeth grow, many minimal sleep nights, and lots of busy days.

But in addition to the hardships, we’ve also had great developmental improvement, Santa visits, family visits, hair growth (yay!), and generally happy, healthy babies.

My last pumping goal was to make it to the nine month mark, and so far so good! Now shooting for my one year goal.

Get ready for some ridiculously cute Christmas photos (once I finish going through them all!), because they aren’t too far away. Who doesn’t like a baby in a candy cane Christmas dress?!

Post Santa photo at Cabellas