Falling into Winter

As pretty much all parents of young children know, Bluey is life. What is Bluey? An Australian children’s television show that supports morals and raising good humans, in the form of blue and tan puppy dogs. While it may be repetitive and get stuck in your head, the story lines nevertheless are wonderful and support good family values, sibling love, creative and respectful play, and good life lessons. We managed to avoid Bluey marathons for at least three years, knowing that the girls considered it special when preschool turned it on, and kept it that way. Eventually, as all parents do, we caved and this show now plays SO MUCH. Even more so when everyone is sick and confined at home until fevers reduce and energy returns. The show has actually grown on me and some of the girls’ games are now played after certain episodes are watched, like “Keep-ee-Upie.” In layman’s terms, this is known as keeping a balloon off the ground. I’m pretty certain a few of our chickens have names based on characters in different episodes on the show (Diddums is a favorite, and Telemicus).

You know they are sick when they snuggle in and don’t move!

One of my favorite words to emerge from the show really fits with our current #tripletlife lifestyle. Harper is on a kick of saying things are difficult: people, sisters, parents, a task, everything. It turns out there is an episode on Bluey where Bingo (the little sister) uses the word “trifficult,” and I’ve decided this fits well in our household that deals in everything triple. It’s meant to be tricky and difficult combined, hence trifficult. We have a lot of bedtime routines that I would call trifficult to a tee; so, very, trifficult. Some evening conversations go like this, as the girls are lying in their beds resisting the urge to finish the day and go to sleep.

Harper: Mom, where do narwhals live? (narwhals became quite a discussion after Craig’s return from his Juneau work trip, where he found a pink, purple and teal one)

Mom: They live in the water. (It’s bedtime, so don’t be descriptive or long winded)

Harper: But what kind of water do they live in?

Mom: Well they live in the ocean.

Reagan: But mom, why don’t they live in the sea? Why the ocean? I don’t want them to live in the ocean! *whineeeee

Mom: Well, the ocean is bigger than the sea. They need their space. (this answer is based on no legitimate narwhal knowledge on my part)

Harper: Awwww, I don’t want them to live in the ocean! I want them to live in the sea *more whining. So then where do we live?

Mom: We live on the land, in Alaska. It’s next to the ocean. (the girls are well versed in their home state and a few cities where family lives)

Reagan: Well then why don’t we go to the ocean then? Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean? WHY? I want to see a narwhal but you NEVER take us. (I now see the trap ensuing)

Harper: Yeah, we never go to the ocean. Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean?!

Emerie (whose been listening thoughtfully the whole time): Turtles live in the water. I love turtles, they are my favorite. I want to go to the ocean. (Good diversion, kid)

Harper (taking the bait): Otters too, I want to go see otters. And the narwhals, since you never take us.

Mom: How about you just go to sleep. We will go to the ocean eventually.

Harper: My narwhal wants to go to the ocean now; she doesn’t want to sleep. Mom, she wants to go to the ocean. (and it went on from there)

And on and on and on….


Pumpkin carving this year was pretty similar to last year, other than the added enjoyment of Cousin Jaren and Savaya coming over to help with the activity. The girls thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone else clean out the pumpkin guts, but just like last year, Harper was the only one willing to use her hands. Emerie and Reagan “helped” gut with spoons and demanded the adults loosen the seeds to their satisfaction. Eventually they returned to playing and the adults finished things out. Jaren’s puking pumpkin was definitely the winner…if we were competing on designs. The girls thought it was pretty funny.

I also had the joy of watching my children knowingly torture their cousin this time around. For the longest time all three interchange their boy cousins names, but now they are starting to do it on purpose to get a rise out of them. Today in particular, all three whispered to each other go call him Tyler with a maniacal laugh, would shout hi Tyler, and then all run away in overwhelming giggles. It’s funny to know they are purposefully tormenting Jaren now. I wonder where they get that trait from?!


A few more Halloween activities led to more princess dress up and fun. The girls had their annual Halloween party at school, with snacks and goodies and fancy, carved pumpkins. Reagan came down with quite a nasty cough the evening before so she had to miss it, with the doctor telling us that day she had RSV (for the first time at age four…which is pretty good!). She demanded that I take photos of the classroom decorations and that her sisters explained what went down that day. One of the teachers’ aides kindly found a squishy eyeball for her to have like her sisters, which prompted much discussion.

Harper and Emerie gladly wore Encanto’s Isabella (Emerie) and Rapunzel (Harper) AND wore their dress up princess heels, which was very exciting since those are only worn at home. One of the teacher aides asked me what Reagan was supposed to be, which seemed like a strange question until she clarified. The girls were going around telling everyone Reagan doesn’t get a costume because she doesn’t sleep in her bed at night. Well not entirely true kiddos…she doesn’t sleep overnight in her bed, but her staying home sick trumps that! It’s funny how the girls perspective is sometimes.

While the weather temperatures decided to drop for the rest of our fall festivities, that didn’t stop us from attempting them anyway. Extra layers and warm, “cozy (fleece) pants” kept extremities warm long enough to enjoy Trunk or Treat at their school over the weekend. It was not nearly as busy as last year, but the girls saw lots of classmates and friends throughout. I heard a few comments from older kids that those are the triplets. Those triplets are the same age! And so on. I even heard one grade schooler comment that their parents probably never sleep. That’s pretty insightful! So their school celebrity status is still going strong.

Harper and Emerie opted for the same outfits as their school party (plus a pink cape) while Reagan begrudgingly wore Anna, only because she wanted a cape. I sneakily convinced everyone to wear princess gloves, to keep hands warm but also to accessorize! Harper requested her hair be down, which she does at school everyday no matter how it’s styled, Reagan had two braids like Anna, and Emerie rocked her Elsa braid ponytail clip.

Craig prepped the decorations and then headed over early to set up. By the time we showed up, he was pretty cold, and I was sweating getting everyone dressed and into the car! Cold or not, the car looked pretty great and mermaid like. The girls were certainly impressed and tried to grab handfuls of the candy from our bowl, that we were trying to get rid of! So. Much. Candy.

The rest of Halloween weekend was spent at home, resting up from the coughing, RSV ridden and very tired kiddos. We attempted to walk around the neighborhood a bit on Halloween night, simply because the girls were so hyped up about it and have asked me for about 364 days when we could next trick or treat. It was a pretty cold night but mostly snow-less, with the neighborhood really picking up by about 6:30. The cold, crisp air was not doing us any favors; after about a block Emerie and Reagan were blustering continuously and we decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They turned around with Cliff and Craig while Harper and I went a couple more blocks. She is fearless, even without her sisters in tow, and did quite well going up to front doors on her own and ringing the bell. Toward the end of the excursion, she was turning candy down and informing unsuspecting folks she needed the packs of M&M candies from their bowls and nothing else. Silly girl. We trekked over to the fanciest decorated house (with a dragon) and then turned around and came home to warm up the appendages, which were quite cold at that point.

We definitely ended the fall season and threw ourselves straight into winter illnesses with a bang. If we are lucky this will be the worst of it for the year, but since we’ve had snow less than a week and temperatures continue to dip, I’m not optimistic that will happen. I am thankful that this is our first diagnosed bout with RSV- it must be so terrifying for folks that have tiny babies coughing and wheezing like this. It was definitely something we worked super hard to avoid when the girls were still considered preemies, and then with COVID, managed to avoid it until age four and a half. Now let’s avoid it for a few more years please. The week spent at home really displays how much the girls have matured and now play with one another or creatively alone, something they didn’t do nearly as well last winter and definitely didn’t last as long. Not sure how Craig and I would have handled the past week a year ago, so thank goodness we didn’t have to!

We made it through the rest of our sick week with dozens (hundreds?) of Bluey episodes and a lot of princess movies, continuous dressing up (from pajamas to princess dresses and accessories), and a lot of down time. We finally convinced the girls to watch a non-animated movie, Maleficent II, and they didn’t react to the scary bits as much as I expected. And we’ve watching it at least a handful of times; they really enjoy seeing the fairies and all love Maleficent and no longer believe she is the villain of the story.

Craig and I continued to brutally step on the dozens of tiny rocks, ahem “crystals”, that litter the floor of our house from Miss Reagan, who adamantly collects them and using them for everything. If we aren’t stepping on rocks, then it’s the tiny plastic jewelry and sharp edged glass beads that are lying in wait for crushing (skin crushing, soul crushing, stepping on them hurts!). Emerie especially loves to accessorize and the house is covered in beaded necklaces, rings, shoes and other head wear and I can’t for the life of me keep that $hit off the floor!

Reagan now knows what bedtime looks like on the living room clock and will argue if it’s not right at eight when we scoop everyone upstairs. I don’t believe she knows what 8 P.M. actually is, but she knows where the hands sit when it’s the right time. So that’s superrrr fun with an overtired preschooler(s). Other intellectual discussions occurred while at home, and I continue to try to remember to write down Harper epiphanies, simply because they crack me up. The only one documented so far this month is related to the poor kitten getting her tail slammed in the door. Harper’s response? If she doesn’t have a tail, she will no longer be a cat and she will die. Ummm ok? That sounds a bit rough and dramatic. When asked what she would be instead, Harper looked me square in the eye and levelly answered, well she wouldn’t be a cat. Touche kid, touche.

I have to say, watching winter occur from the confines of my own home is far preferable to being out and about in it, so we timed the impending illnesses well for that. The yard looks so beautifully white and undisturbed, mostly because the girls hack up a lung when out in the cold for any amount of time. That and they have no desire to be out there until they feel better, other than for the occasional bundled up four wheeler ride, which is met with just as much excitement so far this year as last. Craig and I are back on the mend and the girls seem to have crushed the fevers, with the cough letting up for the most part. I am really hoping for bedtime to smooth out a little, because triple coughing children after ten days is rough on the sanity, for both the kids and the parents.

Stay warm, my friends. ❤

No Worse for (Winter) Wear

All in all early January was pretty subdued and without too much excitement (good or bad!). The high point of winter means dark days, various illnesses, busy work hours, and a lot of entertaining the littles indoors since the cold air seems to make them cough more.

Craig and I took all three to the doctor this week just to ensure we aren’t missing something on the prolonged coughing fits. It’s been a bit since a triple pediatrician visit and it started out super strong, with all three hanging out and “reading” their mini princess books and cooperating with each other; by the end of the visit they were climbing the walls of the waiting area and ready to go. They all did unusually well at obeying the doctor, who checked lungs, ears, nose and mouth with great cooperation. The pediatrician confirmed everyone just has a viral cough, not croup, not COVID, not RSV, not pneumonia from me (thank goodness), just a mild, fever-less cough. Good news I guess!

A few fun outings have happened in the past two weeks. I ventured out to the valley with Megan and the boys, getting a solid driving nap on our way out, and spent a full afternoon and evening at the play center in Wasilla. It was our first visit and the girls loved the climbing area, spending a lot of time going up and down and chasing each other. At some point Reagan went down the big slide at the top so Emerie followed her, which resulted in a tearful discussion of I went down the REALLY big slide and it was scary. It hurt me! Needless to say, she only went down it once.

We devoured snacks, rode the tiny train and spinner rides multiple times, and played a few games. The girls all enjoyed the basketball one and even made some hoops; watching all three play at once is definitely a good source of entertainment. In several cases the ball hit the rim and immediately ricochet straight into someone’s face- causing quite the moment of laughter. Calm down, the balls were much softer than real basketballs….which aren’t so fun when colliding with your nose. The girls enjoyed any game that involved whacking things and tested out their fruit ninja skills with Oaki. Toward the end of the night we watched a few friends race around the track on the other side of the center, with five very excited littles watching. I did not plan to be out until after 8 on a school night (who are we kidding, any night), but the visit went so well the time passed quickly.

It was wonderful to feel more like what I assume “normal” parents feel like during outings. I wasn’t chasing the kids around the whole time to not lose them, wasn’t stressed out and hoping for time to be over so we could go home; I was actually enjoying an afternoon with my girls and not feeling impending stress. Everyone was clearly tired as we loaded up about the time we’d normally be settling down for bedtime, and managed to keep them awake and entertained (annoyed) the entire hour drive with all the favorite Disney tunes…Frozen, Encanto, Home, and so on. And of course, more snacks.

Outings over the past month or two continue to be stroller-less, which is quite the change over the past three years. I should say, stroller-less AND survivable, for the most part. The snow plays a small factor is containment as we walk into a store or the jump park, but overall we are just getting better at it. Excluding the few horrible times that are sprinkled throughout the good trips, it is wonderful to be able to walk from the car to the destination and not haul a thousand things. Not all times are smooth or wonderful, like the other day when I picked up the girls at preschool. They proceeded to run from the gym across the whole school lobby and to the front door with their dresses pulled down to their waists, shoes littering the floor and bare chests on display, and would not listen or come back to me. Those are the beautiful memories to hold onto when they are older…right? The jump park is another spot that one parent can easily take all three and keep the damage to a minimum and it’s really nice.

The girls are currently all on a dress up kick, and while you’d assume Harper would be leading that charge with her love of all things pink, black and princessery, Emerie is currently the one obsessed with her Snow White two piece outfit from Uncle William at Christmas. The past few weeks she’s worn it to school over her clothes a number of times and every night the battle of convincing her it isn’t pajamas occurs. Harper is more into the tutus, dress up heels and crown headbands while Reagan occasionally accepts an article of clothing, especially when delivered by her sisters; overall her favorite “dress-up” article of clothing is the plain green hat from June and January, which she constantly wears and carts around. The other evening Reagan was wearing a pink princess cloak and Harper called her out, claiming she can’t wear pink, you’re Reagan and you wear blue! It’s funny to say, but we definitely hit the nail on the head on who correlates to what color, since we didn’t make the call based on personality at birth. Harper loves girly and pink things, Emerie likes purple (also blue but not the point) and Reagan appears to be the tomboy and prefers teal and blue when given the option.

Snoozing on the way to the valley’s play center.

And then, when you take away the color from a picture, it’s VERY hard to tell who is who, even more so with eyes shut and sans glasses! Don’t you think?!

We have returned to the question phase about my name, with the constant why do we call you mom but Kaden calls you Becca? Can we call you Becca? Daddy’s name is Craig; my mom’s name is Becca, but we don’t call her Becca. So many complicated thoughts to work out.

Many other kiddo musings are fun to interpret and not often understand unless one is paying attention. These types of things must contribute to mom brain, since the lack of understanding their intent often results in rage and meltdowns…so one must store these jewels in their mind until the kid moves onto the next one. I enjoy writing them down, since it shows their quirks and what things they enjoy and latch onto!

Last year the main example of this related to listening to or watching Pan, more commonly known as Tangled or Rapunzel to everyone else on earthy, and they still call her that to this day, but others are definitely popping up into every day conversation. Like when Emerie asks me to play the castle song or the horse song in the car, can you guess those ones from Frozen? She’s referring to Let It Go, the song where Elsa builds the castle while she sings and the song in Frozen II when she wrangles the horse. Reagan is now a huge Rihanna fan, insisting each night that I play the shadow song, which refers to one of Rihanna’s songs from the movie Home, where she sings about the sun and a shadow. Reagan constantly sings that chorus or hums it to herself. Everyone requests the bubble song from the same movie, referring to the main opening scene when all the Boov people come to earth in their bubbles. As mentioned in a previous blog, my favorite interpretation to anything are the requests for the crack house movie (Encanto).

Who knows what requests will be next, but I can’t wait to see. We are gaining five minutes of daylight a day, everyone is starting to get healthier from their coughs, and I can sit and write this on my long-awaited, new living room couch; things are already starting to look up!

House of Sick

2022 is definitely starting off with a bang, and not exactly a fun one. All three adults managed to pick up pneumonia, likely transmitted through the girls (who didn’t catch it thank goodness!) and to my mom, me and as of this week, Craig. Being down for the count with zero energy the past two weeks means relying on a few friends’ gracious help and sheer will power to keep the household floating! Without some help the past several long weekends would have ended with the house on fire. The delivered meals feel similar to back when the babies were tiny and we got through the first few months in survival mode.

In addition to the sick adults, two of the girls have ear infections and Harper now has the croup, meaning everyone in the entire house is on some form of medication (and it’s not covid yay!). This might be a first! The only bonus with our current sicknesses is that Craig and I spaced ours apart just enough to survive; with my second round of stronger medication kicking in right about the time he started feeling worse and having the major fatigue.

On New Years Day I managed to drag myself to the car and we did a family donut run to Carrs in our pajamas, at negative temperatures! The donut requests started with the girls begging for Grandma Sue’s donuts, which no one was up for accomplishing, and so we drove to the usual local spots that were closed for the day. Everyone enjoyed a frosted donut from Carrs, with Reagan eating the entire sugared one, Emerie eating the top icing and sprinkles off hers like a mouse, and Harper slowly nibbling on all the parts.

Other than this, we haven’t been up to much since the new year started. I thank my lucky stars that this extreme sickness hit our household this year and not last, because the girls have done exceptional at playing at home and entertaining themselves without requiring us to be on our feet and moving the whole time. This, and Megan and Heather’s clans coming over to feed and entertain (thank you friends!).


In addition to all the sickness, we recently made another household change and I feel like I’ve already written a very similar blog to this a year ago when we re-homed our Kalli. Here we are again, doing the same thing for our second dog, Koda, who many of you have loved on and snuggled with over the past five years.

Craig and I mused over this decision the last few months and finally made the call that this is something we can do to ease our stress a little bit, stop the dog versus cat fights that cost a lot of money, and give Koda a better place with more puppy attention, something she deserves! It’s a hard decision to make; ultimately what is best for Koda is a place that can sit and snuggle and love on her, something we seem to do a lot of, just not for her and more for our kiddos. These decisions are never fun.

Our pretty girl

Unlike when we went through this with Kalli, the kids are now a factor in how to play out the situation. Making a big deal of it doesn’t deplete the stress, but neither does a vanishing act with no explanation to the littles that would wonder where she went. We opted for a happy medium of the two, with the explanation that Koda needs to go stay with another “momma that needs help and snuggles” and she is going to have so much fun there! We played it off as something exciting and good for our pup, something she will enjoy and be happy with, and I think it worked! Everyone asked why and thought about it, with Emerie claiming no, she’s my Koda the most of the three. She likes to call our house Koda’s house; when she’s mad at both parents for something, she whines she wants Koda. So we will see how that plays out in future days.

Craig dropped her off at the rescue the other night before picking up the girls from preschool and surprisingly no one questioned where she was- although I think they just didn’t notice. The second night I received more questions about her location and randomly throughout the day Emerie asks where her Koda is, which is sad! I never noticed how often she is mentioned in random conversations the girls have until now, but hopefully that will ease with time and it won’t be a sore spot for them.

The house feels strange without a pup and while Craig and I both feel sad that we had to make this call, it is best for the household going forward. The kitties are already starting to run around and play more freely!

Cheers to the start of a new year, which is relatively rougher than some other year starts. Next thing to solve? Getting everyone, myself included, back to feeling healthy so we can get back to fun adventures and activities.

Coughs and Yawns

Well folks, after twenty months living in a global pandemic, it finally caught up to our household through the girls’ preschool class.

Reagan and Emerie had low grade fevers as an indicator early on, something we’ve dealt with more often than not over the last three months; fevers that seem to indicate ear infections or allergies. Unfortunately for this one, it turns out both girls tested positive on their rapid Covid-19 tests at the pediatrician’s office. Harper’s test came back negative, which aligns to the usual order of kiddos getting any type of sickness.

This is the second time a positive case was announced in the girls’ classroom since school started in August, without any specifics times or details, as to keep the other kids anonymous (silly if you ask me!). We assume this is where it was transmitted and we had a very short window to get in the right headspace of spending ten days stuck at home with three rambunctious toddlers, who may be sick but clearly felt fine overall. Over the next few days, they definitely felt better than their parents as the infection slowly crept into our sinuses. Catching all sicknesses is part of being a parent…right? Or is it just part of being a mom? I can’t remember.

While it is fantastic news that the girls aren’t feeling all the effects of this bug, it also means it’s really hard to keep them busy and entertained throughout the day and keep the fighting and whining to a minimum. The first day out of the gate was consumed with all the things, coloring, magnet boards, stickers, some Frozen, Cocomelon and Abominable movie viewing, tons of snacks, magna-tile construction, and layering the house with the inch of snow outside on the deck. Did I also mention eight thousand outfit changes? From pajamas to Frozen princess dresses to shorts to hoodies to regular dresses to dance leotards. So. Many. Outfit. Changes.

And here’s how the quarantine period really went by, since it is not all sunshine and smooth sailing and one of my greatest fears of impending doom over the past thirty months…in case you were curious if you can survive house arrest with your children.

Quarantine Day One

Feeling strong. Feeling ambitious! We can do this! We have lots of things to entertain the tiny minions, a full fridge of food, great internet… I prepped and cooked a nice dinner; the girls played all day.

Twelve hours later…OMG, we can’t do this. I need some Netflix and SILENCE.

Day Two

Online Target and toy store orders begin, with entertainment going okay so far…other than the one hand slammed in the door, blood, waterworks, you know…the usual. Craig picked up a fun new ball rolling set and everyone played (mostly) nicely for a little while on it. A friend dropped off dinner and a couple kid activities on our doorstep; much appreciate as we started down a long path of being home.

Day Three

The toddler cabin fever sets in. Is that a real thing, you ask?! YES, IT IS. It’s like starting a week of full moon attitudes and you can’t escape it. The kids become crazy hyper from being cooped up at home when they aren’t really used to it, at least not at this level. By the end of the day, I found Emerie and Reagan emptying all the toilet paper rolls downstairs and Emerie standing on the back of the toilet. Later that night after bath time, I caught Emerie sucking down the kid toothpaste, straight out of the tube, resulting in a death match to pry it out from her extremely strong, but tiny, fingers. Help us.

I will note a nice thirty minutes decorating craft pumpkins and taping them up on the new living room wall happened. Reagan thrived at this activity while Harper and Emerie browsed by and helped in between other distractions.

Day Four

Creative entertainment means breaking out the top shelf doll strollers that cause instantaneous energy. I began feeling really crummy by now (as opposed to just slightly) with a fever and sore throat; but am feeling very lucky not to have the fatigue other people report having- Craig might be over the hump of his sickness or he’s toughing it out well, at least we hope so! And the girls did not get the memo they are actually sick, you would never know without the mild fevers and positive tests. By the end of the day, I completed a Target pickup order of Dayquil and Robitussin with no bra on…whose feeling empowered now…?!

I will not admit how much Frozen I and Frozen II has played in this house in the last few days…let it goooo…

Day Five

Craig felt inspired to make homemade cinnamon rolls with the girls, so clearly he’s feeling at least a bit better. The girls helped spread the dough, melted butter, and sugar and of course lather themselves in some of it too. Eating the finished product was a bit too much for them, so Craig and I enjoyed cinnamon rolls for breakfast for a couple of days. Everyone napped in the car that afternoon after seeming lethargic and tired all day (just enough to be noticeable), much like their parents! After a shower and hair brushing, Harper told me she liked my hair…clearly we need to get out more…

Reagan begins her major coloring kick. Whoever created mess-free coloring markers; you deserve a medal. Harper and Emerie both have marker stained faces from running out of sight with the Crayola marker set and you can tell! Reagan loves her sparkly, Frozen themed mess-free coloring and sits for a few minutes each hour and colors another one, mostly in the lines, to proudly display on the fridge.

Day Six

Today we are back to work (at home). We were very lucky to have a state holiday (Alaska Day) and a four day weekend (for me) while we are quarantined. We managed six months of juggling kids and work earlier this year, but it’s a different dynamic when your littles are grumpy from fevers, you are confined to your house and the parents have what feels like a bad cold. Fortunately we were both able to get a few work hours in here and there over the weekend to stay caught up.

By day six bike riding is allowed in the house, movie times involve blankets and laundry baskets, the garage is a new play room, railroad track cities span the entire living room- desperate times call for desperate measures! Reagan threw a toy and hit Emerie square in the nose, horizontally slicing from nostril to nostril and drawing a lot of blood and tears from her sister. After that fiasco we opted for a mandatory driving nap…which no one actually slept on. This was the worst day of quarantine so far!

By the end of day six, there are two options: either our fevers are going to break or our sanity is!!

Day Seven

Two of the three slept in until 8:45 today; clearly quite the record. Emerie awoke about 7:15 and laid on the floor by my desk with her owl and blanket while I had a nice hour of hot coffee, emails and silence. We finally managed to take a walk around the neighborhood and get some fresh air, which was much overdue!

Harper found a twirly pen at some point that morning and colored the entirety of both legs before we noticed. She is also quoting full phrases from Frozen at random. For example, I turned around to her standing on the coffee table, with a tutu and crown headband on and arms out, yelling “if you don’t want me to run into fire, then don’t run into fire!”

The girls were wildly hyper in the evening, which we believe stems from the protein drinks at dinner, since they don’t seem to want to eat actual food this week. At least today was a little better than the dreadful day six.

Day Eight

Another good sleep-in morning, with Emerie going for 12 hours of sleep and Harper and Reagan waking up after eight in the morning, a definite win for us.

Overall uneventful day, thank goodness! Emerie isn’t feeling better yet but Reagan is clearly on the mend and exploding with energy. She and Harper continue to run circles around each other while Emerie cuddled on the couch and avoided. An hour driving nap rewarded the parents with a little quiet and the post lunch walk a nice outing in the sun, although Emerie wasn’t really feeling it. Two more days!!

After the car nap Emerie and Reagan cuddled and played nicely together for nearly an hour while Harper “helped” me fold a couple loads of laundry at the kitchen table, I sucked down a bunch of hot tea for my cough, and Craig made dinner that neither of us could taste. It was a nice hour reprieve before the wildness repeated for the day, with no one wanting dinner and Harper and Reagan wildly wrestling and running around the house until bedtime.

Day Nine

It appears we rounded a bit of a corner in play time- when one kiddo finds self entertainment for a few minutes (kinetic sand, coloring, playing in the toy kitchen, etc.), the other two, no matter which two, actually play together for a bit. It is nice to see what ideas they create, whether it’s a blanket fort, playing nap time with their animals (and turning off ALL my lights and closing shades), or chasing each other up and down the stairs a hundred times. As the picture highlights, I also caught them red handed a few times making massive water messes in the downstairs bathroom…but having fantastic fun until they were caught!

Everyone wanted “Elsa braids” that morning and luckily don’t yet recognize the difference between a normal braid and Elsa’s. I will have to learn that skill in the near future though, since it’s unlikely Elsa, Anna, Sven and Kristof are going anywhere, any time soon (sorry Craig).

Day Ten

Miraculously, we made it to day ten and the girls are completely fever free! We took it upon ourselves to really leave the house; not out in public mind you, and ventured out to the valley for some good ‘ole outside fun. The girls rode with their cousins on the dirt bike, four wheelers and kid size John Deer tractor. You could easily tell they were thrilled to get out of the house, enjoy a smoothie on the ride out and run around a new spot. Even their driving (steering) skills are improving! It was a beautiful fall day and unusually warm for this time of October; Jaren, Emerie and I also picked a bunch of wild, high bush (I think) cranberries and Emerie collected about half a ziploc bag, all by herself! All in all, a nice afternoon now that everyone is feeling better and getting closer to back to normal.


Over the past year and a half we focused on not sharing the current world crisis with the girls, especially since they are so young, but can comprehend a lot more than one might think. They turned two the same day our city shut down for the first time and since then are used to seeing people wearing masks and social distancing. We made it through the first six months of pandemic without changing any of our daily routines (other than me working at home instead of the office), since the girls already spent workdays with the nanny at home and hand washing after going anywhere public is something you always do when caring for premature babies. We didn’t fully feel the impact until we started out-of-home unexpectedly daycare last fall, where we weren’t allowed to enter the facility and felt very cut off from the girls during the day. You all know that story already.

The good news is the social aspect of COVID-19 hasn’t affected the girls, to their knowledge at least, as we continue having play dates with a number of folks in our little bubble. Spending a lot of time outside as they’ve grown bigger helps ease the cutoff-from-the-rest-of-society feeling, including small hikes, trail walks, playgrounds and walks around the neighborhood. It pains me to see friends with elementary aged kids that understand the world has changed and not for the better. I don’t want my kids to grow up in fear of people breathing around them, not being masked, having an occasional cough or cold and especially the sociological damage that results from it. Kid shouldn’t have to take on a lot of this responsibility and grow up fearful- they should be having fun, learning new things and maturing in a safe environment- and I intend to hold my family to that as best I can. It makes me so thankful all this is happening prior to school age, where we are the main influence on their lives and they aren’t stressing over missing school, seeing their friends or being stuck at home.

I live in a madhouse run by a tiny army I made myself.

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Throughout our quarantine the girls never questioned missing school and accepted the simple explanation of a cough and not feeling well. We received the occasional question about going or missing a teacher, but nothing more than that. Even better, they weren’t overly curious why we stayed home all day and weren’t out and about as much or going to the park, and only taking a car ride here and there. They especially disliked going to Target meant order pickup and not venturing inside; that’s about the biggest complaint so far. In another year I feel this would be a lot different! Throughout the week Harper kept telling me she has the coughs and yawns, which is more true for her sisters than her, but wouldn’t you say it is a fitting description for being sick? I definitely have that!

This week the girls started “calling” Grandma Sue on a play phone to tattle that a mean sister. The FaceTime calls with family and friends helped them stay connected and calmed the questions about seeing Oaki and Kaden, Papa and Grandma, or Tyler when they come up, but the fake calls are pretty humorous too. The cell phone tattling remains pretty random and doesn’t seem to follow a pattern when it’s “grandma worthy”, but it’s definitely hilarious to listen to such expressive thoughts!

A few friends have checked in over the course of the week, dropped off goodies and asked how we are feeling and how the virus presented to us. I find it really interesting that Craig and I had very different symptoms, with his cough showing up from day one and then improving, and my cough showing up about day five, gaining some momentum, and then improving. I presented with a fever and major sore throat, which progressed into a stuffy nose and sinus headache without the sore throat, and then stuffy nose with a cough. Emerie and Reagan are mildly stuffy off and on, maintained a 100 degree temperature prior to medicine for a handful of days, and coughed mostly at nighttime and a little throughout the day. Harper maintained no fever, stuffy nose or cough throughout the entire event!

So what has ten days in quarantine taught me about myself? Well first of all, it definitely reminded me that I can step up even more, even when it feels like you already do everyday with three kiddos, to get through a challenging time. It also reminded me to take things one day at a time, one hour at a time if needed. On a bad day (like day six!), getting through an hour at a time is less of a mind stress than constantly thinking how many more days you have to get through and all the stressful questions that come with those thoughts. Getting through one napless afternoon without focusing on the impending lack of nap in future days…really helps. It keeps the overwhelming anxiety a little more at bay, at least for a little while.

Feeling better and getting out of the house!

I fully admit if ten quarantine days occurred a year ago, I’m not sure how we would have survived it. The fact that the girls now play independently at least a little bit (in between the whining and fighting) is a major game changer in 24/7 house confinement. Reagan is fantastic at coloring and sitting for periods of time and focusing on it, Harper enjoys playing dress up and creating fancy outfits and riding her bike around, Emerie will construct a railroad track and play by herself for a little while. Everyone enjoyed trashing my house with kinetic sand a couple times and fort building and balance bike riding in the garage to burn energy. Television, while not the ideal answer but who are we kidding, is now watched and commented on with a longer attention span than last year. Current household favorites are Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Abominable, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Curious George. And lastly, a year ago we couldn’t easily go on a walk around the neighborhood without both parents; now they are “better” at staying close, stopping at the stop signs (with reminders) and completing a loop back home by foot or on wheels.

All in all, guys, we made it through!! The girls went back to preschool yesterday and everyone seems back to normal other than myself, with a mild, lingering cough and tastelessness holding on for a little longer.

Home Week

December and January of the past two years consisted of cold after cold, with runny noses, short tempers, a bout of pink eye, and a lot less sleep, especially when the girls were tiny. We hoped this year would be a little improved, if only because most places to pick up a cold or virus are closed and socializing (for the most part) is a pre-COVID perk.

Well, we made it to about day four or five of December before the first cold caught up with us- not a great start but pretty fantastic if one considers no one has had a runny nose since last January. It started with Reagan and a runny nose, went to Harper with one as well, and then Emerie struck an almost 104 degree fever with no other symptoms. The tele-doctor call strongly suggested we get a COVID test for Emerie, since her random fever aligns with those symptoms, so we took all three girls over to the pediatrician’s drive up testing site on Monday morning.

An accurate depiction of the morning

Knowing the girls were not going to enjoy a swab up their nose, we explained to them before leaving that the doctor was going to “look at their nose” and “clean it out.” As expected, all three certainly shed some tears at the experience, with Reagan first and the other two crying just watching her. We broke our no binkie rule and gave them binkies to calm them in the car seats and a lollipop treat.

The doctor noted that they aren’t doing rapid tests, which I’m not thrilled about, so whether we come back positive or negative, we pretty much lost out on daycare for the entire week. That, in turn, means another week on double duty, working and taking care of (sick) kiddos.

Clearly the girls weren’t feeling great, since we took our longest nap on Monday, maybe ever. Although it took Reagan almost an hour of wiggling and chatting in her crib to fall asleep, even she ended up sleeping almost three hours. Harper and Emerie were out pretty quickly and we let them go longer than the usual wake up time, hoping that would help fight off the runny noses and fevers.

Day two: as we continued to wait for test results, the day started off with a very grumpy and fevery Emerie. Everyone ended up sleeping in our beds early on in the night as the snot continued to cause coughing (they didn’t cough at all otherwise!). We played out in the backyard while the snow dumped and spent a good hour with play dough at the kitchen table. I also started feeling the effects of a sinus cold and started cramming down tea and Advil cold and sinus, hoping for a mild one while we can’t go anywhere or get any kiddo relief. I always find it entertaining that I seem to catch EVERY cold that girls get but Craig manages to skip most of them.

By Wednesday we still had no word on testing results. Emerie’s fever continued on and off and she awoke with a 101, which is better than the past few days. Harper and Reagan’s only symptoms were runny noses now and they have mastered the skill of blowing their noses into a tissue. It was very cute at first since they didn’t quite comprehend how to do it, but learned quite quickly! It probably helps that they shared this cold (as usual) with me so my nose blowing is their continued demonstration.

Craig and I continued to juggle working our hours while watching the girls. We’ve found it really helps to hide toys for a short period of time and then get them back out. It doesn’t take much for something to be “new” and exciting again for a toddler. I pulled the foot-push cars out from the shed and let them thaw in the living room and moved the random toys and furniture off to the side as much as possible. The girls played for a while with them, alternating who sat in which one, Craig strung some LED Christmas lights on two of them, they drove with blankets on top for “peek a boo” and carried baby dolls and monkeys around with a loud goodbye, mommy! Of course fighting occurred over who could use what (since two are red and one is teal), when someone wouldn’t move for someone else, or if a foot was accidentally run over, God forbid! While the activity passed the hour for us adults, we still opted to go to nap a few minutes earlier than normal and they went down pretty quickly.

Traffic jam

By day four of still no test indications, grumpy, cooped-up kids and a full fledged cold for me, I finally dropped the optimistic and happy life attitude that most of my blogs represent and became more of the realist of- this. just. plain. sucks. Emerie was in a mood the entire day and no matter what activity was done, toy was out, show was on, everyone just fought.

Parenting is hard. Parenting more than one kid of any age is hard. Parenting three toddlers at the same time is hard. Staying home for multiple days, waiting on test results, is hard. I am SO over this month, this year, this phase of kiddos? While my current struggles this week could be blamed on COVID, I can’t really blame the lack of socializing or visiting family entire on it and just have to continue to struggle through. I hoped Friday would be another day, hopefully with cheerier kiddos and test results, but who are we kidding? It’s was just going to be a repeat of this day (and thanks to the stuffy nose- I can’t even enjoy a glass of wine or bowl of eat ice cream to help). In fact, we were very close to opening the not-yet- wrapped Christmas presents just to pass the time, or do an Easter egg hunt (if I could find the plastic eggs). I’m not sure which is worse, that everyone is snotty and grumpy every second or the fact that I know it’s not going to get any better anytime soon.

Friday came and went about the same as the rest of the weekdays. We loaded up in the car and got hot chocolates for the girls and fancy drinks for the adults, came home and enjoyed them and ventured out on the fourwheeler for a quick jog around the neighborhood. That proved to be very cold, even in broad daylight, and by the end, the girls just wanted to come inside and snuggle in their hooded blankets. We caved and brought out the first Christmas presents of the year that afternoon, the fancy doll strollers from Grandma Anne. After the little ones they’ve had since about twelve months old, these things are fancy! Not only do they have a baby carrier and stroller, but they even have some bells and whistles like real strollers. I am sure next spring will consist of walks down the street, with all three walking their dolls (or monkeys) each evening in delight.

I am happy to report that we eventually received the all clear, negative, test results we were hoping for. By the time they came, the fevers were gone and only runny noses remained. It’s been a long week; while we are SO ready to send them back to school, we are also happy that we didn’t catch anything other than the usual, mundane December sniffles.

I learned this week that toddlers can be even grosser as they get bigger. We always joke about the snot and slobbery times when they were babies, assuming at least some bodily fluid was on every shirt or pair of pants at all times (pretty accurately assuming). Well, I witnessed an exhausted Reagan, completely asleep, wipe her nose with her hand and then lick the same hand. While she was ASLEEP!! Let’s pray that we don’t all do that when we are sick and sleeping…so gross and subconsciously! The next day I also watched Harper blow her runny nose into the front window screen and then try to rub it off with her hand. Yep, that happened too. I’m going to go wash my hands…


Since most of this blog was mildly discouraging and full of snot, quarantining, and stress, I will mention a few cute things over the past week. For example, like at Halloween, Craig switched out the random pillowcases around the house from spooky to Christmas themed, and again Reagan noticed and kept pointing it out. That led to her discovery that the cases are removable from the pillow and usable for a variety of things, such as hauling toys around, wearing on her head as a hat, or climbing in and using as a sleeping/potato sack of sorts. By the end of that evening, all three were playing with a pillow case and fully entertained for an hour.

Princess pajamas!

The princess phase of toddlerhood is in full swing. Now remember that they enjoyed the you-tube videos of Disney songs while in their jumpers, with those medleys on replay for several months. Harper fully embraces this attitude- she likes to dress up, wear her color (pink), and adamantly DEMANDS to have some form of princess on all pajamas and often on her clothing and underwear. It is to the point it can be difficult, because she will NOT wear any old pair of underwear laying nearby when it needs a change from an accident and will NOT cooperate unless you specifically show her how there is a princess on that article of clothing (she doesn’t believe castles apply). I’m pretty certain I’ve ordered every princess pajama I can find in their size (which isn’t that many actually) so the three pairs we have don’t require washing everyday. Recently Reagan was in an owl phase, then a purple phase and now she is in support of the princess-wear, but won’t argue as much about other pattern options. Emerie is the easiest to convince to wear any pajama or outfit; this week she is asking for butterflies.

Reading with Cousin Tyler

Several new Llama Llama books came in the mail last week and the girls are thoroughly enjoying the new topics. I missed reading the Thanksgiving theme one for the actual holiday (I couldn’t find it!), so we are reading it at nighttime now followed by the Christmas Llama Llama book and the usual “Potty Book” (actually titled Llama Llama Nighty Night), but renamed by the girls because it has a potty page. After a week we are still reading these three each night and the girls now recite the nighty night book with me if asked. For a while Harper was calling out the words before I turned the page, clearly a sign of how much it is enjoyed. It’s quite adorable too.

A new household rule exists that Mom is not allowed to sing but Dad is. Since Cocomelon is streaming a lot more these days while we are all at home, I’m informed by the tiny humans that I am not allowed to participate in singing along under any circumstance, but that Craig should clearly sing with them. Not sure how I should take that…but they are very boisterous about it while we are in the car. I am, however, allowed to dance at the musical dance parties- and let’s be clear…I can sing MUCH better than I can dance. Hopefully the girls have their dance genes from the Douglas side of the family. Harper is constantly requesting the Itsy Bitsy Spider song and likes to do the motions when it plays. Emerie is on a Jesus Loves Me and This Little Light of Mine kick, and Reagan asks for Lola the Cow and Baby Shark. Harper refuses to let Lola reach her ears, even after loving it a few months ago, which cracks me up.

Moose lookout

The girls conversations continue to expand. They like to goof off and play together (when they aren’t fighting, which is every once in a while) and if you peek and watch them, the conversation usually goes Harper, again! with a response of Emi, my turn, my turn, again! or me, Reagan, me! and then the action is repeated. For that one moment of no toddler rage, it’s pretty cute. The girls are starting to play cook more now as well. Harper brought me a cup a “tea” and poured it the other day, Emerie will deliver a plate full of random (fake) food that always contains interesting combinations to “eat”, and Reagan will go answer the phone on the play kitchen, stop and look out and have a conversation on it while she walks around the room.

Another hot topic in the household is the neighborhood moose. It ran down the street the other day and they were SO excited, but disappointed it didn’t stop and hang out in our front yard. A few days prior that same moose was across the street eating a frozen pumpkin at the neighbors, in perfect view from their bedroom window. They’ve decided that anything resembling a horse is now a moose and argue with you if you disagree.

As you can see, there is a lot going on this winter, even without the socializing and normal holiday activities. While there is much more we’d like to participate in and hopefully will in future years, for now we will try to dwell on the good and not sit on the hardships, like waiting for test results, babies that wake up early and are grumpy, or winter colds!

We hope everyone is hanging in there this holiday season and please reach out if you want a Christmas card ❤