Hunker Down: Week 2

How can those adorable faces be so mischievous?!

This week is all about my toddlers living their best toddler life. And by that, I mean major shenanigans, tiny adventures, learning how to be mischievous, and everything in between.

Harper and Reagan are now talking a lot more and expanding their vocabularies; Emerie continues to mimic all the words you give her. The main word for this week is no and mermaid. Do you a want timeout? No! Do you want more food? No! Do you want to come inside? No! Do you want your diaper changed? No! (but it really means yes but they still want to run from you)

Saying her words!

They now call William Uncle, it’s really cute; and are finally starting to say Grandma after months of coaxing. It has taken much convincing!

Bedtime routine consists of sister chatting, reading the bedtime book while they throw stuff animals at us and then snuggle down in bed, and using the new nightlight from their birthday. It has multiple projector settings with a swirl of colorful stars! Different settings seem to interest them greatly, but we’ve found that settling is more difficult for Reagan when they are shifting around the room in red and blue. White, not-rotating stars seem to be accommodate going to sleep.

I can sum this week up with two words: mischievous and wild. More personality traits are emerging in each and they are maturing into sensitive, high energy, smarty pants toddlers. For example, Emerie is now mischievously sneaking off to places out of sight (like the play castle or caterpillar, and taking the time to pull of her glasses and patch before re-emerging like nothing ever happened. She’s started doing this for just her glasses as well; but is slowly learning if a stern voice threatens her with timeout, she will go find said glasses and try to put them back on. It’s quite a lot of effort to keep track of them (and I don’t mean the kids on this one haha). We’ve also taken to small rewards when she does obey, find the glasses, and put them back on her face. She especially enjoys an M&M or a marshmallow.

On my solo Friday off, mischievous Reagan showed Emerie how to climb out of her crib as I brought Harper downstairs. I found both of them standing on the changing pad area of the crib, looking out the bedroom window and giggling. Luckily she hasn’t tried it again, but I’m sure she’s saving that for another day. On the flip side, a post bath time Reagan climbed back into Emerie’s crib and lost her mind that she was again contained, even when she put herself there. Toddlers…

Mischievous Harper keeps finding the dog food…no matter where we put it! I guess there are some healthy elements in it and, as typical, she goes at it 100%, grabbing full handfuls. On the table, back porch, stairs…she b-lines straight to it at every opportunity.

Other fun mischievous things for the week: climbing out of the bathtub without permission, running out the front door and toward the street, pulling off diapers and running around, and yes, poop… Bolting the front door is now a necessity and we probably need to invest in another lock to add- all three have dashed out the front at one point; luckily a parent was close by or they were running out to welcome Daddy home.

It’s been a while since a poop incident…so I guess we were overdue. While working away on my laptop, upstairs and out of sight of children, I hear some commotion downstairs regarding diapers. Apparently, our almost-ready-to-potty-train Reagan removed her pants and diaper and proceeded to take a nice #2 bathroom break on the floor behind the play castle. The area is out of view and private from most of the room and between the castle and front living room windows, making it the perfect spot to be up to no good! Now, of course, when you have three toddlers and one of them is doing something they shouldn’t, it’s a given that the other two will get in on it. So both Emerie and Harper walked through it; thankfully they had socks on, but gross! Harper also had it all over her hands and kept repeating yucky! And Emerie? Well, she was walking around, repeating oh shit, oh shit later that afternoon. I mean, we knew that would happen eventually…right? I choose to blame that one on Craig. Anyway, it was quite the commotion to get Reagan’s diaper back on. Oh so fun. Poor Nanny.

The girls now try to participate during diaper changes and often point at their sister and repeat yucky. They wish to help facilitate the change, grabbing diapers, any and all accessible wipes, pulling on sisters’ clothes, climbing on the parent, all of it. That help also means taking a diaper, opening it and holding it up to their sister, and giggling. With the changing area open to the whole room now, the girls try to beat on the sister that’s momentarily immobile…or the occasional rare moment where I can convince all three to give kisses. That’s only happened once and I wish I had captured it on film, but I didn’t have my phone handy.

To continue the potty theme, after coloring in the shower for a few that evening, on a whim I put everyone on potty chairs. Knowing ahead of time this usually ends messily, we let them run around in the nursery before pajama time. Two successfully peed on/next to the potty (well kinda- missed mostly but they were sitting on it!) and one went right on the floor…her trend for the day (and I’m sure you can guess who). So yes, enough if that. And I didn’t take any photos…you’re welcome.

We attempted this again another night and had one success! Harper got an M&M for it, wowed her audience (Emerie and Reagan), AND to commemorate the joyous achievement, threw the chair full of pee at Craig. So funny.

For the wild portion of the week, we make it a point to burn as much energy as physically possible during awake hours, especially being at home all the time. This has improved napping for the most part. Reagan has been sleeping on the guest room bed and we’re finding she takes a two hour nap when no one interrupts her in the middle of it. This means she actually likes sleep as long as it’s steady; something that’s been questioned the past year. It’s almost as if she’s flipped with Harper, who is having a harder time settling herself this month, waking up multiple times during a nap and having a hard time going back down. Emerie is a rock star, napping through Harper’s insistence to get up, AND for the most part sleeping all night! If she does awake in the midst of the night, she easily settles with a snuggle and sometimes a bottle, going right back to sleep after. The other night she even laid back down by instruction when we snagged the other (screaming) two.

Finding more ways to enjoy magnets!

My solo Friday went decently and the girls were in jolly moods- we played outside twice in the morning with the fresh, wet (April) snow. They made snowballs, played in their snow covered cars and “helped” me shovel the deck.

For the most part, the day went without a hitch until the mailman rang the doorbell twice, smack in the middle of nap time, waking up Harper. Emerie didn’t nap at all but was in her crib almost an hour and a half, with the doorbell going off the last straw. Very frustrating, since we have a sign that reminds visitors not to wake sleeping babies or ring the doorbell. Our typical mailman (mailwoman?) is great and never wakes the kids. It’s the small things that can have such a big impact on the day, you know? Ruining a nap may seem small, but it’s the only hour of sanity I get in the 12+ hours everyone is awake.

As most moms are, I’ve been scanning the internet for creative crafts and new activities to keep the kids interested and engaged throughout the day. I cooked mac and cheese again with all three colors this time and the girls liked to point out the differences. Emerie commented Harper for the pink noodles, and everyone is improving on repeating the real colors back to you.

I also attempted a Facebook craft video using empty rolls of toilet paper. It lasted all of five minutes before little hands tore it to shreds, but they were definitely entertained well into the afternoon just playing with the ping pong balls and toilet paper rolls. I think we will find a way to reinforce it so they can’t tear it down- that will provide a great deal more entertainment. Who knew gravity was so exciting?!

Other WILD traits for the week including running around the house with doll strollers and the driveway with chalk, riding tricycles, and dragging me around the main floor by my hands, which prompted a good twenty minutes of laughs and lots of steps for me. A few nights consisted of very grumpy toddlers, even after good naps and overall days, and overnight sleep is about the same.

All in all, this week was more chaotic than our first seven days in “hunker down” mode, which went pretty smoothly in terms of triplets, Here’s to hoping week three is calmer than this one; and if not, a few more glasses of wine and batches of no bake cookies should do the trick. We finished off the week with 30+ hours of triple grumpy toddlers, for no major reason that we could tell. Even with decent naps and some decent meals, they were all GRUMPS. So please, let spring show up so we can start spending hours outside in the sun and heat (warmth?!) to burn that energy and have some happier children.

Hunker Down: Week 1

Last week was my first week teleworking, at least since I was six months pregnant with the girls. My prior at-home working experience consisted of a quiet house, comfy armchair, minimal movement and my laptop and was a great two months, minus the lack of comfort of carrying three babies.

My work goal was to stay out of sight of the kiddos while the nanny kept them entertained and alive. All in all, that part went pretty great and was a nice break for me, since I could focus on work from the comfort of my own house!

With a few days warming up over forty degrees, we handled the cabin fever with afternoon walks and a couple stops at one of the hidden gem parks in our neighborhood. It was great to get out of the house and enjoy the sun while letting the girls burn some energy climbing the equipment and digging out the rocks that weren’t frozen. Even with the nice weather, the park was mostly empty of kids, which was great!

I was hopeful the warmth would continue for the weekend, but nope! The girls last about ten minutes outside on Saturday, having insisted they wanted to go by donning their boots and hats and trying unassisted to put on their coats before screaming in frustration. The cold wind won quickly, but not before this ADORABLE video of what I assume will be how Harper drives at age 16. I mean, after all, she is the sprinter of the house.

Other random things from our first week of solitude included toddler crafting, exploring new parts of the house and outside, and continuing to learn new life skills. Everyone is enthusiastically learning to put socks and pants on without help, but until the skill is mastered the frustrated rage continues. The girls saw their first house fly- a big one- and that meant several minutes watching it buzz against the window, with everyone trying to climb the armchair and catch it. Impressively enough, Harper eventually managed to catch grasp it in her hand!

With the living room no longer under toddler blockade, the front windows are now accessible and a whole new world of “ouwsi” (outside) is available to view. This includes the random moose visits, flocks of birds in the trees, people watching and hollering about any and all dog walking. It also apparently includes watching dinosaurs walk by- someone was pushing their kid and fully decked out as a t-Rex. The girls didn’t know how to feel about that one, but encouraged the dogs to whine and bark as it “danced” by.

Tricycles from Papa Cliff!

More outdoor toys warmed up in the house, such as the dormant tricycles from the garage and the play castle from the back porch. With the rug pulled up and the furniture out of the way, the main level gives a decent amount of space for movement. The pedal concept isn’t there quite yet (Emerie is close), but the scooting around and ringing the bells is providing much entertainment. For a while Reagan would only ride them backwards.

The play castle provides hours of entertainment; it has become an enclosed fort, a climbing tool and tower, an area to hide with stuffed animals, and of course contributed to the cycle “run, climb, slide, run, climb, slide.” Queen of the slide is quite the game, with some not-so-nice kicking if one is indeed at the top and defending their territory and kingdom. We are working on courtesy and nicely opening the castle door and letting a sister come in. This still results in the occasional door slamming on fingers and faces, creating total meltdowns; but in the kind moments one will knock on the door, another will open it and they both say “hellloooo!?” with a big smile. It’s ridiculously adorable.

Builder Emerie

In addition to creative play activities, we continue to rotate the common toys, bringing out unused items for a day or two, or even hour or two, and putting them out of sight. Building blocks sustain interest for a while and then become yet another toy you don’t want to step on in the midst of the mess. The girls took a turns building block towers over the weekend; Emerie putting in some solid effort unassisted, Harper and Reagan took turns sitting in my lap and designing. I can already tell as they grow, Emerie will be building the masterpieces and Harper and Reagan will try to steal them or knock them down.

The doll strollers and baby dolls are brought out for a bit and then re-hidden. There is great enthusiasm in pushing each other around in them, but are starting to get too big for it! In addition, the pushing becomes a way to go as fast as possible and slam straight into a table, or cabinet, or each other. Luckily it is mostly in good fun, and the rider doesn’t seem to mind the bruised knees. Sometimes it’s too girly to simply push the stuffed, singing animals around in the strollers (they are appropriately named Bear, Puppy, and Monkey, according to the girls). Harper started it and Emerie and Reagan followed suite- to push their soccer balls, strapped in mind you (safety first), around the main floor. I’m happy to see the love of soccer starting, even if it’s balls strapped into strollers.

Car racing is another new event. The girls are starting to understand some activities can be done with each other and not necessarily with parents. The wind-up cars provide this type of entertainment and they are starting to sit across from each other, legs spread out, and shoot the cars back and forth at one another. It’s very cute and creates a few minutes of giggles. A couple of times the cars are pointed toward the toddler trying to fling it away, resulting in it constantly returning to them. This is hilarious to watch; they think it’s hilarious.

Working from home results in minimal daily movement so walking in the afternoon is vital to ensuring some exercise. This pushes dinner behind the typical 5 PM the girls are accustomed to. Eating later and unassisted, with spoons/forks (as opposed to hands), seems to greatly improve moods and results in less food thrown on the floor. This week’s obsession is sautéed mushrooms, mac and cheese shapes (colored pasta was a hit!), and heaps of broccoli (it would be blueberries too if the stores had any!). The girls exclaim “all-da” (all done) when they are finished. If the unfinished plate isn’t immediately removed, it usually flies to the floor for the dogs; but sometimes they will nicely hand it to you. Emerie seems to think saying the phrase means she should be allowed to get down and play without delay, and will impatiently yell it at you.

Other random craft activities throughout the week included coloring and trying out play dough again. I’m hoping to get more creative on some crafts over the next week, but am waiting until I have a full list for the store before picking up a few miscellaneous things needed. This time they didn’t spend the whole time eating the play dough (other than a few exploratory licks) and were equally awed that it could transform from a heap of nothing into a ball to play with. We colored with markers in the bath tub, played with water cups in the shower, sat at the kitchen table with crayons and chalked up the driveway (they still suck on the chalk though…yuck). Reagan tried to make Craig’s car more beautiful in that moment, while Harper went for the garage door and Emerie the actual driveway! Harper also enjoyed some wind sprints, up and down the driveway, running at full force.

Everyone wanted to help Dad replace his spark plugs, including shouting at him out the window and running around the garage. That lasted a whopping five minutes before shattered glass ended the fun and herded everyone back inside.

A few cute moments have occurred throughout the week as well- Emerie accidentally smacked me right in the face with a book, stopped, and with a concerned look, gave me a kiss right where she hit me. So sweet! Harper has given a melting-down Reagan several hugs this week, and Emerie kisses the top of her sisters’ heads. In the nice moments they share toys and will bring an extra toy or snack to an upset sibling. Progress.

For the first time ever in the Douglas household, we had a nap time REQUEST. Miss Harper asked the nanny for early nap time with a “nigh night” and pointing upstairs. Crazy thing is, she and Emerie immediate went to sleep after going down a few minutes early. Now that is a first and it only happened once.

Helping make lunch

The color coding comprehension continues to expand. Harper brought the correct color boots to Reagan and Emerie several times this week while Emerie brought everyone their coats. Last summer’s plastic Adirondack chairs were intensely fought over because Harper took the teal one from Reagan, and then Reagan took the purple one from Emerie. So it seems the color battles are beginning…that should be interesting.

We even had a day with happy, post-nap babies. Typically, as in 100% of the time, all wake up in full rage from their nap and it takes several minutes snuggling to calm the masses. We had one day happy and chill, after TWO hours (for all three at once that’s highly uncommon), giving me time to prep dinner and get it in the oven before they awoke. Pretty amazing and productive! Productive for Craig too…who accidentally took a nice, long nap with Reagan.

I can barely do this anymore

We ended the week with a broken kitchen faucet. Craig ran to Lowe’s to grab a new one (it’s essential in this house!) and in the 20 minutes he was gone, all three babies were screaming, trying to strip their poopy diapers, AND I managed to get the faucet stuck turned on, creating a steady stream of water underneath the sink and across the countertop. Well, we survived. And now have a new faucet thanks to our plumber buddy down the street!

I will sum up this week of toddlerhood adventure and quarantine with Craig asking Emerie what color she learned over the weekend. Her response? “Taco!” Okay, so that is a great answer as an adult too…but she was actually trying to say “yellow.”

It feels like a lot happened in the past seven days, when really staying home is pretty normal in this household. We tried to avoid the flu and colds most of the winter, only going out strategically and hoping for the best. Hopefully we can cruise through another week in the same style…which would mean decent naps, busy busy days, lots of fighting and loving… also many requests for “Tay Tay” (Taylor Swift), dance parties, food fights, face-time calls with the grandparents, and everything in between.

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.”

Testing Freedom

It’s ironic to be talking about giving the girls more freedom at home, when everything going in across society seems to be restricting access to basic amenities we are used to. What an interesting time!

Last weekend we tried opening up the living room “play jail” and freeing the girls to explore the rest of the room and main floor, and be less supervised than in prior months. Of course this meant blocking off the stairs, rearranging some furniture and baby proofing newfound opportunities to get into stuff.

The first thing requiring baby proofing was the fireplace. That took t-minus five seconds before Emerie tried to open it up and test out the charred wood. She, of course, shared this new find with both sisters. Needless to say, it now has a child proof lock on it.

The diaper changing area is full of fun things to play with that are not for kiddos. A favorite is the temperature taker and ear checker. These moved up higher until we put things back. The sock and diaper drawers seem to be quite the messy hit as well.

Any surface that can possibly be climbed on was moved out of range. No more end table and lamp. Thankfully it’s more light out now and we can go the summer with less lighting. The wooden bin “bookshelf” is distanced from the reclining chairs, as it was way too easy to reach and resulted in three children constantly climbing on it. It’s also easier for the girls to access the bins, which is actually a time saver because they will put boots on and their coats (with some help).

Because the front living room windows are now within acceptable toddler range, the girls appear to understand the concept of outside versus inside. They will tell us when they see something outside, and especially like four legged visitors (moose) that creep right up to the window and when Mom and Dad get home and come in the front door.

Moose visitor prior to the furniture rearrange

Earlier in the week we finally had warm enough temperatures to walk the neighborhood (yay sunlight!). I asked Emerie to get their hoodies out and she proceeded to get one at a time from the bin and bring them to the corresponding sister- the teal one for Reagan and pink for Harper. Then she grabbed the white one for herself (since we don’t have it in purple and she knows that). She called their names as she delivered them. So stinkin’ cute.

After the weekend we put the baby jail back for the nanny. She ended up just blocking off the fireplace and hearth and opening up the rest of the living room all day. Big step! So far everyone is still going strong…the kids AND the nanny!

Now if we can just get them to stop standing on the chairs, licking the windows and screens, and pushing each other off the furniture. Oh and running out the front door, which Harper did the other day. Apparently she wanted to spend the night with my favorite “nanny”.

Fingers crossed if we have a two week quarantine (however that actually plays out), that it will start feeling like spring outside and be warm enough for outdoor kiddo adventures. Please please please!

Pink Purple Teal

A new phase is on its way and it is color related.

The other night, for the first time ever, Emerie color associated all on her own. Because we often dress the girls in their colors, although we do so less often than we used to, it was just a matter of time until they started to picked up on it. While we don’t stress learning their colors too much (although we tried at Christmas and too soon), most days center around pink/purple/teal in regards to their outfits.

Tiny color coordinating
Pink / Purple / Teal

In case you can’t remember, Harper is pink, Emerie is purple, Reagan is teal. Each theme color means a set of clothing that matches those colors, or triple matching outfits I’ve found that include all three and are great for causing confusion when friends come over (small perk) or we go out to an event. The older they get, the more we dress them in matching outfits; far more than during infancy, probably due to the fact that Craig and I can easily tell them apart now through sounds, facial expressions, and actions. Their plump, little baby faces were much less distinguishable!

My mind is blank on how we originally decided who received what color when they were in the NICU. What I do remember is how helpful the color coordinating was for people who didn’t see them daily as well as for the overtired parents. Looking back at pictures of the first year, I’m not completely sure who is who other than through labels or colors.

Getting Emerie ready after bath time earlier this week, I had three footie pajamas laying next to the diaper changer. As I put her lotion on, she picked up the pink striped one, looked at me and said “Harpa;” I held up the teal with sheep one and she said “Ray Ray.” Holding up the pink and purple one with flowers, intended for her, the response was again “Harpa” and she pushed it away from her. So she ended up with wearing a whale themed one as she refused the partial pink one on her!

The next night I asked Harper the same questions after her bath. She looked at me as I held up the teal themed one and said “Daddy” (lol). When I held up the pink one she did say “Harpa”, but would not respond for the purple one. I fully support Craig wearing 2T footie pajamas to bed; after all, he is in a house of all girls!

Lastly, Reagan provided no participation in my questionnaire. As I held each outfit up, she just stared at me and tried to escape. The light switch at the other end of the dresser means she can play with the lights and turn the ceiling fan on and off. That was definitely a much higher priority in her playbook.

Everyone still does a bottle at bedtime (a habit we are hoping to break soon). Routine is much easier now than last year. One of us says “bottle time” while the other finishes prepping them; they all run downstairs and lay down on the couch cushion, against the pillows that are propped to limit jumping injuries. They often holler a few “babas!” at us until each is hand delivered. Sometimes they will down a whole bottle in one setting, sometimes it takes a good hour of play and bottles.

I’ve been letting them make random decisions lately, hopefully making my little toddlers feel empowered on some of the tiny stuff, like choosing which of the three bottles they want to drink, or which spoon they want with dinner, or which Bog boots to wear when we run an errand. One night this week I attempted to hand Reagan a purple rimmed bottle and she refused it, insisting she had to have the white capped one (since no bottles are teal). This is her first time avoiding the pink or purple one, and later in the evening it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

This is a brief look into what I believe is just around the corner on our toddler development roadmap. I’ve heard other triplet parents who color associated saying all kinds of wild, new things are on the way as they continue to mature, such as:

  • their kids will only wear their specific color and no one else’s
  • their kids become super possessive and don’t like their siblings to wear their colors
  • toys in those colors become more of a battleground when sharing
  • their kiddos grow up and hate the color they were given and want nothing to do with it
  • a combination of each kid acting one of these ways (seems like the hardest one to me)

Luckily I doubt we will stick to their colors forever, simply because they are easily recognizable to us at this point…you know…most of the time…

So…more multiple fun to look forward to.


One more lovely new issue that’s really taken off this week- the anti-clothing movement. The cold outdoor temperatures do not help, with our house feeling warm in comparison; but our main level, with vaulted ceilings, is still a little chilly to run around without clothes on.

Reagan, as the ringleader, now inspires her sisters to remove their shirts and pants on a frequent basis. How are we solving this? Well, everyone is wearing short sleeves in February, because long sleeves get pulled off at some point during the day and involves so much effort and time-outing to fix. We are also back to onesie shirts that are now snapped over the pants like leotards. Thank goodness the girls are skinny and have some time before they outgrow 24 month bodysuits or we’d be in trouble! Bigger sizes don’t make them and I’m not dressing them in swimsuits all day long.

We tried out overalls and they were unimpressed…I will try to tackle this one again this weekend because they would be so adorable in them. Ultimately I can’t blame the soft clothing preference, such as the jeggings, leggings, and stretchy tights they’ve worn most of their life, to the corduroy and jean type material. It’s much less comfortable! We also tried putting big-girl underwear over their pants. Hilarious…yes. Successful…somewhat! Plan to go out in public dressed this way? Not quite… Throw an 80s themed toddler party? Maybe.

The typical two-piece pajamas are on hold for a bit and we are back to one-piece footy pajamas and one-piece sleepers with feet free. Harper and Emerie don’t try to pull theirs off, but Reagan will easily unsnap the snap within two minutes, unzip the rest, and be running around entirely free to tackle the next step in her plan, diaper removal. This is currently solved by safety pinning the two sides of the zipper together, creating a less than thrilled toddler.

So for now, we’ll be over here hall monitoring the clothing situation until they LISTEN and leave them on. And who knows, maybe their clothing colors will be a mute point this summer…you know…IF NO ONE WILL WEAR THEIR CLOTHES.

#tripletlife