Reaction

Yesterday evening was an interesting night. Craig got home about 8 o’clock from taking Emerie to the pediatrician at Providence.

It was a typical day, the kiddos a bit fussy but manageable from teething, with Harper still holding on to her terrible cold cough. We did a good amount of table time, full of snacks, vegetable melts, a beef and vegetable purée (NOT well liked), and some yummy peanut butter.

After the peanut butter we decided on bath time, because well, it was everywhere. Reagan managed to rub it all over her head, Emerie had it absolutely everywhere, and Harper all over her arms and face and binkie!

Everyone enjoys playing in the bath together!

After bath time Craig noticed Emerie had a bunch of little bumps all over her back, arms and legs. I thought it was goosebumps, but it didn’t go away with pajamas. We’ve done peanut butter before, so I didn’t think it was a reaction to that, but wasn’t sure what it was.

After going back and forth with the pediatrician call line about four times, they told us to bring her into verify she wasn’t reacting to peanut butter. At no point was her breathing labored or we obviously would have immediately drove her to the hospital. I’m not aware of any family peanut allergies, but better to be safe than sorry. I definitely don’t enjoy allergic reactions that need Benadryl!

Bedtime routine became a little out of whack without Craig and Emerie, but we survived. Harper went to sleep relatively easily and Reagan fought it to the death, falling asleepu about the time they got back home.

Thankfully, the doctor doesn’t think it is a peanut allergy or reaction. Thank goodness!! She just did a ten day stint of Cefdinir for her latest ear infection and that is probably the culprit. Apparently the reaction takes time to build up while in one’s system, which is why she didn’t breakout until the end of the dosing. She was on this med because she kept fighting and puking up the Amoxicillan, so the next ear infection might get pretty interesting. Or maybe we will not see any for a while, or a cold for that matter. Is it summer yet??

Luckily she doesn’t seem super itchy, which is a definite blessing. I’m very hopeful Emerie will be feeling better and not itchy from all this soon, and that Harper’s cough will subside. It would be nice to enjoy the birthday party and not simply have a grumpy, snot fest. I guess we will see!

Mobility Level: Crawling

And just like that, we have babies on the move.

As predicted, Reagan is the first crawler. Emerie followed about 24 hours later over the weekend. Harper is sticking to her backwards crawl, but pulling up on everything and briefly standing without hands. She’s done a couple paces forward but doesn’t like it.

It might seem a little late to some people since their birthday is in two weeks. Realistically, their adjusted age compensates for this, meaning the crawling started at about 9.5 months developmentally.

Here is Reagan giving forward crawling a try!

She is getting pretty good and it and going from a laying to sitting to standing position. She also refuses to settle in her crib now because there is too much adventure to be had.. she likes to peek over the side of the crib and talk to her sisters.

Emerie is not quite as graceful, but can get from A to B so it works! She is constantly exploring her crib and standing up to chew on the side, you know, with her two bottom teeth…she is also on a mission to explore everything.

Emerie checking out the tv

Harper is really great and pulling herself up to a standing position. A little too good if you ask me.

Harper checking out the lay of the land

She isn’t thrilled to crawl forward yet, but has done a pace or two.

Everyone is obsessed with playing on the piano and getting there by themselves. They push each other over on it, crawl under it, and will lean down to pick up toys while holding onto it.

The house is in definite need of final baby proofing. We might attempt that this weekend! The plan is to create a baby prison in the living room, encompassing the jumpers and hearth area and full of toys. The family room downstairs just needs a little more cleaning out to be mostly kid proofed; we also have to mount the TV higher and on the wall. Overall that room is almost ready for TODDLERS!

I’m curious how fast we will have walkers…and a little terrified.

On an unrelated note, I bought shoes for the girls for the first time. First size guess was a bit small, so I repurchased them bigger and they are so cute (yes also impractical at the pre walking age!), but I couldn’t help it when their colors were available.

When it rains, it pours…

Karma is writing a blog a couple weeks ago about turning a corner, with things getting a bit easier to manage with the girls, and then having a week like we are having.

That backfired, figures.

We are having a “why on earth did we think having kids would be fun” kind of week. Emerie has an ear infection, everyone has a cold and is pouring snot from their noses like Niagra Falls, four teeth are swollen bumps on the top of everyone’s mouth, and we are currently in Leap 7 for another 3 weeks.

We’ve been lucky so far that the majority of cranky baby nights involve one or maybe two babies, here and there. Harper had a super grumpy two weeks in January (that thankfully my mom was here to help with), and Emerie has cranky nights all the time, with Reagan every once in a while.

Well, those days are gone. The “babies sleep all night” seem to be in the past now that the girls have discovered they can be mobile and pull themselves up on their cribs.  Even with sleep training Emerie ended up in our room many nights as she still hasn’t quite solved self soothing.

This week? All three are raging maniacs off and on all night long. Last time I had a night’s sleep in my actual bed? Over a week ago.

Lowering the cribs

I believe this backslide is partly attributed to the leap and partly to the colds/ear infections.  The girls have been uninterested in bottles at bedtime all week because they are stuffy and their incoming teeth hurt.  When they don’t eat 6-8 oz of milk at bedtime, we know we are in for a night of fun… When they drink 0 oz at bedtime, we better buckle down for it.

Reagan and Emerie believe rolling around in their cribs and pulling themselves up on the rails is now a necessary part of bedtime routine. Harper moreorless just settles after a few minutes and goes to sleep without the aerobics fight.

Emerie checking out the quantity of the crib with her teeth

I tried making breast milk popsicles for them to chew…they make quite a mess and I’m not sure the girls quite grasp how to eat them. There was a lot of pounding them around and chipping them against their bouncers.

While Craig and I are tired this week, and I have the girls’ cold (and a annoying cough) too, the silver lining is the progress everyone is making on movement. Everyone crawls backwards and rolls like a pro. They are gaining coordination to pull themselves up on things, especially their play table and play piano, or on our legs.

Emerie just started side stepping. In this video she decided to try to push Reagan off the play table. The problem is that Reagan is stronger and wasn’t so excited about the idea. About 30 seconds before I turned on the camera she inserted herself in front of Harper and pushed her away from the table. Harper just didn’t push back. It cracks me up Emerie is the one crying when she is also the one instigating the move.

Hopefully the colds will wrap up in the very near-term for everyone. The girls judge me every time I cough! Emerie is already friendlier after a few days of medicine but we aren’t out of the woods yet. And this is birthday month! We can’t have everyone sick and have so much to do and so many people to see.

Dr visit!

11 Months and the Race is On!

This week marked 11 months actual, 9.5 adjusted. We are now on the countdown to their first birthday!

The race has begun to see who will be our first crawler, walker, and one to pull themselves up!

MOVEMENT: In the past couple of weeks everything is starting to advance at a quick pace. Overnight Harper decided to start rolling, and now goes all over the place. She was the first to pull herself upright onto a play set without assistance. Emerie is miss “rolly polly” and any time you set her down she rolls and scoots everywhere. Reagan does the same and has started backwards crawling. Forward…not quite yet for anyone.

This morning Emerie decided to dive off the changing table in the one second I grabbed Reagan’s bottle. I caught her mid air on the way down that three feet, by her sleep sack. It’s definitely true what they say about moms; we can move with lightning speed when we need to! And at the crack of dawn no less!

They look bald but there is a little hair now!

FOOD: Reagan and Harper have caught up with their sister. Harper does huge baby bird bites, although she still sloshes the food around on her tongue a little. Reagan is a pro at picking food up, and stuffs it down as fast as possible while Harper fidgets with it. Emerie still loves her snack food, but now takes daintier bites than a couple months ago. Reagan is still the cleanest eater; Harper and Emerie love to make a mess and feed the dogs! Everyone holds their bottles like pros…that is, when they want to. Otherwise they swing them around, throw them across the room, do anything but DRINK them.

It appears the favorite food is anything mango flavored and they love puffs and crackers. They do not like peaches or lentil soup, but rice and beans are acceptable.

SLEEP: Sleep habits have changed quite a bit since the last developmental leap (and we just started #6!). Harper took a break from being our best sleeper but is now back to her original habits and sleeping like a pro in her crib. Reagan is the most hyper at night. Sometimes we have to placate her for an extra hour before she is willing to calm down and go to sleep, and then is good for the night (usually). Or we have those random nights where she and I chill overnight in the guest room while Craig has Emerie. Emerie is quite capable of sleeping in her bed, but does not self soothe like the other two and generally wakes up hysterical. She has had many more nights in bed with mom and dad…because, well we’d like to sleep too.

Emerie likes to sleep on her stomach now. Once she settles enough to not be angry, she sleeps great on her belly. Harper is a side sleeper, often ending up with her neck back, looking awkward but happy. Reagan rolls all over the crib at bedtime, but generally ends up on her back. Everyone snuggles with their wubba-nubs.

As I am writing this I hear Reagan chuck her spare binkie out of her crib and it hit the floor. So funny.

PERSONALITIES: The older we get, the more pieces of personality come out. Harper maintains her happy, chill demeanor, at least on days when her protruding teeth aren’t bothering her. She also loves to talk and shriek! Emerie is still the diva, but also has a lot of happy moments and likes to chat with her sisters. Reagan, while being the most reserved of the three, is working on forming new words and loves to say Momma and nom nom nom when eating.

MUSIC: This is definitely a baby shark house. The girls know that song after about two notes. They are still very partial to Disney princess medleys and especially seem to like Jungle Book and Moana songs right now and their Disney Acapella. On the flip side, they all really like the Louis Prima song Sing Sing Sing (with a Swing) and a few other oldies. We do lots of jumping and dance parties to our YouTube video mixes. Craig is doing his best to get them to learn Frozen in multiple languages too.

TOYS: Jumpers, of course, are still favored and everyone likes the foot piano even more than previous months. There is major enthusiasm for the tiny activity table; they wiggle and squeal in excitement if I even go near it. The girls aren’t yet bored of their singing toucan piano, and their activity cube.

BINKIES: Yes, this gets its very own category. Why? Well the girls used to obsess over their ceiling fan…now, at least for Reagan, it is her wubba-nub. She snuggles with it at night and naps, and likes to have one nearby a lot of the time. Harper and Emerie like them too, but not nearly as much.

Harper before nap time

Less than a month until the big month 12. Lots to do before then and it’s right around the corner. Time to get moving!

On the move!

Turning a Corner

I feel as though we have turned a corner in the last two weeks or so.

The first 2 months postpartum are already a blur and have been for some time- including the NICU stay and those first few weeks at home with a three-hour round the clock feeding schedule and just Craig and I.

Tiny babies!

The following 8 months are less of a blur, but none-the-less just as busy, even without feedings every 3-hours. Days at home solo were very testing and often hard to appreciate, just because they were exactly that, HARD. Some days I felt robbed of the fact that singleton parents get to sit still and snuggle their babies upon occasion. It’s okay for baby to nap on them, all snuggled up and happy, but not me. It was rare to sit still that long, and definitely never happened when one had the girls solo. Even sitting down to relax for 10 minutes here and there was rare. I think I can count on one hand how many times anyone took a full nap on me, to this day! I remember sitting in the nursery with Harper one day because she was fussy and wouldn’t nap in her crib, probably when she was around 7 or 8 months old, and thinking “wow, this feels weird” because I had a napping baby on me (Craig had the other two) and did my best to appreciate the moment. I look back and can’t quite seem to grasp how I survived the days when Craig was at work, and still managed to “play dress up”, do cute photos, and even leave the house!

It’s only in the last several weeks that the girls are finally becoming more self-sufficient; i.e. they now hold their bottles like pros, continue to enjoy their jumpers, love baby food time and also find great entertainment in their toys for periods of time.

It is a relief. Why? Because it is amazing to have small moments of relaxation after close to none for almost a year. We only survived this far based on taking life day by day. Specifically for me, I kept my purview very close to real time, as to not think how many more days or months we had to continue down a cycle of one hard task or another, over and over again each day to keep our little ones fed, happy, and thriving.

As a teenager I used to wonder how adults could go to work every day for years and not get caught in that mundane repeat of daily life. Once I began that cycle myself, I learned to not dwell on the repeats or worry about those things, but to take each day at a time. A Monday would eventually be Tuesday, which is eventually Friday, and then the weekend! It definitely helped me move forward over time, and is exactly how I continue to live- day by day, watching each milestone as they come, getting up and going to work so I can get home and be around what really matters!

Harper and Em having a moment

The girls are also starting to interact with each other more. Since around mid-January they have really discovered their connection and are starting to embrace it. When one tumbles or bumps their head (or face plants lol), the other two are very concerned. This can include sympathy crying, which is not helpful from the parental perspective, or small gestures such as reaching out for their pained sister or gently touching their face.

It’s exciting to see them interact together. The other day Harper and Emerie had a cute moment, full of eye contact and giggles. Sometimes they snuggle against each other, not “too” close, but enough to be touching. It’s very sweet.

Emerie holding a head, Harper holding a leg

Valentine’s Day came this week and the girls didn’t not quite cooperate on photos. Because they are starting to be more mobile and always reaching for something or shifting around, it is much harder to get a clear photo with all three smiling! But they, of course, had their cute, matching heart dresses that I managed to save from all the baby food mess.

In true Valentine’s Day colors, we tested out raspberries. It’s pretty cute: they are a little more sour than everyone was used to.

Harper had a tooth break through in holiday celebration. She did not appreciate that at all…

While folding laundry last night I caught Emerie lifting herself up to the basket, completely unassisted (and on the edge of the bed!). Harper pulls herself up unassisted quite well now. Reagan now knows how to backward scoot on her belly and is getting rather skilled at moving across the living room without actually crawling.

I know there are more corners to turn in the next few months (and years). For now, the journey is getting a little more manageable from a parental standpoint. Let me enjoy my bliss until they are fully mobile and additional chaos ensues! Now we just need to find time to fully baby proof the house…because real crawling is just around the corner.

sNOT for the weak of heart…

The other day I was looking at a friend holding her two week old baby; he fussed a little so she got out the bottle and fed him. In my mind that seemed weird, but cause what if feeding the baby right away got them off schedule? Then I remembered, some of our baby raising habits are different than those with singletons, although the rigid “must follow the schedule to the exact detail” days are more or less over. We are still following a schedule but it shifts around a little here and there, especially when we are out and about doing things or the girls wake up super early or sleep in late!

Speaking of off schedule…the crud has made its way back into our household, after surviving most of December and January without the girls getting it (I was not so lucky…).

Pretty blue eyes (Reagan) and some great nose snot

Everyone is extra grumpy and nap times and overnight sleeping are a fight to the death. The good news is, each night at least one baby has slept in their own crib, but it alternates who that one is. I think that is the only way Craig and I will survive this, since we can go to “man to man defense” during the night and still get some sleep.

Snack time and nose bubbles from Emerie

Saturday night I had a fussy Harper with me and Craig had a minorly fussy Emerie. The prior night Harper slept without a peep all night while Reagan screamed about her stuffy nose.

Harper’s “beautiful as ever” bib

Last night I was fortunate to end up with Reagan, who was SUPER hyper throughout bedtime and wouldn’t go down until about 9 PM. But once she did, she was out! Craig woke up for a cranky Emerie, who had fallen asleep on her belly in her crib, and awoke to realize that was a detriment to her happiness. From there she fussed a lot.

A little playtime before bed. They were missing their toes (since they are always in fleece sleepers this month)

Different personalities come out when a cold takes over the house. Harper isn’t largely phased by it, although she does fuss a little more overnight if you don’t successfully get her down before she realizes she is stuffy. Reagan mopes- all. Day. Long. Fights naps when she doesn’t usually and has only had one nap each day this weekend. She gets a little more “diva like”, similar to Emerie when she’s grumpy.

“Don’t wipe my nose!!”

Emerie actually thinks you are trying to kill her when you wipe her nose off, even when the boogers are SO LONG and hit her upper lip and bottle. So inconsiderate.

When my nose is stuffy I’m not a big fan of food. The girls are the same! It is an epic cage match to get a bottle down everyone each feed, one that the parents are not winning. To placate that, we try to pump a bunch a baby food and finger snacks down them to help will those less than full bellies.

The girls like the yogurt melts a lot, and other snacks they can pick up with their hands. Harper has to have something in each hand as she eats, and Craig discovered Emerie cooperates much better when she has a clean spoon to bang around.

Avocado was a hit for these snot nosed monsters

We braved two walks this weekend to help clean out those sinuses. Not sure how the girls felt about fifteen degree weather but we sure bundled them up!

Fingers crossed we are over the cold hump and can get back to the normal eating of bottles and sleeping (mostly).

Momma vs Dada

The house is getting more vocal! Harper and Emerie are on Team Craig and like to yell, or quietly whisper, dadadadada…

I think they win for first ones saying it…BUT….

Reagan is on Team Becca and the first to pronounce the “m” sound and say Momma this week!

Harper saying dadada….she’s getting really good at it!

We are also starting the baby wrestling this month.

Harper and Reagan

Everyone is starting to be on the move in one way or another. Em has figured out she can get out of tummy time by rolling… Every. Single. Time!

Reagan now does this cute little shoulder roll when she is happy. It usually pairs with a happy giggle and big smile.

I now can’t turn my back without someone rolling over or moving spots. They aren’t quite crawling yet, but Reagan is super close. Even Harper, who is not a fan of exerting herself unless forced, is pulling herself back to sit right positions and turning onto her stomach, much to her dismay.

This started as sit time…

We broke out the activity table they received from Christmas and all three think it is about as cool as the ceiling fan! In fact, when one is playing on it (assisted by parent), the other two are insanely jealous and let us know it should be their turn ASAP!

Reagan keeps turning onto her tummy and playing and swinging her feet around. I think she will be our first crawler, but the other two won’t be far behind. Here Emerie is doing the butt wiggle. She is trying really hard to beat Reagan to it!

Okay one more video…not only are the girls talking, or should I say babbling, more, but they are also interacting with each other. The secret baby language is not too far away!

So yes, there is a lot going on this month in the Douglas household. And it’s about to get even wilder!