First Day Jitters

It’s a little terrifying to give up control as a parent. What do I mean by control? So many things are controlled for our every day routine, something that has been incredibly detailed and stringent for the past two years, with pretty much every second planned out strategically ahead of time (and a lot of hoping for the best!). Control, as in what habits (or words/actions) your children will pick up because they’re only with you or people you’ve hand-picked to be a part of your lives. This may also be genetically from their DNA- yes, that part might be payback for Craig and I. Control, meaning knowledge of each detail of their daily lives, knowing they are completely safe from the craziness of the outside world, safely tucked away in your house, your safe place, the place you call home.

The past two years were controlled, spending the majority of time in this safe place.

It also means relinquishing control by placing your children in the hands of other people and having new experiences that you won’t be there to witness. This is a hard concept to deal with. Because we’ve been so blessed to have in home care, we have been involved in so much of the first times. In reality, it’s really not that different from me and Craig being at work and the girls being home with the nanny, but soon there will be more kids around we don’t yet know and less involvement in daily activities and experiences. Miss Chris was always great at sending pictures and videos and making us feel connected to the girls, even when we at the office. And the last four months with the COVID quarantine and working full time from home, while I was not directly with the girls every second of the day, I could still hear them downstairs or outside the window, laughing in the backyard and playing in the water, or chasing each other across the living room and giggling over a song. I still heard them screaming about the food they disliked, or when they settled down for a nap and chatted in their cribs, knowing from the other room that they are happy and snoozing away from a busy day.

The question is, is this life adjustment harder on the parents or on the kids?! We all know the truth of that answer; it’s harder on the parents and I daresay hardest on the moms. Whether your kid is three months old, two and a half years (like us), or headed off to the first day of kindergarten, separation anxiety is a thing, for both parents and kiddos! It’s hard to let go, change routine and take the next step. Am I ready for them to go to daycare? Not remotely. Did I want to put this off a lot longer? Yes. Do I think they can handle it and be okay? Yes. Do I think I can handle it and be okay? Yesss. I know the transition is tough, whether that is a quiet house for my workday or a few no-nap weeks for them to come home super grumpy and clingy. I am sure it will be quite the transition for them, exciting and scary, but also quite the transition for us as well as we step into this new phase of our lives. A phase with a little less control.

Snack when we got home.

We’ve done a lot of daycare prep the past few weeks. After touring the preschool and talking with several of the staff and toddler teachers, we shifted our daily routine a little bit. No major changes, just small incremental things that encouraged how they would be at school and wouldn’t cause further stress while we juggled everything. This included unbuckling the girls for breakfast and lunch, something we’ve done at all meals their whole lives, using the constrained time to finish food prep, cleanup, throw another load of laundry in or start the dishwasher, and run around and quickly do fifty random chores before they ransacked everything again. The toddler classrooms have kid sized tables and chairs and expect the kiddos to eat respectfully without buckling in. This is going okay at home so far, often the taking away of a full plate of food convinces them to sit back down. It definitely shortens meal times and doesn’t allow for us to sit and eat for long, but the change is going better than I expected it to right away.

We are also leaving the dining chairs on the floor now, instead of putting them back on top of the table. This is soooo much nicer on the parents, not having to constantly remember to put them back up, but still certainly results in climbing toddlers, standing on the table, smacking the television and playing with the remote and DVD player. I won’t call this a win yet; at some point each day someone is on the table (or multiple someones more often), but yesterday I only had to put them (all) in timeout once for climbing up and that is MAJOR progress. Hopefully we aren’t too far from this being a non-issue.

Another bigger change at daycare involves splitting them up. They don’t put three new toddlers together, regardless of sibling status, so we opted for Harper and Reagan to stay together and Emerie to be on her own. No, it’s not because the two team up against their smaller sister more often; it is because Emerie is great at independent play and likes to take the time to figure things out. We are hoping she will thrive from this. They will still be together for breakfast and recess each day, but not for some activities and nap time. I’m hoping once everyone settles in they can go back together, unless Emerie absolutely loves being on her own.

We joked on our walkthrough that daycare staff has until their third birthday to figure out who is who, because we will then dress them all completely alike and make them work for it. They thought that was pretty funny. Kidding not kidding…

We had to do physicals (and shots!) before their first day, and since we didn’t get an official two year height/weight update because COVID hit, here are your updated numbers for the munchkins!

29 Month Update

Harper

Harper Anne after her first day!

Height: 38.75” (99%) / Weight: 29 lb., 8 oz. (71%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else

Shoe Size: 8

Favorite Word: Pan! (meaning Tangled movie)

Favorite Food: dad’s Belgium waffle pancakes, bacon and blueberries

Favorite Song: Lola the Cow or Baby Shark

Favorite toy: she likes her pink bear or the singing bear

She is still ready to take the world on 100% of the time, is often the instigator for trouble making and encourages her sisters to join her, and is practically talking a mile a minute. She enjoys movies the most of the three and will sit and snuggle for 30+ minutes and watch one before bed time.

Emerie

Emerie at home after her first day!

Height: 37.75” (96%) / Weight: 27 lb., 4 oz. (47%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else but it’s a little big

Shoe Size: 7 / 8

Favorite Word: lullo (yellow)

Favorite Food: mango or blueberries

Favorite Song: Tay Tay’s Shake It Off and Twinkle Twinkle

Favorite toy: any type of container, her Piggy, and her toddler “cell phone”

Emerie is the curious thinker of the group and loves to color and play with puzzles. She loves holding your hand and insists upon it quite often, especially when jumping off things or going down most slides. She likes the Pan movie and Moana and randomly singing her ABCs.

Reagan

Reagan after her first day!

Height: 38.25” (98%) / Weight: 30 lb., 1 oz. (76%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else

Shoes Size: 8

Favorite Word: no!

Favorite Food: broccoli or potato chips

Favorite Song: Baby Shark

Favorite toy: any binkie she can get her hands on, her white bear or toddler “cell phone”

Reagan is still the most timid of the three and a little more emotional. She’s shy in new places but then opens up and wants to share toys with friends. She enjoys holding your hand, sitting on your lap under a blanket and watching her sisters get into trouble. She also likes dancing to all music.

Right now no one is a fan of wearing pants, or their diapers if given the opportunity to remove them, and everyone is obsessed with the potty. The current favorite color is “yellowblue”. No, that is not green; it is yellow-blue. As true Alaskan babies, they are now okay playing in hose water or the sprinkle out back, even with the multiple cold! comments.

First Day

The first day went even better than expected! Craig and I were still reeling from several nights of actual sleep, which felt weird, with Harper sleeping back in her own bed and not having anxiety episodes that result in me sleeping next to her in the guest room.

We got up a few minutes early and ate a breakfast snack on the couch, I did everyone’s hair really quick and dressed up in cute, first day outfits that matched the beautiful summer day.

Craig and I took them over together at about 8 AM, expecting some tears as we handed them off. Due to COVID-19 rules, we are not allowed into the daycare and have to leave them at the front door, after temperature checks. While I am not a fan of this at all, especially since this is my first time handing them off to new people, I think down the line they will be fine. Harper didn’t even shed a tear, albeit she wasn’t excited, but stuck out her jaw and went with it. Emerie and Reagan? Bloody murder, screaming rage. Yes, as expected. We just walked to the car as they screamed inside.

The coordinator texted us later that they only cried for a few moments and then were okay. I’m sure it helped to have breakfast time together and a whole new set of toys and activities to entertain.

Believe it or not, everyone did some form of a nap, which greatly surprised me! I was expecting very overstimulated and sleepy toddlers by the end of the day, but apparently they were worn out enough to sleep a little. What a good sign! Emerie, who napped in a different room than her sisters, did great according to her teacher, waking up a little upset but quickly calming down with one-on-one time and a book.

We picked them up out on the playground, everyone happy and running around, no one exactly ready to get in the car and go home. The evening was a little grumpy but overall not as bad as expected.

Thank you everyone for the prayers for a calm week!

Upside Down

Snack time

Well as you can imagine has been quite a busy past two weeks. What I alluded to on my last blog was a change from normal, daily routine to Craig and I working full-time while juggling childcare ourselves and trying to figure out how to go forward; this occurring without any notice or ability to plan ahead accordingly. I imagine this is exactly how many families felt in March, with daycare closures with no notice due to the COVID-19 virus spread. Our daily life didn’t change that much from that shift because of our set up, but is changing now. Props to all of you parents, because I still feel like a stressed out, scrambling mess and it’s been almost two weeks. Two hard weeks.

Craig and I are both working from home and alternating who has the kids throughout the day so that we can make meetings, answer emails and complete workdays. Getting early morning hours in before the girls wake up, working through nap times and into the evenings allow us to get a lot done; but as you can imagine, makes for very long days, both mentally and physically. Longer than our normal long days, the ones we’ve had for the last two years. Oh, did I mention we also have three toddlers in the house? Yeah, that too.

Park time with Mom; exploring new playgrounds

I ventured to the park completely solo one morning last week. That marks the first time going completely by myself and not meeting anyone right away; surprisingly the girls actually did pretty well. They played in the area that I started them at and let me change a diaper without the other two running away. Everybody even played nicely. Now this is not the normal park adventure, usually Harper is running away from me with a big, defiant smile on her face and bringing her sisters along for the ride. This particular adventure alleviated some of my concern taking them by myself somewhere (that is not fully closed off or contained) and surviving. They wore their backpacks that have lovely, little handles at the top and I left the leashes inside, just in case I needed to break them out. But I never did!

There isn’t much time to blog about recent, random things happening in our household, but I have managed to record a few. For example, Reagan slammed Harper’s hand in the back door one afternoon. When I said to go say sorry to your sister because she’s crying with a hurt hand, Reagan tried to blame it on the door. That is funny now but I’m sure in the future it will get old, really fast. If someone bonks on the table, which happens often, another will go over and pat the table and say not nice! We had our first smashed drywall event in the dining room (surely won’t be the last one!), this one from Harper accidentally pushing a chair off the table onto Reagan and hitting the wall. She was definitely trying to climb up and pushed it over with her head and back. That resulted in three screaming toddlers but luckily no injuries.

The girls now repeat ready, set, go to each other and say bless you after a sneeze (occasionally). They also announce burbs and farts to anyone who might make those sounds. We are still working on thank you, but they will say please if they really want something; clearly they understand its meaning.

It feels like half my time in a day involves looking for the third of any object, whether that is a sippy cup, a third stuffed animal that someone insists they HAVE to have now that they like them, or a third set of shoes so we can go outside. Either way, I’m always looking for the third of something. I can’t imagine this will get better anytime soon!

We are finally latched on to stuffed animals- Harper has a pink plush bear and Reagan the same in white. Much to Emerie’s dismay, we received them from my original baby shower and do not have a third. She occasionally loves on her plush elephant- this week we pulled out a big from the out-of-sight stuffed animal bin and she has really taken to carrying it around, feeding it and snuggling with it in her crib. The next step will be to remove the binkies at nap and bedtime, with the hopes the animals will provide enough comfort to replace them. I also order THREE of the same bear and plan to seamlessly (and sneakily) swap the current stuffies out and hope they don’t notice. We will see.

Personality traits are on the rise.

The past week Emerie is on a mean streak, which isn’t her normal, and is quite grumpy. In addition to being unkind to her sisters (frequently in the afternoon), she has started making little whining noises when she doesn’t want to do something, we’ve had one day with no nap (almost two) and she managed to hide her main glasses somewhere in the house, not yet to be found! In fact, we’ve regressed a bit on the glasses wearing and are once again taping them to her face. This is more because she dislikes the pair she has to wear until we find the other ones. The only real improvement this week is her asking to take her patch off before hiding in a corner and doing it anyway. This is a big step and we are trying to reward accordingly for asking permission first. Other notable cute things are her requests to color and pretend time with her animals.

BFF time at the park. Loooove this photo!

Reagan is on a very emotional streak and quite a bear some days. She wakes up grumpy, is immediately missing patience and frustrated very easily, and wants attention allllll the time. It is making being at home constantly more difficult than usual for sure when one of three is attached at the hip. But on the other hand, she is napping well and talking up a storm!

Harper is still on her anxiety streak, freaking out in her crib when she wakes up and wanting to be close to Mom and Dad. About half of every night involves me sleeping next to her in the guestroom, with Craig settling Reagan if she is disturbed by her sister and Emerie sleeping through like a pro. She’s still waking up early but does so much better when Craig is working downstairs; not sure why but she will sleep past eight when he’s home! She is also talking up a storm and adding new verbs every day.

Please reach out if you’d like to do a park date! That is our sanity during the mid-morning chaos, a way to let the house be quiet for a little while for the working adult, and a safe way to get out of the house while social distancing and still enjoy some adventures.

Little Mimickers

The #toddlerlife is becoming increasingly interesting in the Douglas household. Everyday produces new words, groupings and phrases as well as explicit commands. New comprehended actions are instructed to you, to siblings, the pets, and immobile objects like the table and door. Mimicking of actions and words increases all the time and they are clearly keeping an eye on all activities throughout the day. And with all that, we are starting to see our little people grow up. SO. FAST.

Dinner time with the fam.

I’ve been writing notes to myself of the funny and cute, random things that scream toddler. Here are a few of the silly mimics to look back on when they are older. For example:

  • Sibling spankings – the girls now try to discipline one another, Reagan most of all. She will provide her sister with a light pat on their butt if they continue to do something as Craig or I are telling them no and asking if they’d like a spanking. It’s almost become a game and they will chase one another around the room and yell “spank!” with a giggle.
  • Picture taking – In true modern fashion, they will pick up objects and pretend they are cell phones. This consists of small conversations held to their ears and as of this week, holding it sideways and yelling “cheese!” as they try to take your picture. They get frustrated when Koda does not smile based off their demands. It is ironic that they understand how to talk on the phone with your ear and mouth, since they rarely witness us do anything but text or FaceTime; AND that they don’t seem to understand the concept of an actual camera. If I hold the fancy camera up for a picture, they don’t look or smile or comprehend what it is most of the time, even more so when they were tinier.
  • Books – the other day Harper took it upon herself to read the night-night book to her half awake sisters, as we started the morning. She sat on the toy ottoman with the book in her lap and essentially sang twinkle twinkle little star (sounds like inkle inkle ittle star and is super cute) while holding up the bedtime star book.
  • The dreaded diaper – Butt smelling is the latest and greatest thing. Someone will say they are poopy and one of the adults will ask, are you sure, do you stink? And another clean-butted baby will go take a whiff of the butt in question. It’s pretty hilarious. They will also hold their butt up to you to check and try to assist on the changes. It’s very considerate.
  • Trashcan – We’ve progressed to the point that the girls now open the kitchen trash compactor using the foot pedal; something they’ve witnessed us do constantly, especially after diaper changes. Not going to lie, it is somewhat nice that they can hand delivery the stinky diapers to the trash for me, saving me a trip into the kitchen (sometimes three trips).

Verb comprehension is through the roof in the past month. We are now told bite it! or do it! or hold it! (that one is a Harper favorite) all the time. They want a bite of anything we are eating, even if it is the same thing on their untouched dinner plate; they want to buckle their own car seat (a process that takes ETERNITY when you have to comply with all three of them), and we are often instructed to hold something like leftover snacks or dolls. For the record, my masterminded mom-ness (is that a thing?) for the car seat buckling is to allow them to mess with the chest harness buckle while I quickly buckle the lower portion. For the moment, that suffices as they are “doing it” themselves. My downfall of the week is the lastest phrase of kill it! which I did not intend to teach them. In my defense, the MASSIVE polka dotted spider on my back porch had me toddler-demanding Craig to kill it. So that’s just great.

They also say shit! When they drop things…but I choose to blame that one mostly on Craig.

Harper’s latest word explosion consists of enunciating her words, saying things like “ride-IN” or “Ko-DAH” or my favorite, Rea-GAN. One day she just stopped saying Ray Ray and now refers to her sister by her full name. It’s so cute. Emerie continues to call her Ray Ray. They call each other’s names when something of interest requires immediate attention, meaning there are a lot of Harper!! Emmi!! Reagan!! exclamations during walks and outdoor adventures. It typically includes excited pointing and a lot of yelling.

The girls, especially Emerie, now recognize enough of the neighborhood through the car windows to ask if we are going home as we pull onto our street. When we leave the house, everyone says bye-bye house! They recognize our friends and 17-houses-away neighbor’s house and comment anytime we pass it in the car. Other notable neighborhood objects consist of the wind fans in people’s front yards, the lawn mowers (called momos in this house) parked in yards and driveways, and the ever popular trash or garbage cans. The girls will ask about Koda as we head home from somewhere. If we eat out somewhere or have a picnic snack at the park, they look for the dog to give their scraps too. Yes, we are working on that one and they are working on getting her to smile when they tell her cheeeese! with their pretend camera phone.

The baby timeout chair, aka the high chair we used in addition to the triple table, is now retired to the garage for resale. We are continuing to implement time-outs and this is not so simply with three at once. Surprisingly, they will mostly stay in the corner you put them in for punishment, and half the time it is Harper. The next door neighbor asked us the other day which one is always in trouble, is it Harper? I find it hilarious they pick up on that from our day-to-day, because she is definitely the one in the hair pulling, biting stage. Emerie’s biting habits are letting up now and in general Reagan responds to verbal discipline far more than her siblings do. It is interesting to see how they all respond differently to punishment, as I predicted they would (just because that is harder!). They also asked us who is the one that seems more upset than the other two…which Craig and I both responded with Reagan! She is currently living her best two-year-old life, which means acting typical for her age according to the nanny, while the other two are on better behavior (I guess?).

We made it through our first real movie with the girls over a few evenings this week, watching (in short chunks) Tangled and then Moana. I think they all sat for five minutes or so and watched intently, then one or two got up to play while number three snuggled and talked about it. And switch and repeat. While encouraging screen watching isn’t exactly what I want to do as a parent, I am realistic enough to know having them enjoy some television time occasionally is not a bad thing and is really nice!! The funniest part of watching Tangled is the girls’ new obsession with pan!! and yes, I am referring to the frying pan that our princess uses to beat up her tower intruder and other bad guys along the way. Now we get requests for the pan! movie. Hopefully they don’t take it to heart tooo much.

Kicking off July

The 4th of July weekend was well spent just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine. We played with the water tables, in the pool, with our books and puzzles, and went to the nature conservatory in Portage. We packed a car load of gear and were out of the house by 9:30, with a short stop in Bird Creek to give everyone a stretch break and explore the exciting whale rock art and inlet views. At one point we successfully convinced all three to hold hands and walk; but most of the twenty-minute venture consisted of chasing toddlers and keeping them out of the parking lot. Grandma read books to our three opinionated listeners on the drive to Portage and showed them pictures of people on her phone. Apparently we just need a third row sitter to sit in the back of the car on a permanent basis, just to get some peace and quiet on drives!

They did great on the drive down, the longest one we’ve done in quite a while, as long as you allowed them to remove socks and shoes and have entertainment. They enjoyed wheeling around the refuge in the wagon and looking at the animals, then running free for a bit, then returning (unwillingly) to the wagon so we could move onto the next exhibit. The bears were the most popular for sure, where they exclaimed excited screams as the massive brown bears gallivanted around, about ten feet below the lookout, and the poor tourists sighed at the loud noises.

The plan was to do a quick lunch in the sun and then pack up for a driving nap home, but we got sidetracked. A lady popped her head out of her car as we were walking back, asking us if we had triplets and if she could take a picture (still a super weird request every time I hear it). Her next comment relayed we were the second set she saw that day, which is not a normal coincidence but turned out to be true! I first texted to our other triplet friends to see if it was them, but it wasn’t. As we approached the main parking lot to go home, disappointed we hadn’t found them, we ran right into them, a new, local set only three weeks younger than us. I am so excited to have another local momma that understands the current trenches! Needless to say, what a perfect story to meeting at a random place, on a random Fourth of July, at the exact same time!!

The rest of the weekend was spent outside enjoying (mostly) the hot, sunny temperatures, cleaning up the backyard and weeding the neglected raspberry patch and front garden. Regardless of the fact that fireworks awoke two of my three sleeping children at midnight, the weekend was not a wash. Harper is still up early each morning and used that time to help Grandma weed and get some on-on-one parent time. The gardens are looking the nicest it has since the girls came home from the hospital!

Day One

I really can’t complain about my week off with the kids. Why? Well it’s warm outside (at least it started that way on Monday) and that means spending the day outside. The girls have Grandma Sue to play with and with that comes fresh scones and other goodies. And, there’s lots of things to do to stay busy! Our Monday consisted of walks in the neighborhood with the wagon, meeting new neighbors moving in, taking a grand two hour nap, another afternoon walk with friends, and a lot of gardening! We expanded the back garden bed to accommodate the new golden raspberry patch and planted them after dinner, with the help of the girls (of course). They all enjoyed playing with the dirt, handing potted plants over to Craig for planting (or refusing to hand them over in a mischievous fashion), and playing with the massive worms from the pots. Harper ran around, showing off her wriggly worm and not wanting to share, Reagan would briefly hold it and Emerie kept dropping them and trying to stomp them in the grass.

Craig also replaced the lock on the back door to a keypad so that the nanny doesn’t get locked out anymore. This seems to happen a couple times a week to someone, although it’s easy enough to go to the key-less front door and get back in. We’ve been meaning to do that for years and just hadn’t gotten around to it. Emerie’s latest habit is to run inside from the deck, slam the back door, flip the deadbolt, and then set fire to the living room. Okay…not that last part, but I usually do find her standing on the table, tinkering with the TV remote in silent joy, awaiting her capture by the adults and hoping for the best.

Also, not because this is relevant to any story, but LOOK AT THEIR HAIR TODAY. Top/side ponies, with bangs long enough to pull back. Cute right?! We are starting to get more creative on the hairstyles, because the length is grown out and because bribery of the sugary kind allows me to give them bows and other pretties.

Day Two

Today we toured the zoo with the visiting cousins. The girls were on pretty decent behavior and didn’t run off too much; having the extra hands was great and the girls really took to Maddie, Amber and Hayden. There was a trail of snacks across the park as they munched in the wagon and spilled their drinks all over the place.

We are improving naming animals and everything isn’t a moose anymore. Instead we hear whispers of bear, owl, kitty and porcupine (I think) at random cages. The tiger has yet to be close enough for viewing after three visits, so the girls could care less, the polar bear was hidden during our visit, but the snow leopards, referred to as “kitties” in this house, remained almost close enough to touch.

The only hiccup of the visit was Emerie getting two lower arm hornet stings as she was climbing up a wooden stairway after Harper. She took it far better than the average toddler or even adult, showing us the owies as they swelled up but without tears or being inconsolable. Luckily after some initial swelling, it decreased without intervention and she forgot about it until we made it home. But it did remind me to put some additional meds in the diaper bag in case this happens again. It seems Harper is our mosquito baby and Emerie our bee baby. Who knows what that means for Reagan!

Yogurt after the hornet bite on Emerie’s arm

Needless to say, Emerie received lots of attention and kisses and was still able to enjoy the last several animals at the park, including the young, honey bear and napping baby moose. It was great to visit with family and much overdue! Our next visit will have to be the Seward Sealife Center!

That night we ventured to Olive Garden for our first dinner out since February. The construction outside was very interesting to the girls, who now say loader and truck! as we drive by big equipment. I have to say, the restaurant’s social distancing and less busy environment was welcomed in my opinion. In the past we could barely get the stroller to the table. The girls ate a TON of salad for dinner, Harper had seconds on the black olives, everyone tried some bread sticks and butter licking, and ate all their fries and some alfredo noodles. It was quite the successful meal!

We are still trying to break the bottle before bed habit. It’s been over a month since we’ve tried to stop again, since last time was not successful AT ALL and resulted in angry, bottle demanding, screaming toddlers. Since the girls ate so well at dinner and we didn’t get home until almost bedtime, we tried doing warm milk in their sippy cups, saying the bottles are broken. All three drank less than normal, but overall sleep wasn’t any different than it usually is.

Day Three

I woke up to a very dreary, rainy day. Instead of braving the the weather at the park, I packed the girls up and went to a play date. The last play date we went to was the week before quarantine and our first one is with our same twin friends.

The girls were moody for a lot of it, fighting over toys and with each other. Overall, they really took to role playing with the dolls, making me think I need to find some more doll furniture to use for inside activities. The double doll stroller was also quite the hit.

I also didn’t think to grab their portable lunch chairs, so they didn’t eat very well without being fully contained. Overall, we had fun and it was nice to catch up with one of my fellow multiples mommas, but apparently the trip didn’t tire them out enough to take a nap. It took me close to an hour and several spankings to get Harper and Reagan to lay down in their cribs and go to sleep. Emerie slept through all the toddler huffing and puffing.

The rain didn’t stop a little fun after nap, with the girls suited up in their raincoats and boots for a little fresh air. That lasted long enough for dinner prep and this time I put warm milk in their dinner cups. That also seemed to help with the new sippy cup only rule before bed time. I’m hoping we’ve broken the habit…but we will see.

Day Four

Day four started off pretty normal, but with Harper and Reagan standing in their cribs and having a 2 AM discussion about something and waking us up to grab them before they woke up Emerie. The day was full of the normal toddler things, playing, running to the store and to grab some French fries for a car ride snack, and playing out back in the kiddo pool. I managed to catch Harper dunking Emerie with a tiny bucket of water (again). The girls ate grandma’s chicken and dumpling soup and corn on the cob for dinner and played until bedtime. Another new game is discovered; we now have toddler participation for Ring Around the Rosie and it’s sooooo cute. They all preemptively fall and think it is so hilarious. Throughout the day, Harper’s eye (brow) continued to swell up from a big mosquito bite and additional sister beating, but went back down by the next morning.

Day Five

Creeping on the neighbors

Another relatively uneventful day full of playing outside, more French fries, and a few new knick knacks from the store. Once the weather turned nicer, we hooked up the sprinkler pad for some fun and eventually moved the slide into it. I caught some of the water dunking fights on camera and watched the girls chase each other around the yard with miniature water buckets, trying to slosh them over everyone’s heads. Eventually they stopped turning on each other and went after Koda, who probably enjoyed the cool water in the hot sun and didn’t even run away from them. This game will be fun until they come after me for it! They also insisted on verifying the newborn baby living in the house behind us was okay whenever he cried, and creepily stared his direction, through the back fence, to make sure. We are all about babies right now, and by that, I mean THE GIRLS. Calm down.

Later we ventured over to a neighbor’s house to pick up some fresh eggs, and, of course, feed their chickens some grass and ooo and ahhh over the fact that they have chickens. It was a random afternoon of adventuring while soaking wet and barefoot in the sun!

I also want to note that we’ve somehow managed to break the bedtime bottle feed by day five, a little milk with dinner seems to fix the wanting of an 8 ounce bottle an hour later. This is great progress in our kiddo development and a long time coming!

A few other notable and cute moments observed this week, Emerie licking the Pringle chips and trying to share the less-flavorful leftovers with you. She already realizes that is the best part of the snack! One morning she sang the whole ABC song, at 27 months old mind you, to me at the kitchen table! Not 100% on all the letters, but she has a number of them down and the song part at the end. She would also not do this for me on camera, because I tried several times. The best part is when Reagan and Harper join in and they all fill the letter gaps for each other. She also sang me the “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” song.

Harper and Reagan now look at you and say “like” when they dislike something. Even in the last few days, it’s starting to morph into no like or me no like, all great phrases to learn, even when we now hear them constantly! Reagan will peekaboo through her fork at you at the dinner table and is handing out free hugs more and more. I’ve seen her hug an upset sister several times this week; they just stand there and take it but she smiles and reaches out.

All week Harper greatly enjoyed the wonder of the backyard and its worms. She is still using her buzzword soccer ball and wants to play the ball game. Soccer will be just around the corner! She is also occasionally listening more and not immediately running away from you when freedom is in front of her. She did great at harnessing her inner desire to fun away FAST and I hope this is a trend for the better.

We managed to pull together a garage sale for Saturday morning and the girls actually played in the front yard and driveway for quite a while, without running away and partially with the backpack leashes, reminding us it is occasionally possible to let them roam while accomplishing a task. The extra hands helped too.

And just like that, it’s almost Monday again! ❤ ❤ ❤

Word Explosion

To say the least, last week was quite a week. Between Father’s Day on Sunday, our wedding anniversary on Tuesday, Emerie’s surgery Wednesday, and Craig heading out of town for the following two days, I can say I’m tired! In addition to just being really busy with those events, it also marks a year since we lost Chris, causing emotions to be on a constant high and thoughts to be scattered and broken.

Hanging out with Auntie while Daddy was out of town.

In the midst of our emotional roller coaster week, we preoccupied ourselves with the girls…which is not very difficult to do, since they are busy busy busy and that leaves little down time to process any feelings. I also count my blessings that Aunt Janelle was willing and able to come hang out with us while Craig was off adventuring. Thank you friend!!

We started word phrasing this week (in English, not triplet talk), with the girls constantly saying new things back at you as you speak with them or direct them to do things. For example, one afternoon Harper started yelling soccer ball, with attitude, making it come out more like SOCKa ball, and running around the house throwing the mini pink soccer ball. I’m uncertain when we graduated to using adjectives with our nouns, but needless to say I enjoy seeing their minds as work as they showcase their new vocabulary.

Here’s a cute example of Harper and her new word; turn up your sound!

Several other house favorites this week are phone and loud; by that I really mean looouuuuudddd, in the word and the sound. The girls continue to compete in their screaming contests, usually instigated by Emerie and much to the dismay of their Dad, with Harper and Reagan matching her voice and they all disintegrate into giggles. If a large jet flies overhead, they announce the airplane, point, and then remind you it’s loud. I mean they aren’t wrong…

It is likely that we will never go anywhere and forget our cell phones. While we keep the kid/phone interaction to a minimal (both because they don’t need to play with them at this age AND we only have 2 phones and 3 toddlers), they obviously see us talk, text and take photos on them. With tools such as Face-time, we make an effort to constantly talk “face to face” with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. In fact, we get daily requests for phone calls. Since her surgery, Emerie has nightly asked to talk to Papa Cliff, Harper and Reagan have given us a few grandma requests.

Anytime we leave one out within reach, someone is grabbing it and making one of two choices. Either they come running straight to us, incessantly hollering phone until we accept it; or the house becomes very quiet as they find a place to hide and play with it, bringing their sisters along for the fun. If a phone is out on the table, generally unused and just sitting there, anytime one stands up to grab something there is a PA announcement from the buckled-in toddler team, ensuring all parties in the house are aware- the. phone. is. on. the. table. MOM-phone!!! This announcement also occurs with coffee cups left out; and to their credit, that’s a great reminder to drink some more coffee BECAUSE OF THEM.

Other word explosions this week include the addition of small phrases and descriptive words. If we continue to excel this quickly, I swear everyone will be saying sentences by the end of the month. Emerie and Reagan repeated soccer ball after Harper’s introduction of it, and now everyone zooms around the living room with a soccer/bouncy ball, yelling it to each other. The other day, Reagan instructed me to shut the door, both to the back deck and later when she was helping me load laundry in the washer. On neighborhood walks in the afternoon, as we approach our weekly walking buddies’ house, Emerie exclaimed Jessie’s house as we walked up to it; now all three announce it about a block away. Sorry to everyone else who lives there…because it’s Jessie’s house now.

The light bulb recently clicked on regarding television. As you know, we’ve played a lot of YouTube channel music throughout their lives, including the beloved Shake It Off, princess medleys, old Disney songs, the kid Cocomelon and Dave and Ava medleys, a good amount of pop music like Pharrell’s Happy, and now Lola the Cow on repeat. The girls stop and dance to the music, since they were in jumpers at about nine months, but never last more than half a song before they are off doing something else. In the past two weeks they are starting to comment on things they recognize on the television and it’s peaking interest to pay attention to it. This especially applies to animals such as cows, ducks, monkeys (we did an Animal Planet lunch the other day), llamas (or a demand to watch them), and airplanes; and now they tell us about the animals on TV.

Remember back in the day, when the number one obsession in this house was staring at the ceiling fan, first motionless and then rotating? The girls have found a new love I’ve eluded to on a couple occasions, but let’s be clear. We went from a love of ceiling fans to a love of trash and trashcans. I’m not sure if Craig and I started this by instructing the girls to throw their dirty diapers away in the kitchen, or if the term “ucky” was thrown around enough to start it. They LOVE pointing out ucky dog poop in the yard, pointing to bird or dog poop on walks or at the park, and adamantly demand we open the garbage disposal if they find a speck of trash on the ground. Our zoo visits and walks are really just tours of trash cans, with excited screams from the strollers once they are in sight. If they had to pick between seeing the live polar bear at the zoo and the trashcan 20 feet away…well, I’ll let you guess which they choose. They also play with the trashcan in their bedroom; luckily the kitchen one is locked and not openable, although they frequently run in there and turn the compactor on, just for the heck of it.

Cutting the grass

A few new mannerisms and imitations are now expressed. For example, Reagan just started nodding her head up-and-down when you ask her a question that doesn’t immediately insight a “no” response. She also snorts when she laughs and it’s SO CUTE. All three are starting to draw out their “nooooos”, especially at bedtime when all I want is them to calm down and go to bed! They also continue to mimic adults and our daily chores, such as laundry and cutting the grass. Harper may be afraid of the lawn mower, but she certainly likes to simultaneously cut the grass when Craig does! In fact, the last two times the grass was cut, two of the three were pushing some kind of toy lawnmower at the same time. They were “helping!”

All three discovered jewelry is pretty fun, although Emerie likes to dress up the most by far. I ordered a few sensory bracelets, partly because they were cute and partly because they were the only non-bead ones I could find in case they break. Emerie wears hers everyday, rotating colors and usually demanding a blue and Harpa (pink) one. Reagan likes to wear them occasionally and Harper generally just shares hers with Em. I ordered a few kid necklaces to try out next week; we will see how that goes.


Last weekend we ate breakfast out for the first time since the pandemic induced the quarantine. The girls were impressively well behaved and the owners were thrilled to see them walk into the restaurant (as opposed to stroller or being carried), all the way from the car to the booth and back! What progress we’ve made!! We aren’t super parking lot friendly yet but are trying to slowly make progress so that the girls can walk places and we don’t have to cart the huge stroller. So far, the only sometimes respond to direction and today was a good day.

Harper wasn’t really in the mood to eat breakfast unless it was off of Craig’s plate; Emerie and Reagan chowed down on sausage and morsels of my food. They would only eat the bananas if they were dipped in the melting butter from atop the pancakes. It was a nice change to get out of the house and eat, not have to clear off the table and set up chairs, and no dishes!

After the holiday I have the week off to give the nanny a nice break! Fingers crossed everyone is in decent moods and that the weather stays this beautiful. The original plan was to attempt potty training during this time, but we’ve decided to push that off a little longer until they are a little more matured. Either way, it is right around the corner!

Chillin’

❤ ❤ ❤