A Big Year: 2018

2018 was a big year for our family. Expanding to a family of five, both continuing to work full time, an exciting 7.0 earthquake close to home, and the ups and downs that come with being new parents.

The key things I learned throughout this past year:

  1. The most important thing is family. I’ve always enjoyed having a job and a career, and definitely put that in the import category in my life, when really, it’s not nearly as important as your little ones and spending time with your family.
  2. Friendship: it changes when you have kids. Some friendships can handle the big life change while some can’t; and realistically, thats okay! Life is about growing and changing. Sometimes people will surprise you!
  3. Patience is a thing. I’ve never been a super patient person, but with kids you just have to suck it up and go with it. I’m working on it…should have it down by triple toddlerhood. You’ll also find me eating chocolate and drinking wine in the bathroom for that life phase.
  4. Teamwork is a necessity. The day to day is really hard. Working together on each task drastically improves EVERYTHING. It also makes one appreciate their spouse in ways they may not have noticed pre-babies.
  5. Enjoy the little things- that hot cup of coffee, brownies baked by a friend, a quiet morning sitting by the Christmas tree (even if it’s at 4am), baby giggles or snuggling a fussy baby to sleep.
  6. Embrace your community! For me, it’s not just the multiple moms that I have things in common with, but just moms in general. We are all in the thick of it together!

The girls learned a good amount of things this past year too! Their list is far more interesting than my life revelations, including how to:

  1. survive “outside” in the real world!
  2. eat out of their bottles and almost hold them. So close.
  3. sleep through the night…and un-sleep through the night this month. Working on that one…
  4. laugh, smile, growl, and happily enjoy the world around them.
  5. grab and play with toys while sitting up.
  6. And lastly, to continue to grow, change, and advance into 2019!

We finished off this year letting the babies test out some beef broth. Needless to say, they are not fans of it (yet) so we followed it up with the well liked mango. Enjoy and happy new year!

9 Month Babies!

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

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

Here is a quick update on how everyone is doing:

Harper Anne

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

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

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

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

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

Emerie Faye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parents

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

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

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

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

Post Santa photo at Cabellas

Mashed Potatoes and Family Visits

Today, for the first time, we let the girls try to feed themselves some food…some of Grandma Sue’s mashed potatoes. We put the trays back on the sit-me-ups and plopped down some very well mashed potatoes. At first no one knew what to do! Eventually Emerie started chowing down while Harper and Reagan squished and played with it.

Grandma Sue also taught Harper a new trait. She will now growl at you. It’s adorable! She does it constantly like she is just plain talking to you.

Christmas is just around the corner and we’ve been playing dress up a good amount. I found a number of matching outfits and now that they are easier to tell apart (in some ways) it is fun to make them match and see if others can recognize who is who.

Some family has come up to enjoy the first holiday season with us. The girls really enjoy pulling on their Grandma Sue’s hair, stealing Papa Lon’s hat off his head, playing with Cousin Tyler and Aunt Nicki, and talking to Grandma Anne and Papa Cliff. It’s fun to see their interactions with new people and they are getting much more comfortable with noise and chaos in the house day to day.

Aunt Nicki and the girls

Watching princesses

Cousin Tyler with the Douglets

Papa Cliff with the girls

Grandma Anne and Harper

Babies playing with their Grandparents

Now, it would be REALLY nice if the teething rage slowed down and we could remember what a solid night of sleep feels like. Thank goodness my mom is taking an evening shift so we can get a few hours of uninterrupted shuteye the last night or two. Here is a peek at Reagan’s teeth- sneak attack!

Let the battle begin…

Playing in Christmas clothes – Harper, Emerie, Reagan

Welp, it appears that I lost the battle. Technically it’s not a competition, but who are we kidding? Everyone wants to win the first baby sound battle (here is Reagan- ignore my epic food in mouth spill).

Craig claims to be the winner with all three…I am still disputing. The “dadadadada” sounds constantly coming out of Emerie, then Harper, then Reagan, are simply a sound, not an acknowledgement of a person. My PIC professional Amy backs me up on this thought!Either way, it is very cute, and they like to yell it at us at random times and in loud voices. Reagan is a bit more timid in her sound while Harper and Emerie just yell at you.

We are practicing sitting time each day to strengthen those back and ab muscles. The girls have greatly improved over the past several weeks. Reagan is a pro and by far the strongest (that hasn’t changed since birth), Harper sits well but likes to stretch back against the boppy when she can or we aren’t paying close attention, and Emerie is a bit more floppy and always seems to end up on her belly, angry, but is improving.

Everyone is teething majorly and everyone has at least one, or two, teeth poking through the gums.

Emerie’s tooth is no longer afraid of her gums and re-presented itself.

Harper’s are also coming in full force (two of them!), and she is none to pleased about it. Lots of Tylenol for her…and little sleep for us…

Reagan’s bottom one is popping and she seems a little less enraged than her sisters. Lots of chewing on everything and frozen teethers.

So, we should have sitting, teeth showing, chatting babies by Christmas. Where has the time gone?!

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?

Let the teething begin…again?

After the departure of Emerie’s first tooth, we had a month hiatus of any tooth viewings. That worked great considering we obtained a cold, and snuffles AND cranky teethers cannot possibly coexist (I’m in denial, let me have this one).

With the distraction of the cold, Thanksgiving, and a 7.0 earthquake, needless to say we haven’t been monitoring the girls toothless situation that closely. The past few days the girls have been chewing on things more, now that they aren’t all stuffy, but when we actually checked their mouths, everyone has progressed!

Everyone is drooling and loving the frozen teethers. We are improving on baby food and they become little starving baby birds when we get out the spoons and food.

We caved and purchased amber necklaces and that seems to be helping a lot with the drooling. Plus they just look so adorable in them.

Harper has one cut on her bottom left, Emerie also on her bottom (the same one that wussed out earlier), and Reagan has two bumps on the bottom and top that are very close to peeking. Very exciting!

All they want for Christmas is their two front teeth…right?

We attempted to get photos of their little mouths, but they did not agree to it and don’t hold still! Still don’t have one of Emerie!

Harper says what are you doing!?

Miss Reagan

I firmly believe everyone’s teeth started appearing after Grandma Sue’s Thanksgiving dinner. They want to enjoy it too!

A Day in the (Triplet)Life

We’ve been getting a lot of questions how we handle three babies all day (and night) long and not go crazy. I figure I should write this down before I forget or block it out entirely in the future. The first few months, with a very tight 3 hour round the clock schedule, are already blurred in my memory; although I attribute that to much more sleep deprivation than I have now.

Starting to look pretty alike!

Back in May and June, after the girls came home from the NICU, we did round the clock feedings every three hours for at least six weeks. That meant several short 1-1.5 hour naps each day was all the sleep we would get in a 24 hour period. Other triplet parents take shifts for feedings so one parent gets an extended length of sleep, but it worked well for us to tag team everything and then settle the girls back down.

Now that we are 8 months old, the day to day is dramatically easier, but in a different way than when they were younger. They can grab a toy or binkie and chew on it themselves, so self soothing is vastly improving, although the next leap teaches them awareness when Mom and Dad aren’t nearby (that’s gonna be fun…). Since they occasionally entertain themselves for moments, that allows for laundry to get collected and washed, dried, and folded, dishes and bottles to be washed, the occasional vacuuming and random household cleaning…but mostly, it’s babies babies babies or Craig or I are doing a household chore while holding one and keeping an eye on the other two.

The first feed of the day is at about 5:40 AM.  At this point, I’ve already been awake about an hour to pump and prep their bottles, and start to get ready for work or the day at home.  Typically someone will be waking up and ready for breakfast as soon as I flip the nursery light on, or Craig has gone in a few times to re-binkie to hold them off until I am ready. Everyone gets a diaper change and arms released from their sleep sack cocoons for the feed and everyone is propped on the nursery armchair.  We have this feeding down to a science and have everyone fed, happy, and back in their cribs to chat in about 30 minutes.  After a few minutes of sisterly chatter, all fall back asleep until nine or so. Sometimes one is up earlier or one sleeps until 9:30, but overall they are relatively consistent with the normal schedule.

On the weekends we often take a nap while the girls do, and get up about 8 AM to start our day (mind you we’ve already been up for the first feed!).  First thing in the morning is by far the happiest portion of the day. The girls wake up happy and relaxed, and hang out in their swings for a few minutes while we eat a quick breakfast.  Then we get everyone up and dressed for the day, and let the fun begin!

On an average day at home, we try to switch up activities when moods start going downhill.  Once we implemented a nap schedule, it was 1.5 hours of activity, feeding, etc. and then down for a quick nap. Now that they are a bit older, we are in the vicinity of 2 hours up.  The girls are not nappers; in fact, they believe 30 minutes several times per day is plenty of sleep, and rarely give me the satisfaction of an hour or more nap, and never all three at the same time for a long one!  We are nearly out of 3 naps a day, and don’t seem to be able to convince them it is important to have all three anymore.  I usually have just enough time to pump before someone is hollering to get back up.  If the nap is in the car, it stretches to about 45 minutes, and we’ve learned that driving from our house out to Indian and back is the perfect amount of time for them to wake up as we pull back into our neighborhood.

Daily baby activities now include lots of jumper time, for everyone, rotating who goes in which one as they all have different things to play with and chew on.  Sometimes we make 30 minutes with three happy babies, sometimes one adamantly refuses to jump at all and wants to be held, and sometimes no one is in the jumping mood, although that’s rare.  The bouncers are now liked (previously hated) and all three girls think it’s hilarious to pound their legs as hard as possible and pull on the dangly toys.  That results in a little enthusiasm as well.

Another activity is tummy/sit time on the floor with all three. They are getting much stronger at sitting up and can do it pretty well with only minimal assistance needed.  During this time, the girls are starting to steal each other’s toys and look around for anything fun around them. There is always a plethora of teethers to choose from.

While feeding schedule is a little less regimented than in prior months, we still do five feeds per day: the early morning, 3 main day feeds and a bedtime one at six o’clock.  If one gets a bottle, everyone gets a bottle!  During the day we prop them in their room and can have everyone fed relatively quickly when they focus. Other days no one wants to eat and it’s much more of a battle!  When we are out and about, they actually eat pretty decently in their stroller/car seats with direct supervision, but we don’t do that as often.

The girls side prop or can eat bottles straight on, and we are so close to them holding them outright!  They are definitely interested in the bottle and understand it is food when we hold one up.

Reagan licking her bottle. Not quite the right way yet lol

During the summer and fall we did a daily walk to get the pups energy out and everyone some fresh air. We have a great 1.3 mile loop by our house that is in the trees and feels almost like an easy hike! It’s secluded enough the pups can run off leash for a little bit and we don’t have to worry about vehicle traffic. Now that’s it’s older out, the girls get bundled up if we go. Sometimes, like earlier this week, we get stopped by a young neighborhood moose on the trail.

Mr. Moose trying to prevent our walk!

Matching bear hats (Em has one on with Dad!)

This is pretty much our daily routine. Feed, play, tummy/sit time, cuddles, maybe a walk or leave for an errand, nap time, and repeat. Somewhere in there we do one baby food feed in their sit-me-ups. Somewhere in their we eat, I pump, and we try to get a few household things done too. Here’s the girls eating blueberry and something else (I forget!). Emerie is the baby bird if the group although Harper and Reagan both liked this one too.

Nighttime routine can take anywhere from 30 minutes (our personal record) to 2 hours.  Starting at six, we put everyone in pajamas and start the feed. The girls eat a ton at night, Reagan more than 8 ounces now, and Harper and Emerie that much sometimes but not as consistently.  The fidgetier ones get swaddled mid-feed, and everyone gets to settle in their crib when they decide they are done eating.

Don’t get me wrong here, the bedtime feed is an epic battle every night.  Everyone wants to go to bed except the babies? We usually have one baby that goes down pretty easily (often Harper!) and then one who takes some coddling and one who refuses and tries to wake everyone else up. Emerie and Reagan vary on this day-to-day.  Once everyone is down, we sneak in and out of their room for mini cuddles sessions as needed or to re-binkie someone who sneezed, coughed, or spit theirs out. I tell you, baby binkies have been a life saver in our household. I also believe we get our exercise simply by running back and forth from our room to theirs…alllll night.

For the most part, everyone is asleep by 7:30. The past month or so we’ve been getting up 5-10 times per night to settle someone, and in the past couple weeks someone ends up in a rock and play in our bedroom, just to keep from waking the other two up due to the snuffles. But overall, the girls sleep quite well for their age and it’s quite a blessing.  We make it to bed by 9 PM, and other than our diving out of bed to quiet a screamer as fast as humanly possible, get to “sleep” until 4:30, when it all starts over again…

New M(emerie)s

Weekends are long.

I don’t just mean weekends with a holiday like this past one, but in general.

I love my babies, watching them grow, snuggling, and being a mom…but MAN. Weekends can be HARD.

The girls are still battling the stuffy noses and colds. It seemed to be improving and Monday night we couldn’t remotely convince Reagan to go to sleep on her back in her crib, so another night of fussiness in our room. Luckily Harper and Emerie slept decently in the nursery. Last night we convinced everyone to sleep in their cribs, but bedtime took about 2 hours!

While the weekend was long, with several coordinated car nap times and some wonderful extra hands visiting, the girls are continuing to grow and advance and it’s fun to see.

Each day we practice sitting up, eating baby food and hand eye coordination while playing with toys. We are just around the corner from them independently sitting up and playing, as they are getting pretty good at it (with mild help).

Post work playtime

They now grab nearby toys, even when dropped, which is quite the improvement. They grab at their bottles and open their mouths when we hold them up. Emerie has mastered spoon feeding and is very demanding, while Harper and Reagan now tolerate it pretty well. I’m pretty sure they know the word “jump” and when we say it to them in their jumpers…

One new baby fact we did learn this weekend…baby teeth can RECEDE.  Emerie’s tooth dot went from…well…a dot, to NOTHING.  She apparently scared it back into her gum line.  How is that even possible?!  She’s still as droolly and cranky as the norm the past month, but now with less of a tooth than last week.  We can’t even believe it…

Miss Emerie now tries to grab everything off the table.

Harper, as happy as ever (thankfully!), had her first legitimate face bonk, straight into Craig’s glasses.  She was not thrilled, nor was Craig, and now has a nice pink dot in the middle of her forehead.  They are definitely getting stronger and can now apparently use their heads as weapons? Wonderful.

Happy Miss Harper

Reagan, who still has no visible teeth or a bump on her forehead, is very over having a cold, but still learning new things everyday. She believes anything you are holding should be hers to chew on, and is very interested in everything.

Even with a scratched eye, Miss Reagan is so cute!

We are excited for the holidays to get here and have our first Thanksgiving with them. I am also excited for some Black Friday baby deals!! Holidays here we come! So many things to do for their first holiday season.