18 Months and Counting!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a height/weight and development/leap update on the littles…so here goes!

We decided this development checkup to split out the appointments and not bring everyone into the doctor together. The past few have gotten more difficult now that the girls are mobile and want to get into everything. Two hours in a tiny, hot doctor’s office is a looooong time with three toddlers.


Emerie

Emerie was up first and solo. Taking one baby to the doctor almost seems relaxing and allows us to have a little one-on-one time while the nanny also gets a little break! At this visit, Emerie weighed in at 22.0 lbs and in the 43% percentile. She is much higher in the height percentile than weight, at 82% and measuring 32.75 inches.

Of the three, Emerie is the best at entertaining herself with her toys, random containers and nick knacks, or really anything. She is happy to sit on the floor and figure out how a toy works, or put smaller toys into a bigger container, or play with her shapes picnic basket. This can occupy her for a lot longer than I’d probably guess, simply because Harper or Reagan usually interrupt the quiet playtime, steal a part of or all of her toy, and then the fighting (and timeouts!) begin.

Her tinier stature also assists in climbing into small places- boxes, bins, anything that looks fun! She enjoys trying to figure out how to do it; although she often gets frustrated if it isn’t easy and then gets mad and starts hollering about it.

She is a fan of saying “no no no” (it’s never only once) and pointing at her sisters when they do something they shouldn’t. She still loves peek-a-boo and climbing into blankets, or peeking out at you and hiding.


Harper

Harper is up to 23 lbs 10 ounces! She is in the 64th percentile for her weight and at 33.75 inches, in the 96th percentile for height! We have very tall babies! She continues to be rambunctious and talkative, learning new words constantly. She loves to tattle on her sisters in a slue of baby gibberish when she is mad. She will tell you allllll about it. She also loves to run around and giggle with her sisters, pulling and pushing them around the room until everyone is solidly laughing. Some nights she solo runs around and thinks she’s a riot. She’s the only one to say her own name so far, and while only a couple of times, it was very cute and came out like “Hapa” during a game of peekaboo.

Harper is the only one sleeping full nights in her crib (lately)- with Reagan and Emerie alternating on who demands attention at all hours of the night. I’m so glad she’s back to being my good sleeper!

She’s also the best at eating pouches at meal time (doesn’t matter the flavor), but probably the most picky eater in general. Lately she’s been my trust faller, and will lean right off a slide or play set, regardless of how close by a parent is. She enjoys jumping off the side of the family room couch, into a pile of (strategically placed) pillows, and jumping up and running back around to do it again.

Lastly, I still believe Harper will be my soccer baby. She remains interested in my mini pink soccer ball more than her sisters and we are working on the concept of kicking. I can’t wait to put everyone in sports next year!!


Reagan

Reagan continues to be our binkie baby and anti-crib napper; but, she will fall asleep in her car seat seconds after a busy morning of playing. She weighs in at the same 23 pounds 10 ounces as her sister, in the 64th percentile, but is 34.00 inches, and slightly taller, in the 97th percentile. She remains the shyest so far but will come out of her shell when she is comfortable; she’s timid on big park toys and not a big fan of most swings.

Lately she dislikes eating meals more than her sisters, but I believe it’s just a phase resulting from teething, snotty noses and possible stubbornness. In the evening she has started to enjoy more snugglingbthan when she was younger, and will sit with you and relax.

Of the three, I believe Reagan tries to pull things off the counter and table the most, intending to grab anything within her reach. I’ve caught her climbing onto the table a couple of times from a nearby chair to grab something, and she will just look at me like, “what?

While not so interested in the concept of soccer, Reagan loves to play catch with the mini, pink soccer ball I’ve had since childhood. She also is great at fetch… ahem…I probably shouldn’t call it that… She seems to favor her right arm to throw the ball, so we might have a right hander (I’m very interested to see if everyone favors the same hand as they grow!). The throws produce quite the punch as well, so you must pay attention or take a nice ball to the face, or throat, or chest.


Words

The pediatrician set a goal of five words per kiddo for their 18 month appointment. I believe we hit that mark over one week in August! So far everyone’s favorite word is “baby” and “kitty“. They definitely understand that kitty means the cat; but they also think it means all animals like dogs…horses…pigs… Everyone has mastered saying “no no no” and shaking their finger at you and are starting to say “not nice” back in my face when I scold them for hitting or being mean. They can also inform you when they want a “baba”. And no that does not mean they want another baby. It definitely means they want a bottle and you are not funny!

Emerie at her checkup with Dr. Katie

In addition to the everyday momma and dadda, other words they’ve picked up over the past three months include bubble, yeah (Harper loves to say this!), more (sometime they will sign it too), belly, wow, puppy/dog (sometimes when it’s not kitty), cheese, hi, ball and uh-oh. Emerie is in a phase of repeating uh-oh after she purposefully throws something on the floor. They all love to point out where their belly is if you ask and usually want to point at yours as well. There’s no privacy here; they will lift your shirt right up to make sure YOU know where your belly is. Sometimes they will point to their nose when prompted and Emerie will say nose. Reagan also says Papa instead of Grandpa. A little to my dismay, they are all now repeating our “not nice” phrase when they hit each other or steal a toy. Not only do they repeat it, but they definitely say it a little higher pitched, almost like it’s there first word to throw back in my face. Oh toddlerhood…

Harper and Reagan at their checkup with Dr. Katie!

So it appears to me that we are good to go on the word quota for these appointments! While generally speaking, most multiples’ speech is delayed, due to premieness and/or because they will do baby language to talk to their siblings instead of real words. I am unsure that this will affect us in the long run. While it’s still too early to tell, both Craig and I are good at languages so I’m guessing that will genetically rub off on them. Our next goal is 50 words by age two. Since that is six months away and we are already well into it, I don’t foresee this milestone difficult to achieve. Now if I can just keep them from learning bad words to add to their vocabulary from a few certain men! 😉


Favorite Foods/Eating

The past few months have been a bit more frustrating on the food end. In addition to Grandma Sue’s food not being a hit with the tiniest grandchildren, they aren’t really enthusiastic or interested in eating a lot during meals, no matter what is placed before them. With the runny noses that visited in early September, no one really wanted much milk either! A big part of this is due to teething- everyone finally has four molars, two top and two bottom on each side, in addition to eight front teeth. I might also add everyone has the exact same teeth in…so we are continuing the identical-ness there too.

Favorite meal foods for all three still include breakfast sausage, rice of any variety (fried, white, brown), canned green beans and corn, avocados, blueberries, yogurt, FRENCH FRIES and udon noodles. For the most part, they seem to maintain tastes similar to Craig and I. On the fruit scale they like almost everything, including mandarin oranges, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, apple (sauce), and nectarines (not peaches as much). Apple pears and watermelon seem to give them immediate diaper rash so we are holding on them for a while…which sucks because they love watermelon. They also like a lot of vegetables, including steamed carrots and broccoli, cold sliced green peppers, sauteed squash, onions and zucchini (Em really likes this!), and cabbage. Yes, I said cabbage, surprising right? Craig makes a mean coleslaw and they like it.

We discovered last week that cheese quesadillas with sour cream are quite a hit too and will be making more of them in the future. While Harper will scarf down a couple strips in no time, Emerie is insisted that she needs a good gallon of sour cream smothered in it and Reagan too. They will lick off the sour cream and hold it up for more. I think that runs in Craig’s side of the family…. They also like tofu fried up on the stove- not sure if they like the consistency or it’s just easy to eat when their teeth hurt. Dislikes include most meats- they will tolerate steak bites and chicken sometimes, but don’t love it.

Other snack foods include goldfish (of course), any type of chex mix cereal and cheerios, veggie straws, animal crackers, cheese puffs and fig newton bars. They are definitely snackers, so to mix it up a bit we add veggies into the mix sometimes too.

In general everyone’s likes and dislikes in the food department are pretty similar, but there are some variations. Reagan really likes my mom’s lime jello salad (really likes) while Harper thought it was the most poisonous thing every to touch her lips in her lifetime. Harper likes Grandma Sue’s turkey meatballs while the other two tolerate them. Emerie really likes mushrooms and now I have to share mine whenever we have stir fry; the other two somewhat tolerate them but don’t love them.

Harper is the pro at eating the fruit and vegetable pouches while Emerie and Reagan think it is more fun to squeeze them on everything and eat it off the table. That is a day-to-day battle… we finally have a house of straw drinkers! In addition to using sippy cups, both Nalgene bottles for water and sippy straw cups for milk, they love drinking out of adult water bottles with straws and the one moms received from the hospital to keep us hydrated. With a surprisingly big straw, they can all drink out of it perfectly fine. They also apparently like coffee (thanks Grandma…) and were all fighting over a frappe Craig brought home from Costco the other day.


Sleeping

I wrote this title…but what does that mean? Sleeping? Haha kidding…not kidding. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a good nights sleep for all three. In general the trend appears to be one will sleep well (maybe wake up once for a bottle but go back to sleep), one will be angry/keep us up a few hours overnight, and one that is in the middle of that, waking up but going back to sleep relatively easy (usually in our bed or or the guest room). Some nights two will sleep all night in their cribs without so much as a peep, but the third will be grumpy and fussy and still keep us up, so it overshadows the success of the other two!

I can’t remember the last night we slept all the way through without anyone fussing or sleeping in our bed! For a while I barely had a night sleeping in MY bed, often sleeping the second half of the night in the guestroom with angry baby #2. Other nights we finally settle one in the master bed, a second falls asleep with me in the guestroom, and then #3 freaks out. That generally seems to end with me sleeping with #3 in the nursery armchair for a couple hours if I can’t get them calmed enough to go back into their crib. They all continue to vary on who is the grumpiest and who is the best sleeper and it can change from one night to the next. The past week or so Emerie is the grump and Harper and Reagan are trading off for best nighttime sleeper. A couple weeks prior to that Harper was the grump and before that Reagan.

We still use the white noise machine for naps and nighttime. I am looking forward to the airport project completing next month so the noise from the 747s flying over our heads all night will be gone. Now that darkness is returning, folks also won’t be outside as much making noise; and nighttime, once again, looks like nighttime!


Activities

We tried coloring out again, this time with retractable crayons (which are… umm…SO cool). They ate them a little less and I’m counting the bashing them on the table as coloring…at least it produced some marks on the paper. We also used our smarts and taped the paper to the table. That at least lasted a couple minutes. We are getting closer…but not quite there yet.

Trying out a different type of crayon with Daddy

Teamwork is slowly starting to develop, with the girls coordinating to knock over toys, push each other around in their cars and airplanes, and best efforts to run three different directions whenever possible to confuse the poor, overtired parental figures. At bedtime the other night (picture a full bedtime march upstairs), two made it out the unlocked dog door by the time the third was up the first set of stairs (with me). They are sneaky like that. Never a dull moment.

More recently the girls are starting to help you when getting dressed and undressed. Reagan has her moments of taking her shirt off voluntarily and without permission, but otherwise all three are usually willing to assist in removal. They will put arms in the arm holes and move their legs to help, as opposed to becoming a bag of bricks and not helping. Everyone thinks it’s a game once they are down to diapers and pajamas are intended; they will step toward you and then run away as fast as they can in the midst of big smiles and giggles. It’s pretty cute…and you definitely have to chase them because they are not coming to you.

One other daily activity Craig started a little while back that is cute enough to mention… when he gets home from work, the girls flock to him for immediate attention. I’m usually home already so I get to watch this. He will pick up all three, for now this is still doable and only, you know, about ~68 wiggling pounds, and sing the Daddy’s Home song while jumping up and down. They think it is hilarious and love participating. We will see how long he can handle all three at once!

Craig preparing for Daddy’s Home singing

This blog turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, and honestly I can barely comprehend we are on the turning curve to age two already. Time is passing quick and I feel as though I say that quite often but still don’t believe it’s true. For comparison, here is a 6 month photo, taken about this time last year, and a photo from this week. Man are they growing up quick! ❤

From Jumpers to Naps

This week our busy little bees have hit a few new…eeerrr……milestones?

Hearing Craig exclaim from the playpen, stop licking my belly button! And then a moment later seeing Reagan licking Craig’s leg hair. Such wonderful memories to share with the girls when they are older…

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img_0278Reagan received her first swollen lip last week. It is undetermined if she was smacked in the face by a sister (likely) or if she bit it falling down on a toy. Either way, she wasn’t excited about it; but it hasn’t stopped her from climbing on things and testing out her boundaries.

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Napping is finally improving, it only took about a year! The girls were never great nappers, starting when we defined specific nap times to now. They still need some daytime sleep to continue being happy and pleasant babies; some days it is very difficult while others are much smoother. We are down to one nap, having lost the second one at about 11 months and Reagan a little before that. It was too much of a battle to get them to go down for another relatively short nap, so we stopped trying and now focus on getting one good one. Typical naps are around an hour, but recently that is getting better at two or more. We try to be as physically active as possible throughout the morning so everyone is tired and ready to settle down. Once the girls are in their cribs, we give them about 10 minutes to settle down, whether they are screaming, giggling, or otherwise, before we will go back and intervene. Lately we haven’t had to go back in. When they were smaller, there was a great deal of pulling out the one keeping the other two awake…and that varied between all three.

The end of last week and the weekend schedule worked like a charm. The girls napped about two hours a day, ALL THREE OF THEM, each day. Major progress!! After going through more clothes, we tried on some “big girl pajamas” too! Don’t mind Reagan’s face in the picture…she was ready to eat, not smile for the camera.

Big girl pajamas!

Harper and Emerie had their follow up ear infection appointments on Friday. The office was running late and man…it is really difficult to entertain two one year olds in a tiny, boiling hot room for 40 minutes. Reagan stayed with Grandma, and napped the whole time, so at least we only had to entertain two!

The doctor told us the next few appointments are exceptionally difficult at this age. We are thinking we might split them up and take one at a time to make things less stressful. My other idea is to pack up and bring the pack-and-play with us. Then we can at least set them each down where they can play while we spend two hours there.

One other change in the Douglet household is no more tracker chart! As you know, I like to write things down, memories, silly antics, and definitely the daily schedule. We made it through three Triplet Time books (off Amazon) and once they were no longer available for purchase, I made my own customized Douglets version. We used this for a few more months, keeping up on the day-to-day eating habits, diapers, and funny things throughout the days.

After hitting the year mark, the tracker started to become more effort than help, unlike previous months. We relied on it greatly when the girls were smaller, as schedule was EVERYTHING, and without it we couldn’t remember who ate how much when, let alone get any sleep. img_0371It may seem like taking the time to write things down is unneeded effort, but when you are feeding three babies every three hours each day, your mind very quickly jumbles who had how much when.  It will also be fun to look back at the first few months of life and see some of the funny notes. For example, there are definitely a few “Emerie peed in her hair!” notes (she’s going to kill me for that someday) or “no one slept in their cribs last night” type of things.

Another transition is away from the baby jumpers. I am sad to see them go; I could watch them giggle and laugh and bounce all day long. We are now to the point they just want to explore and play; and they see the jumpers as confinement. No one has tried to climb out of them yet, but if we continued to use them it would probably happen.  Our living room looks so huge now…three jumpers take up a lot of space!

A lot of people dislike jumpers, saying they are bad for babies. Looking into this topic, they can be bad for development, but that is if you leave them in for long periods of time allll the time. Another complaint is it causes children to walk on their tiptoes. In my experience, both are non issues as long as you pay attention to your kids! Harper and Emerie didn’t do tiptoe very much, but Reagan did for a while. As soon as she became mobile, the tiptoes went away and she stands fine now. It’s all about moderation! I will miss those jumpers…

We took advantage of Grandma Sue’s visit and made a few more efforts to baby proof the house.  Our tri-level house has extensive staircase area. The house was originally designed with a 7″ gap between the railings; big enough I can stick my head through, so a child can fully hang through it.  We have a loft area at the top of the stairs in the living room and it is quite high up. Our cats have always liked they can easily escape the dogs by running through the openings, and the dogs used to sit up in the loft and hang their heads through the railing, surveying their surroundings or to take a nap.

This weekend we ruined those joys for our pets, but made our stairs kid safe. I would love to completely demolished the existing railing, but because…well triplets, we don’t have time for that and just added metal spindles, centered in the 7″ opening and now to municipal code! I believe it turned out really nice, and while we aren’t quite finished with the loft, the girls can go from the living room up to their bedroom (monitored) without fear of falling off the sides.

We are still working on food. The girls love to give Grandma Sue a hard time about her cooking, refusing to try things or eat them. Harper is really a stickler for refusing to enjoy her concoctions, Emerie and Reagan are more easily coaxed. They do, however, all like her chicken noodle soup, vegetables and all! Watching them slurp noodles is literally THE cutest thing.

Because the girls can be a bit picky, we still use baby food as well as whatever we are eating to make sure they get the calorie intake they need. They often refuse to eat the food plopped down in front of them on the table (Harper and Reagan more than Em) and are more willing to try it out if you eat a bit and feed them with your utensil. Silly babies.

They seem to be picky sometimes and other times starving little monkeys. Cheese puffs and yogurt melts are still the favorite; mango slices, green beans, crackers and vege-straws are a hit, and of course french fries are a great snack every once in a while, that’s in their genetics like their mother. They liked our homemade coleslaw the other day too, as long as it entered their mouths from my fork! They enjoy Cheerios if they are off someone else’s spoon. Apparently they aren’t as good as a hand to mouth snack (yet).

We are transitioning from bottle feeds to food intake pretty well. The girls get breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day in the triple table, with a bottle in the morning, afternoon, and right before bedtime. Everyone has three or more teeth coming through, which greatly minimized the amount of milk everyone drinks. For a few days I was bagging a bunch for later this year because they weren’t drinking it. Once the teeth popped through the gums, everyone started drinking their bottles better.img_0237

Reagan and Emerie briefly still to drink their bottles

Spring is here (or at least it looks very promising!). The few recent walks feel warm and sunny and like the leaves should appear at any moment. We are excited for Easter next weekend and might do a few bunny photos and play dates. I can’t wait until it is warm enough to sit outside and play with the girls in the sun!

Miss Harper having a fun time on the walk.

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Little Swimmers

New baby milestone, at 9.5 months old.

Since before they were even born, Craig wanted to take the girls swimming. He was a water baby (and still is?! Lol) so we figure at least one of the girls would adore the water.

We know from our NICU stay that Reagan very much likes it and bath time, even with her timidity; and Emerie and Harper have learned to like it more during bath times at home.

I may have purchased swimsuits last summer, anticipating at some point over the winter swimming would happen. The girls are growing like weeds and Harper and Reagan have to be in 12 month at this point, as the 9 months outfits I bought are a bit tight. Glad I bought two sizes! Otherwise they would never come off when wet!

The thought of trying to take 3 nine month olds swimming at a public pool is not my idea of a good time, and caused me some stress. Luckily, my beautiful friend Kathryn opened her house and indoor pool to us so we wouldn’t have to try the public one yet. We also enjoy our play dates to have a ton of kiddos, so why not go swimming with a twin set and triplet set under one years old and two preschoolers? Sounds like an acceptable challenge to me. Apparently we fear nothing!!

Harper REALLY enjoyed the water. She kicked and kicked and liked sitting in the floaty seat (that’s awesome by the way!). She even did some tummy time leaning forward in it without rage.

Emerie wasn’t entirely impressed at first, but liked it after a few minutes. She is destined to like water, she’s in an adorable mermaid suit! Once she was comfortable she loved it.

Reagan was initially appalled at the situation but after five minutes was splashing around with her sisters.

The end goal of swimming was to get the girls to sleep better, and maybe through the night like they used to but haven’t in the past month. Result? Better sleep than a lot of recent prior nights, but not yet back to our joyous 7 hours of sleep.

First swim was definitely a success! I look forward to more with the Wheeles group and with future bestie Paris!

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!

4-6 Adjusted Week Growth Spurt

The past week or so has been full of fussy babies and finicky eaters, but also new facial expressions and sounds from the girls.

We were warned a big growth spurt was about to occur, and it started slightly ahead of the 4-6 week timeframe, with the girls 12 weeks old today, but 4.5 weeks adjusted.

This growth spurt is more developmental than physical and involves sight, focus, and hearing. Their vision is starting to improve, with colors a little more visible. They are starting to listen to sounds and music more intently and can focus on it. They also begin recognize our voices better, and the change is very noticeable. Such big cognitive leaps!

The girls are all starting to really smile when we talk to them and express new facial expressions. Reagan, who has always been our smiler, now smiles even more and with eye contact and in response to minimal coaxing.

Harper now enjoys the play mat a little more (or maybe she’s just tolerating it now) and is showing us new sounds and shrieks.

Emerie, our little pea pod, has started to smile in response to our voices and be much more interactive with us.

It is exciting to see the changes and I look forward to the next few weeks of growth!

First solo workweek

On Monday a friend texted me how the first solo baby day was going with Craig back at work. My one worded response of “hell” pretty much summed up day one. The girls would not sleep at all, they wouldn’t bottle prop, and there was a great deal of crying. Thank goodness the week improved from that.

Now that it’s Saturday, I look back at the work week and see how much I’ve learned on 3v1 baby days:

  1. Leave the house – going somewhere, even just to hit the McDonalds drive thru or a coffee stand, counts as leaving! Getting everyone loaded up and prepped takes a lot of time and really makes the day pass quickly. The kiddos get a little more stimulation in a changed environment and that changes their moods after a tough morning.
  2. Time your feedings – one day Craig left for work midfeed and I was up the rest of the day with cranky babies. We’ve discovered if the feed is mostly done, i.e. maybe two girls are back in bed and I’m feeding the last one, then I can actually go back to bed for an hour or two. Huge game changer.
  3. Tummy/play time – feeding three babies at once when alone is really difficult, especially if they don’t feel like cooperating. Feeding two simultaneously is manageable. If one is on a play mat within view, that seems to entertain them long enough I can feed one or even both their sisters. Helps a lot when Reagan is on the mat; she likes it a lot more than Harper does!
  4. Support – attending a multiples group with women who have multiples around the same age as mine is really great. It gives us the opportunity to have grown up conversations, hear advice from those ahead of us, and once again, to get out of the house!
  5. Prep the night before – having all the bottles washed and in the nursery, snacks in the fridge, and my pumping gear ready to go is really helpful when three babies are all screaming and hungry at the same time!
  6. Tracker – keeping the food/diaper tracker current helps with my sanity! I often can’t remember who ate what after like an hour!

The most valuable thing I learned this week was that I can do it – I can leave the house solo with three in tow and we all survive! It’s definitely time consuming, stressful, and would be a lot easier with another set of hands, but also good to know that I can do it.

Here’s to a few more weeks of solo girl time. We still have the fan for moral support too 🙂