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…

img_1330

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.

img_0338

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.

img_0024

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 🙂