You are Loved

It’s taken me a while to find the words I wanted to explain my thoughts and it ultimately boils down to a very simplistic idea. I have a daily reminder to myself, through the crying, fits, mischievous behavior and fighting, reminding me that “you will never be more loved that you are right now.”

This idea is pretty profound, right?? It’s also really true. Your toddlers are teetering on independence, learning boundaries while staying in the comfort and knowledge that Mom and Dad are nearby and will protect them and keep them safe. As they grow older and mature, that love will change and reshape; but for now it really is unconditional!

you will never be more loved that you are right now

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It certainly makes me think. Think about how hard it is to raise a kiddo, let alone more than one, in a busy society filled with uncertainty and pressure. Think about the different, difficult stages that seem to be on repeat, think how to process them AND get through them while still trying to enjoy the days. Think about the sleepless nights and crazy busy days.

Snack time

They go to you for injuries, comfort, to snuggle or show you a rock they’ve found, as well as all other daily wants and needs. There’s no question in their mind that you are the person able to fulfill them and they never doubt your ability to. You are the person they have meltdowns with, because they know you will fix it and make it better, and the person to share an abundance of emotion, good and bad, as those unrecognizable feelings rise to the surface and bubble over.

Reminding yourself that your kiddos have an unrequited and abundant love for you helps improve state of mind! At least it does for me. One must remember to enjoy all these different parts of parenthood, the easy parts as well as the detrimental ones, because the future teenage meltdowns will not result in easy forgiveness and a snuggle! I have to enjoy the constant demand for attention, the “mom! mom! mom!”, because it won’t always be this way and they won’t always be vying for my unlimited attention. Enjoy it. Embrace it.

Growing up happens really quickly, and I don’t think it is something you realize until you witness your kiddos age before your eyes. This is on my mind this month, as we’ve made some daily changes that only occur as the girls grow and mature from babies to toddlers to pre-school age.

For example, the beloved triplet table is now collecting dust in the garage. The past month or two the girls have fought us on sitting in it, regardless of the fact that they still fit in it, and the past six months we’ve left the middle seat empty and separated one out in a high chair due to the fighting, hair pulling and food stealing that occurs.

They’ve taken to the adult table really well, and by that I am referring to the eating part. Less food is thrown on the floor (in general) than at the triple table and they usually humor us and sit a little longer. They also like to climb up and buckle themselves in for meals and the occasional puzzle. You can definitely tell they try to mimic us and be “grownup.”

But don’t let that convince you they are behaved grownups; because, well, someday they will learn to sit at the table and not stand and dance on top of it. After two weeks, if you walk out of the room for five second, you return to everyone standing on it and trying to play with the TV, the remote, or anything they usually can’t reach. Many tears and timeouts continue to occur from this.

Another furniture change was getting rid of the baby slide I found at a garage sale early last summer when they were just starting to walk. It was probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent in my life and was used constantly for months! It used to be a big slide with little girls playing on it; now it’s a little slide with big girls playing on it! It started on the back deck, shifted to the family and living room for the winter, and now off to a new toddler to enjoy!

This past week we’ve let the minions run free at a few new spots, including two walks where they lollygagged down the trail freely and did surprisingly well. They picked flowers, collected rocks, shrieked at the mud puddles, and ran around ON THE TRAIL. I know, I can’t believe it either. Part of that is due to the extra hands that walked with us and partly due to the vegetation on either side being about their height.

Emerie walked most of the way holding my hand (her insistence, not mine!), accepting flowers handed to her by Harper and Reagan and putting rocks in my pockets. Harper ran up the trail and then back to us on a continual loop, screaming at birds and claiming to see piles of poop. Reagan collected flowers and shifted between the front of the group and holding our hands.

In case you are wondering why everyone is in hooded sweatshirts for a walk in the middle of June…I can confidently tell you the mosquitoes are out in force this year and while they like all three girls, they LOVE Harper. You can see that obvious love from the bites on her face. To keep that minimized (even with bug spray), we try to keep them covered when in the woods.

Another first for the girls was a trip to the zoo. It was a beautiful sunny day, with minimal mosquitoes joining us, and turned out to be a very nice morning of fun. Once again we let them out of the wagon after a while and they loved it, although we went from a tour of Alaskan animals to a tour of the trash cans at the zoo. There was a great deal of running and exploring and total meltdowns when we loaded up to leave. Who can blame them…the zoo is pretty fun!

We learned that visiting the zoo is doable with three, mobile toddlers…IF you bring extra hands to corral them the right direction. I’m not sure it would have worked out with just Craig and I. The girls adored that our friend Kimber “Kimmie!” pulled around the wagon and joined us on the trek as well as another fellow toddler friend. They constantly demanded her muscles to pull them, refused snacks from anyone but her, and all wanted to hold her hand. It was very cute.

Throughout the two hour trek, we were continually reminded that all large animals are moose! with a shriek of great enthusiasm. This included the coyotes, bears, musk oxen and alpacas. Harper especially disliked the musk ox and leaned as far the opposite way as she could as we rolled by. Emerie and Reagan weren’t even phased. Every especially liked the big kitties that looked at the girls like they were a potential snack and, of course, all of the different birds (eagles, owls, birds, etc.). The polar bear impressed them less than I was expecting; instead they much preferred ooooing over the coffee mug in the wagon than looking at the massive bear on the other side of the glass. We will get there…

Run run RUN!

We will certainly go visit the zoo again and hopefully the petting zoo part will be reopened soon because they will love it. Give us a shout if you want to go sometime and we’d love to join…as long as there are extra hands coming with us.

Once again, I am thankful that summer is here! I am thankful and appreciative of the tiny toddlers that brighten up my life and make it oh so interesting, even when they are driving me up a wall, and constantly reminding myself to enjoy this period of my life, enjoy the snuggles and the big smiles and the excited reactions to new experiences.

Hang in there, fellow parents. I’m still living in the denial that the next age is more pleasant than this one….just go with it…. ❤

First family trip to the zoo

Testing Freedom

It’s ironic to be talking about giving the girls more freedom at home, when everything going in across society seems to be restricting access to basic amenities we are used to. What an interesting time!

Last weekend we tried opening up the living room “play jail” and freeing the girls to explore the rest of the room and main floor, and be less supervised than in prior months. Of course this meant blocking off the stairs, rearranging some furniture and baby proofing newfound opportunities to get into stuff.

The first thing requiring baby proofing was the fireplace. That took t-minus five seconds before Emerie tried to open it up and test out the charred wood. She, of course, shared this new find with both sisters. Needless to say, it now has a child proof lock on it.

The diaper changing area is full of fun things to play with that are not for kiddos. A favorite is the temperature taker and ear checker. These moved up higher until we put things back. The sock and diaper drawers seem to be quite the messy hit as well.

Any surface that can possibly be climbed on was moved out of range. No more end table and lamp. Thankfully it’s more light out now and we can go the summer with less lighting. The wooden bin “bookshelf” is distanced from the reclining chairs, as it was way too easy to reach and resulted in three children constantly climbing on it. It’s also easier for the girls to access the bins, which is actually a time saver because they will put boots on and their coats (with some help).

Because the front living room windows are now within acceptable toddler range, the girls appear to understand the concept of outside versus inside. They will tell us when they see something outside, and especially like four legged visitors (moose) that creep right up to the window and when Mom and Dad get home and come in the front door.

Moose visitor prior to the furniture rearrange

Earlier in the week we finally had warm enough temperatures to walk the neighborhood (yay sunlight!). I asked Emerie to get their hoodies out and she proceeded to get one at a time from the bin and bring them to the corresponding sister- the teal one for Reagan and pink for Harper. Then she grabbed the white one for herself (since we don’t have it in purple and she knows that). She called their names as she delivered them. So stinkin’ cute.

After the weekend we put the baby jail back for the nanny. She ended up just blocking off the fireplace and hearth and opening up the rest of the living room all day. Big step! So far everyone is still going strong…the kids AND the nanny!

Now if we can just get them to stop standing on the chairs, licking the windows and screens, and pushing each other off the furniture. Oh and running out the front door, which Harper did the other day. Apparently she wanted to spend the night with my favorite “nanny”.

Fingers crossed if we have a two week quarantine (however that actually plays out), that it will start feeling like spring outside and be warm enough for outdoor kiddo adventures. Please please please!

Pushing Limits

This weeks adult lesson is patience. The girls’ shenanigans appear to be an attempt to drive the parentals crazy. It’s almost as if the witching hour from infant hood has returned and lasts a couple hours every evening this week. If that isn’t it, then I blame the four incisors slowly pushing through the girls’ gums, making them very grumpy, short tempered, anti-food and soooo whiny.

Appropriate face representation for this week

In addition to the grumpiness, they are on a path to testing the limits on EVERYTHING.

On Friday I walked out of the living room to grab a towel out of the closet upstairs. In that twenty seconds, Emerie pulled the singleton high chair into the middle of the room, climbed it (tray and all), and was standing and jumping on it when I walked back in. Thank goodness she didn’t knock it over (and yes, I’m hollering and running at her as I took the picture).

Impressively done with non-grippy tights on.

That same morning the triple escape plan went into effect. On my solo Friday, I usually leave the girls in the playpen for twenty minutes or so while I get breakfast going and the kitchen cleaned up. They typically play and wake up while watching Little Baby Bum music, generally staying happy enough and not yet starting the MMA portion of their day. It was quiet for a moment, quiet enough to be out of the ordinary, and peeking out confirmed my suspicion. One of them moved their sofa chair over, used the back the hoist their leg up onto the hearth, and off they went, one at a time. Reagan made it up the stairs before I noticed, meaning she was probably the instigator, Emerie was going through the diaper changing station stuff, and Harper was in the process of climbing. It’s only a matter of time before their playpen is going to be completely empty so they can’t climb anything and get out. We are close to opening up the whole room, but not quite ready to commit to that level of freedom yet!

Rooms with confined walls and doors, like our family room, leave opportunity. Reagan started it, but now Emerie and Harper both follow in suit, to climb one of the kitchen sets (already anchored to the wall) and stand up in the sink. They are attempting to reach the wall thermometer that is quite a ways up from the floor! We almost had a repeat of my water before I realized that was again reachable. Funny thing is, they are willing to climb up but all three insist they cannot get back down themselves…

A little more icing on the cake for this week’s toddler life- Harper managed to grab my water container off the counter last night. You know, the big one the hospital gives new moms to encourage more water intake post baby. I rounded the corner into the kitchen to see her causing a rainstorm, furiously shaking it and thrilled to see water flowing out in every direction. Emerie and Reagan managed to pull their prepped bedtime bottles off the counter too; Reagan was drinking hers and watching the chaos approvingly while Emerie added hers to the growing water puddle.

As Craig grabbed towels and new pajamas upstairs, everyone tried to lay down and “swim” in the mess. Awesome.

So yes, this is what #realtime looks like with triplet toddlers. Life is not calm, relaxed or rosy. It’s been a long week; teeth still aren’t completely in and NO ONE wants to sleep, especially last night.

If you need me, I’ll be over here chugging down another cup of coffee.

These pictures are cute, but definitely don’t represent the bulk of time right now…