Two weeks in and we are still surviving. The girls are doing great at daycare; in fact, according to their teachers, they are settling in better than expected! This just goes to prove that little kiddos are very resilient and I hope we continue this trend as they grow up. One morning this week Emerie even confirmed she understood she was headed to school for the day, saying”Maddie” (who is her preschool teacher who she has closely bonded with!).
At pickup last week I asked if the girls were climbing on the tables during meal times, running away when going outside or refusing to sit still for nap time; all typical things I would expect from my tiny toddlers. Things they all certainly do for their parents. The teachers looked surprised, answering no to all questions. So apparently this is just an issue that Craig and I have with our children and they have better behavior when we don’t witness it! They also have some magical skill at convincing them to nap.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take much to get them to comply with the new nap rules when they aren’t at home. In recent months naps have become much longer and needed to keep everyone pleasant for the evening. This has greatly improved from the 45 minute naps we had for quite a while, in a period my brain has mostly blocked out due to lack of sleep and stress. We also continue to have growth spurts that require more sleep and they make my babies look more like little girls every day. I love it and hate it at the same time.
The past two weeks has equated to more tired kiddos, which means that the parents FINALLY got a few full nights of sleep, without any kiddos pulled out of their cribs from anxiety or rage. This is a very uncommon thing the past year or so; almost every night requires some kind of intervention to keep someone happy. The other night I settled Emerie, put her blanket back on her, and she slept the rest of the night. That’s a little strange since she almost always sleeps through the night and her sisters’ fussiness. Harper is starting to improve after several months of extreme anxiety about her bed and soon I believe she will be back to sleeping in her room all night long. At this point I don’t mind laying down in the guestroom with her, mostly because I know one day I will miss that closeness- I should enjoy it while I can! Reagan’s sleep level varies between her sisters; about half the time she will call out at the crack of dawn for one of us and half the time she’ll sleep all the way through; sometimes we can settle her and sometimes not. Needless to say, the fact that we don’t wake up to full on panicked screaming at two AM every night is a blessing and much appreciated. My mom ears still pick up the momma! calls from the other room just as well as the MOMMAAA! version.
The new routine means the girls are up about 60-90 minutes earlier than normal. This is likely a direct factor why they are participating in nap time, being up so early, and also to the grumpiness in the evenings. Yes, the grumpiness. The girls are excited to see me at pickup, excited for their snack in the car on the ten minute drive home, excited to see Daddy, and as soon as we get settled in the front door, the rage and fussiness reappears for most of the evening. I try to remind myself it’s just the new routine adjustment period and the transition from daycare to home, but MAN, it takes a TON of patience after a long and busy workday. We mostly skipped this daily transition with the nanny because we were able to settle in from work while she was still there. Little did I know how much that helped each day! Fingers crossed this all improves after a couple of weeks.
One funny story out of this week. The girls “drove” a friend’s powerwheel truck at a park date last weekend and had a great time (other than the constant fighting over it). The truck was wide enough for three across and move on the pavement, inspiring us to do a little local, online shopping and find used ones to enjoy. We drove around the neighborhood the first night with all three crammed on and visited with a neighbor who has a similar vehicle. The second night we went down our street, in the rain, hoping for a few happy minutes as we transitioned from daycare to home. As you can imagine, using two vehicles when you have three toddlers doesn’t always go as smoothly as one would like. The three photos below say it all, some real life right here…it started out with smiles and giggles down the street, stretched into fighting over whose foot was on each gas pedal or wanting to be anywhere but where they were sitting at that moment, and ended with three total meltdowns in the middle of the street, both cars left on a neighbor’s front lawn, said meltdowners carried screaming down the street into the house (once we caught up with the little marathoners), and Craig retrieving the vehicles and carrying them home in the rain while I worked to calm the masses in the living room. True story, folks. You can’t make these things up.
All in all, I won’t complain too much about the grumpiness. It’s a phase, albeit not a very fun one, but we will get through it and move onto the next thing. I know the girls have fun all day while we are able to productively finish our workdays. I greatly appreciate the potty training efforts that I don’t have to do all day right now. I greatly appreciate knowing they are learning new things and becoming a little more independent, even though I’m not totally ready for it. And I’m greatly looking forward to the upcoming fall activities and more outdoor adventures, hopefully with happy and excited toddlers in tow.
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.
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-byehouse! 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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! ❤ ❤ ❤
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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…
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…. ❤