Tough Calls

Sometimes life throws you little curve balls that aren’t so fun to tackle; and by this, I am not referring to the current pandemic. I’m also not referring to sometimes- realistically it feels like they are a constant, one after the other, set of challenges that you have to climb over and can’t get around.

Kalli napping with the kittens

Craig and I have contemplated re-homing our pups multiple times over the past two years, for one reason or another, and have always managed to talk ourselves out of it or try to be more patient and understanding of different behavior. Going from a family of two to an instant family of five required a life transition for our pets (the two dogs more than the two cats), who didn’t ask for this change but had no choice but to grow and accept it (I guess that’s the same for us too, except we understood what was going on!).

This week we made the difficult decision to re-home our beautiful, brindle greyhound Kalli, for several thought out reasons that are too big to overlook anymore.

First off, Kalli doesn’t mind the kiddos when they are at arms length, but get easily overwhelmed with all three coming at her at once. Her favorite interaction with the girls each day was coming into their room and saying good morning, rubbing up against each crib as they patted her back enthusiastically. Once they were freely roaming? Not a chance.

Secondly, we know her life dramatically changed when three babies came home from the NICU. We no longer went on multiple walks and hikes per week, to the dog park or local lake for swimming, and became around-the-clock focused on the three tiny babies. This also meant that while we were constantly home, she didn’t get near the attention she used to and had to deal with sleep deprived, sometimes less than patient, owners. This change in focus onset extreme boredom, especially for a dog that loves to run and explore and not be cooped up all day. Hiring a dog walker to come twice a week certainly helped over the winter, but didn’t solve all her boredom.

The past few months Kalli and our other dog, Koda, have gotten into a couple unfriendly rough housing matches, one that ended with Koda getting stitches on her head. Last year one ended with Kalli getting stitches under her eye. Now that may convey that they fight all the time, but honestly it is only occasional and usually over in ten seconds. The problem is some of these tiffs happen in close proximity to the girls and that’s not okay. Even the thought of those possibilities gives me major anxiety. So with this consideration, we decided to grasp the adult, parental choice and find another family to love and cherish her for the few years she has left; and to keep Koda, who is fantastic with the girls as they climb, jump and snuggle with her or constantly steal toys/balls out of her mouth to play fetch with her.

The girls watched out the window yesterday as she was picked up, repeating Kalli! and it nearly broke our hearts. We hope to be able to follow up on how she is doing and maybe do a doggy date later this summer, but it’s still very hard saying goodbye. For those of you that have them, fur babies are certainly part of the family; loved in a different way than the children, but still resting in a special place in your heart. I anticipate the girls will bounce back from this life change pretty quick, since they are so young, but for Craig and i, the house definitely feels different without her.

It’s a tough decision for sure, but definitely the best in the long run, both for Kalli and for Harper, Emerie and Reagan. Being a parent isn’t always fun; some choices just have to happen and here we are.

Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.


Busy little bees

Toddler time continues to become more interesting! There’s certainly never a dull moment. I think I am overdue for another hour time lapse to prove that no one ever sits still!

Little Miss Em playing around with me.

Last night I could tell Emerie was chewing something that she wasn’t supposed to. I looked at her with a “come here” and hand motioned. She immediately came over and pulled air out of her mouth and handed it to me with a big smile on her face, all the while chewing! I then told her to give it to me again and she put her hand in her mouth, motioned, and dropped air in my hand again. Silly baby! Is she already learning sarcasm?? This repeated several times and she smiled so big while handing me nothing. The last time, she pulled out a tiny piece of plastic and placed it into the palm of my hand. One point for Mom (this time anyway!)

We are trying to teach the girls as much coordination as possible, even at this young age. Who knows if this will backfire on us later when they are coordinated and wreaking even more havoc, but for now their progression continues to move forward at a fast pace! The fine line is trying to determine what to learn and how to keep from injury while doing it. Sometimes that works out, other times it prompts a nice head bonk/goose egg (Harper) or slipping off a toy (Emerie) or baby to baby collision (everyone!). So far nothing is too significant except my anxiety about it! In another year or so they can safely use their new skills during gymnastics, dance, and ballet classes. And, of course, soccer too…counting down the days until we are old enough to break into the sport hobbies!!

At first we were skeptical about stair climbing, even after PIC clearly suggested we start it. The girls proved us wrong and mastered it not only quickly, but really well; they are already pros at it. The next logical “step” (haha) is to master going back down (safely), and while I’ve been a bit more apprehensive about it, Craig is proven right that they are ready for it. Ready for it, other than the occasional I will learn forward with my full body weight and forget I’m on the stairs…. The girls now climb up the eight stairs to the bathroom for bath time, and we are starting to add to the cycle by going back down afterwards. Craig will holler at them to come up once stripped down from their post dinner, full-of-food clothes (still with diapers on mind you-I learned that lesson!!). They will run across the living room and up the stairs, then full sprint down the hallway and into the bathroom. Most of the time they don’t divert into a different room or try to climb up to the loft; every once in a while it becomes an impromptu game of tag, 3 versus 1…

Taking off up the stairs. So speedy.

They all have different methods to climbing down stairs and all do it surprisingly well when they aren’t distracted by all the cool railings, or the dog, or the thought of running back upstairs. Harper tries to go down like an adult, on her feet, without holding on! She’s given me several mild heart attacks, but luckily an adult is always close by to catch her. Emerie scoots on her butt now and I’ve seen Reagan try both ways. We are working on railing safety and so far no one has fallen forward, even with the dogs “helping”. While the stair baby gates are not leaving anytime soon, it is good to know that they are starting to understand how to safely climb down. This is especially the case when the dog door is accidentally left open and Miss Harper goes through it like a heat seeking missile, running straight for the three unblocked deck stairs…

In case anyone was wondering, because it has been a while…yes, Craig can still carry all three at once, although he doesn’t test this out too often. For some reason they are starting to get heavier! Instead of immediate baby rage like prior months (insert the “stop touching me” kid voice), they all think it is just so funny! Nothing like carrying 65 pounds of wiggly baby at once and not letting anyone leap off, fall, or collide. Enjoyment ensued in the triple baby bedtime laundry basket ride, as Craig dragged them down the hallway in the midst of many goofy giggles. With the growth since December’s earthquake, I’m not entirely sure I could load everyone into a laundry basket and carry them to safety during an earthquake; they are much bigger now!

Laundry basket rides
Using that arm muscle!

Other daily activities include climbing on anything available, running maniacally around the house, speed running while pushing their walkers (into each other or anything in front of them), pulling all food utensils and cookware out of kitchen cabinets, and playing out on the back porch. Cardboard boxes are also popular; who needs toys when you can play with the Amazon box, or the macaroni and cheese box, or the huge goldfish box from Costco?! The girls also push each other on toys now, whether it is with one sitting on the lawn mower and one pushing or one sitting in the mini airplane and two pushing. It brings many giggles and hasn’t resulted in too many crashes so far. We’ve also started building blanket forts. That is a hit literally, as they run full blast at the fort only to hit their forehead on the table under the blanket. We are still working on that…

For the most part we have the danger zones blocked off on the main floor. They can’t climb into windowsills because it’s blocked by a baby wall, the couch and diaper changing area also behind it. Every once in a while someone will discover they can squeeze behind the armchair and make it to the windows, but this typically results in minor baby fights and enough yelling that we intervene and reset the blockade.

One new sport now invented in our household, the “how-to-catch-the-kitty” game. Now that everyone can pronounce kitty (sounds like “ki-eee”), they become unbelievably excited anytime either cat is within view. For the past year both cats have been fine with the random toddler petting, even purring from it, but now it’s progressed to a new level, with three babies running full blast across the room, after the cat, and yelling kitty! Apparently this is less fun for the animals, because they make every attempt possible to escape now.

Here is a nice collage of this week’s at-home baby adventures. We are loving the continued summertime shorts weather!

A New Meaning to Nighttime Adventures

It’s one thing to consistently wake up at night by a shrieking or fidgety baby, it’s something else to wake up to a crazy racket happening downstairs at two AM.

First thought- that might wake the babies!

Second thought, the dog and the cat are trying to kill each other…I better go check!

I went downstairs, and there are bags and recycling stuff all over the dining room, and a very offended dog (Kalli, our greyhound) making a bunch of noise and running back and forth.

Kalli and Reagan

It turns out that since it was stormy and windy out, one of the wandering neighbor cats noticed our doggie door and decided to come inside. Our “guard dog” did not take it well, but couldn’t actually get it back outside.

Craig helped me hold the dog back so I could scoot our little visitor back outside, which it happily did.

But seriously, first I have a live mouse visitor thanks to my cat, and now another animal comes in!

And none of this includes actually getting up FOR THE BABIES! Which we do….a lot.