The doctor had an opening to get Emerie in this week for her eye procedure. Earlier is sort of a blessing since it takes away the stress of waiting to schedule and get it over with, but also gives Emerie more time with a more straightened eye.
Surgery was bright and early at the new Surgery Center, with Grandma Anne staying home with the other two for the morning. Emerie was a good sport for everything, including her rapid COVID test accurately called “the lady wants to clean out your boogers.”
COVID rules meant that only one of us could go back into pre and post op and we let her choose…today she was Team Mom. The whole walk back she asked where’s Doctor Winkle and smiled when he arrived.
Now that she is a little older she followed more normal pre surgery things like wearing a hospital gown top, getting clean socks and getting to lay in a blanket on her own hospital bed. One of the pre-op nurses put her hairnet on her monkey and that was exciting! Emerie also sucked down her calming medicine, Versed, without any convincing. She also told her name and both sisters names to the doctors when asked. Middle names included, of course!
The anesthesiologist recommended putting her in a diaper so that no one had to clean up any accidents and that was definitely a good call. Pretty quickly she was back in the OR for her procedure and we hung out in the front waiting room.
After about 45 minutes Dr. Winkle came out and let us know everything went great and he didn’t have to do any cutting on the eye muscles. The Botox allows the muscle to shift how the eye is straightened in an attempt for her brain to catch on and stay that way. He said it is typical for some droopy eyelids and wandering eyeballs to occur over the next month so other than having to keep myself in check at that weirdness, we should be back to normal pretty quick. Hopefully this will improve her eye!
She came out of anesthesia better than her last two surgeries and other than immediately demanding a snuggle under a warm blanket, she was good! After a fifteen minute snooze I opted to take her home and let the rest of it melt off from the comfort of her house.
Thanks everyone for all the prayers. Our brave girl is currently snoring on my lap in her room.
There’s been a lot going on the past several weeks, doctors visits, errands, work and a lot of busy toddler time! In addition to our normal “keep the kids entertained and out of trouble” routine, other random things continue to pop up. For example, we are proactively working toward getting the girls passports so we can adventure through Canada at some point- this is pretty standard on years without mind numbing pandemics and we know at some point we will travel out of country to go to Haines or Dawson City on an adventure. The first piece to that adventured apparently meant spending ninety minutes at the local DMV to get the girls identification cards and update our drivers license to the Real ID compliant ones.
Would you like to guess how ninety minutes at the DMV with three toddlers and no strollers went?? Well, I can fill you in on the details…not great. They were running and shrieking around the place enough that the poor photo lady, who we found out later was pretty new, nicely asked us to wait outside of the area. This wouldn’t have been so bad except that the girls badly needed to burn more energy and were running down the halls of the University Center and having a good ‘ole time. It was stressful but we managed to get three photos and by the end of the visit Reagan was helping that same employee take our photos, sitting on the chair behind the computer and telling us to smile.
I’m happy to say that first step is over and can tell you, toddler IDs are so cute. Their non-committal faces are seriously so completely cute!! Hopefully their passports will turn out as well!
Other more stressful life things this month seem to relate with two important parts of ones face – the teeth and the eyes! While my need for more dental work isn’t a super call for stress (since pregnancy really throws a wrench in your face when it comes to healthy teeth) and I find myself needing more cavities drilled and a crown for the first time; that same week we took all three kiddos to their second dental visit. We did this visit one-by-one while the others waited for their turn in the car. By the end, we were told the unfortunate news that Reagan would need to go to a pediatric dentist to have a tooth pulled. Last year she chipped her front tooth in half tripping on the floor in the dining room, and while we didn’t notice the chip until a few hours later, we were still able to find the tooth chunk on the floor later.
The dentist smoothed out the jagged tip the following day and off and on she would complain that it hurt for a month or two; after that she didn’t mention it anymore. We watched for the tooth to change colors and die but it didn’t. The X-ray at this visit showed that the tooth is indeed dead and needs extraction so the root isn’t damaged for her future adult teeth.
Reagan was fantastic for the entire appointment, letting the tech do new X-rays, opening her mouth wide when asked, and asking to see “Mr. Thirsty”, the water tool, and enthusiastically drinking cups of water. By the end of the appointment she was telling Dr. Barnes she loved her and excitedly selected a princess sticker and tiny, stuffed tiger. It is such a relief to take one kiddo to the doctor at a time, no matter what the reason for the visit. The visits involve minor scolding and more conversation and explanation than just trying to survive it!
Her actual procedure is at the end of the month and we are opting for keeping her awake without anesthesia. We know how a toddler reacts to being put under, even for something only ten minutes like Emerie’s ear tubes, and are hoping to avoid that if possible. The doctor notes the Versed will make her woozy (just like Emerie) and be strong enough she likely won’t even remember most of the procedure. It also helps that it’s on an easily accessible tooth and should only take a few minutes to pull. I’m hopeful she is still young enough that this won’t cause her to fear going to the dentist, but I guess we will see!
There’s a bigger issue at play though than being stressed out over a toddler tooth extraction. That bigger stress relates to the fact that we are still a binkie household at nap and bedtime; obviously pulling a tooth means she cannot (or won’t want to) suck on her binkie. Reagan loves them the most of the three and always has; they are very much a source of comfort for her in times of anxiety or pain so this might get really interesting. Throw in two sisters who also like their binkies at night; you have to take them away from all three at once or it’ll be hell to pay.
Emerie had another follow up visit with Dr. Winkle and her eye is again trending more inward again. Because she’s already had several surgeries and the more you cut, the more scar tissue builds up, the recommendation this time is a Botox procedure on the eye muscles. It’s less invasive (resulting in creation of less scar tissue) and often creates a similar result for kiddos whose eyes keep shifting in or out. The procedure will be in June once we schedule it.
The entire way to the doctor Emerie was saying I love Doctor Winkle! in the car. She was shy at first but warmed up pretty quick after a few color and depth tests and was playing with him by the end of the appointment.
While this is another added stress, hopefully the Botox next month will help with her not wanting to wear her glasses and with her patching. The three to four hour goal each day is still going pretty well, with us allowing it off early for activities like swimming and ice skating so she can see easier and be happier during them. Maybe this will also help with the removal of her glasses, which seems to constantly happen the past few weeks, with her even hiding them in a purse one night and handing them off to sisters upon occasion. The new prescription means new glasses will be ordered in the next size and her old glasses look so small now compared to her!
I am happy to report Harper is hanging in there strong and does NOT need any medical procedures at the moment, thank goodness! She is asking when is her turn to go to the doctor since both sisters had an appointments this week with both parents and no sisters. This week she is also mastering the eyebrow cringing glare though and it’s quite impressive (and adorable much to her dismay). She will request you take a photo when she makes the face and show it to her. Silly attitudy girl!
I am slacking this month on documenting some of the cute activities and conversations we witness throughout the busy days, most likely because I feel there is SO much going on all at once! On the drive home the other day the girls asked us to go by the purple house and then the yellow house! I wasn’t sure what they meant until Craig pointed out that one of the houses on a nearby street was getting painted a brilliant purple and they noticed before we did! The yellow house is the first one on our street. It’s funny to see the latest toddler observations!
They also now ask each other are you serious?! Probably because a few of the outrageous things they’ve done the past week had me beckoning the same sentiment and now they think it’s fun to say. For example, two littles were downstairs giggling away while Craig was outside with number three, Grandma Anne was washing dishes and I was working at my desk upstairs. Upon walking downstairs, a waterlogged bathroom was discovered and the girls were flinging water across the room using their toys and giggling with delight. I might have asked them if they were serious…
Mother’s Day was a relatively quiet day, with Craig taking the girls swimming so my Mom and I could run a couple errands in a kid free environment! Megan and the boys came over after and played with bubbles and outside until nap time. I woke up that morning to raspberry, white chocolate scones (that Harper devoured) and ended the evening eating ponset and lumpia courtesy of our awesome neighbors and a homemade cherry pie from Craig. Gotta love the delectable food for sure! The girls would want you to know they ended the day with flamingo pajamas from Grandma Anne and some Bob’s Burgers.
Otherwise we are busy busy with lots of conversations, outdoor activities and walks, swimming, gardening and everything in between. Bring on summer and let’s get through this next month of stress!
I haven’t posted a man update for a while on Emerie’s eye, so here goes. We appreciate all the prayers and people that ask how she is doing!
We had a doctor appointment earlier last week, with Craig and I finally allowed to both go (thanks covid). We assumed news of a needed next surgery was coming and happy to both be able to discuss with the doctor in person.
Emerie uncommonly walked in like a big girl, something we don’t often do when we go places with all three. She’s grown up (literally!) so much since the first time we visited and she struggled to climb into the patient room’s chair.
She followed and looked where Dr. Winkle asked her to, telling him the colors of the stickers and other details while he analyzed her eye.
He then surprised us with good news, noting that her eye is tracking better than it was on her last visit. Much of this can be attributed to daycare, where she is patching five to six hours a day; walking in the door at the daycare at 7:30 and wearing it until lunch, with another two hours or so after nap and on the way home.
She does not like it and will repeatedly ask to take it off. Not like patch and mommycan I take my patch off are muttered constantly, more some days than others- it’s good to know that the struggle is helping! She handles patch time better at daycare than at home, probably because there is more activity and distractions occurring with multiple other kiddos around. Prior to the shift to daycare, we were concerned with how well it would go and are so relieved!
She is a bit more clumsy when wearing the patch, but clearly she can see with her good eye covered. We try to encourage good behavior about it, such as letting her choose which color patch she would like for the morning or rewarding with a jelly bean when it’s easily put on. Some days she begs to take it off and sometimes we let her, simply because she asks and is so distressed over it- we try to be as good about it as possible and we’ve come so far from the days that Nanny Chris had to tape it onto her face! Emerie always insists on taking it off herself and will push her glasses to her forehead, peel it off, and carry it around as a prize for a few minutes. I’ve also found used patches stuck to book pages, forever stuck on blankets already through the wash, and in many random places around the house. She’s pretty cute about it and has become a good sport about it each day. That helps us parents so much, since it’s hard to force your kiddo to do something that you KNOW is good for them and helping in the long run, but causes so much angst and grumpiness at this age and they don’t understand why it’s necessary. This process is certainly easier than the previous year!
While we are very encouraged at a delayed surgery, we also recognize come summer there will likely be another one to fully straighten her eye out. I am thankful to not do that in the high of winter season and while covid is still raging through our community. And who knows? Maybe the patching will solve the issue by then…one can dream!
Last week we took Emerie to her eye specialist visit, that was conveniently scheduled out far enough that it wasn’t canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 closures.
The doctor’s office required I wear a mask and only one parent accompany the child. The one-to-one ratio is pretty fantastic and when the kiddo is well behaved, it’s even better! Emerie was a pro and you can tell that she likes Dr. Winkle. Not only did she sit very still on my lap while he checked her eye, but he also managed to get a few smiles, almost chuckles, out of her with some animals sounds. She took out on of the tools on the eye machine and nicely handed him his “toy” upon request.
The good news. She was great at her appointment and the eye patching is strengthening her eye. The bad news? Her eye muscles will require another surgery later this spring. Typically the over correction of the eye muscles accommodates the loosening over time, so that the eye ends up looking nice and straight. Since October’s surgery, her eye still trends inward a little more than it should and by now it over correction should be fixed. Dr. Winkle noted he would decide once she’s in surgery if the inside muscle requires loosening or the outside should be tightened.
I am hopeful that much of this quarantining will be passed us before she goes in, so her immune system doesn’t have to fight off any other potential invaders. Current rules also state that only one person is allowed back with a kiddo and that can be tough with a very unsettled and in pain toddler.
Harper and Reagan received their two year eye checkups with the specialist this week, more-or-less to confirm that no strabismus issues are present like their sister. The doctor did not appreciate that they were dressed alike, but did think it was funny! Both passed with flying colors and no longer need specialist eye care. Going forward, unless something changes, we will just monitor their eyes at the pediatrician. Great news!
Harper did well with the dilation drops and didn’t fight the doctor for the visit. She sat still on my lap and he examined those beautiful blue eyes without too much effort. (Random fact: light colored eyes like blue react easier to dilation!). Reagan, on the other hand, feels the way Harper feels about the dentist. Screaming, crying, trying to hold those eyes shut. She did not appreciate the drops and had her eye exam with arms held firmly down by Craig and her eyelids pried open by the doctor. Maybe we should be more appreciative that Emerie doesn’t respond to all the doctor visits like this.
They both had dilated eyes for the rest of the afternoon, but still enjoyed playing out in the sun and going for a family walk.
All in all, things are pretty good in terms of the Douglet eyeballs. We will continue to patch Emerie two to three hours per day and encourage use of her weaker eye, much to her dismay. The next plan is to purchase another pair of glasses with larger lenses and see if she likes them more than her current ones or if they improve her mood. We are also thinking outside the box…maybe getting a yellow pair instead of her usual purple! Either way, we know they will be cute on her.
Keep those prayers coming; and we will keep you all updated on her progress.
It’s that time of year ago, to celebrate another birthday. I can hardly believe it! In honor of year two, I am breaking out the girls separately to highlight that while they are sisters and triplets, they are also individuals with different interests and personalities too!
Due to the eventful societal issues right now, two year checkups were canceled so we measured heights and weights ourselves. In my head the girls were already 30 pounds and I was way off! While I look forward to turning the car seats forward facing this year, we are definitely not ready to trigger that yet.
At two, the girls constantly call to each other and it’s very cute to see. Emerie is the chattiest and consistently talks to Harpa and Ray-gi; Harper says Emmi and Ray Ray; and Reagan says Harpa and Emmi. Emerie also calls herself Emmi (emphasis on the “i”) when she explains something happening to her. The girls also say Momma (me), Daddy (Craig), Papa (Lon and Cliff), Nanny (Chris), and we are still working on Grandma…and not to be forgotten…Koda and Kalli (dogs) are consistently spoken to and about. They are not on a first name basis with the cats yet.
We are amidst the terrible twos and have been for several months now. While the scale of tantrums is less than I would have guessed, everyone has their moments. The loving moments trade back and forth with the hitting, biting, crying, and toy stealing…and timeouts. The toddler grumpiness will be interesting over the next year, and I’ve yet to capture a full-on, triple temper tantrum but rest assured, I am prepared to catch that on video!
In the midst of that, small tasks allow the girls to be more helpful. Everyone throws their laundry downstairs at bedtime, sometimes help clean up toys, and will put their boots and coats away when asked. If directed, they will bring a toy or juice over to their sister as well as a binkie for comfort.
Height: 35.5″ tall
Weight: 27.8 pounds
Harper is a social butterfly and quite a sweetheart. She gives amazing hugs. But, she is also what I would call a “bulldozer;” once she puts her mind to something, you better go with it or move out of the way. This goes for her sisters as well, they can be collateral damage when she is on a mission. Like her dad, she is either still or moving one hundred miles per hour… something we learned when she started walking and immediately started running. I certainly consider her the sprinter of the household.
She is our best sleeper and a grump when she misses a nap or has an interrupted night of sleep. If Emerie or Reagan abruptly awakes her in the middle of the night, it is very difficult to coax her back to sleep in her crib. If they don’t wake her up, she sleeps fine. She wakes up in the morning happy and ready to start the day, but usually grumpy after nap time because someone woke her up before she was ready.
She is not a fan of snuggling under a blanket, but loves to wear them around the house, curled around her head and shoulders. She absolutely refuses to have one over her feet to go to sleep. She loves to pretend drive the toddler cars that are currently in the dining room and will sit there and spin the wheel and giggle.
By this age I figured everyone would have a bit of realistic “fear” in them from the possibility of getting hurt. Harper? Not a chance. She’s a daredevil and freely trust falls off things, expecting you to catch her, climbs as high as she can for the view, and dives off things just to try it. While she doesn’t like to be cold and outside on frigid days, but she enjoys the excitement of sled rides and when we swing her around on it. She also likes to help shovel.
She is by far the chillest baby of the three (unless her hair is getting done), even from infancy, and she still loves watching and interacting with animals. It seems to be quite the heartbreak when Nanny Chris goes home each day, as she sadly called out Nanny to us for a good five minutes before we distract her with something else! Two of her front teeth are chipped (and did not enjoy the dentist), she likes salty over sweet, and she loves an occasional snack of dog food, that happens more often than I care to admit.
Height: 34.5″ tall
Weight: 25.2 pounds
Emerie is our little peanut and the smallest of the three. She doesn’t let that stop her and can definitely hold her own with her sisters. She enjoys discovering how things work, building blocks, and playing with the little people dollhouses. She runs around the house with a purse filled with all kinds of goodies or a dolly, yelling “buh-bye!” Any small box or container becomes hours of entertainment, whether it is filled with snow, an ice cube, snacks, or random specs of dirt.
She is the main talker (maybe I should say the most demanding) of the three and mimics words like a pro. She then teaches them to her sisters; even relatively large words, such as caterpillar, broccoli, french fries, and so on. Her most common words are shut, no, and Daddy and while she doesn’t yet say colors, she seems to believe the color pink is called “Harpa.” She is also a daredevil and climbs on anything and everything. She can do a somersault and enjoys running away from you and standing on her head, just so you can’t change her clothes.
Her latest obsession is Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and the song must be played first thing each day…and repeated…and repeated. She has smooth dance moves and enjoys solo and group dancing. After three months (Christmas present from Shelly!), dancing with the singing monkey is still as fun as ever and she will tote that animal all over the house.
All of her front teeth are intact (for the moment!). She is a good sport at doctor appointments, even when she’s visited so many. One of her favorite places is outside, hot or cold, and she would stay and play for hours if we’d let her (and didn’t have two others!). After a sled ride she generally melts down when forced back inside. This would be easier if she would wear her gloves, but so far she doesn’t mind being outside with tiny, frozen fingers.
She doesn’t mind getting her hair done and getting “pretty.” She likes to check out Mom’s jewelry and will tell me it’s pretty with a big smile. Lastly, she is the only one of the three that actively helps clean up the house- she will put toys back into the bins and close them, even before any prompting from an adult.
Height: 35.5″ tall (identical to Harper)
Weight: 27.8 pounds (identical to Harper)
Reagan remains the shyest of the three and is the binkie baby. Not only does she constantly yell “binkie” at you, but she often has one in each hand and one in her mouth. Her love of binkies reaches to her sisters and she is more than willing to share one when a sister is upset. Little does she know this phase of her life is nearing an end, when the binkies will be out of sight and hopefully out of mind… that might be a rough week. She is a daredevil in some ways, but also willing to hang back and see what Harper and Emerie do first.
Since infancy, she always loved to dance and definitely has rhythm from her Dad (thank goodness). She often grabs a blanket and binkie and sits on the couch with you for a snuggle session. At bedtime, she must have a blanket on before turning off the light and she will remind you to do it. Of course, of the three, Reagan requires the least amount of sleep and she knows it! She fights nap time and bedtime the most and ends up in our room to settle more often than the other two. On the other hand, iff we are in the car, she is always the first one asleep and will sleep like a champ.
Taking after her Dad, she LOVES sugar and sweets and is adamant we share anything we are eating that relates to dessert. Her front, right tooth is nearly chipped in half from a fall in the dining room a couple months back; although she didn’t mind the dentist nearly as much as Harper did. If you want to check her ears, she is much less thrilled. Teeth? They seem okay. And she continues to climb like a monkey, so fingers crossed for her other tooth…
While cleaning up toys is not a constant practice with her, she does love to run around the room with the toy vacuums and pretend to clean the floor and rugs. I think she will be the kid to vacuum the house once she’s bigger, as the real vacuum is quite intriguing. She greatly enjoys bath time and standing at the faucet and playing, but will run from you when you try to brush her hair afterwards. Luckily, with a small bribery of chocolate chips, she doesn’t fight getting her hair done.
Reagan is the most advanced in terms of potty training- she’s been telling us her “business” for a few months now, although sitting on the potty chair is more of a game than a practicality. A dirty diaper must be changed immediately or the yelling will continue. She will tell you and then walk up the stairs and point to where you should go to fix the issue. She was also the first to figure out clothing removal: shoes, socks, pants, shirts, and now her diaper. She will not wear her pajamas at bedtime unless we put her in a full sleeper and safety pin the zipper until sleep sack time. In the car, she is the first to remove her shoes and often trades boots with whoever is sitting next to her so they are mismatched.
While many foods and activities are the same for all three, if you really look at it, some traits are different. Here are some of the highlights between the three, in order of Harper / Emerie / Reagan.
Favorite Food: green beans, broccoli and corn, cheese, sausage, applesauce and white rice
Favorite Snack: fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, apples and peanut butter
Favorite Toy: pink riding airplane / singing monkey or any container / mini vacuum
Favorite Song: Tay Tay’s (Taylor Swift) Shake It Off, Baby Shark, and This Little Light of Mine
Favorite TV Show/Movie: Llama Llama (if you can count 30 seconds of watching TV as a favorite…they love and dance to the theme song every time though!), music from Moana, Frozen and the entire Trolls movie soundtrack
Favorite Sport: soccer or sprinting (she’s our runner) / soccer (she likes to kick the ball) / basketball or baseball (she has quite the arm)
Favorite Songs: Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Baby Shark, all the songs from the Trolls movie, and Pharrell William’s Happy
Favorite Word: buh-bye / shut or no / binkie
Current Obsession: nursery sound machine and nightlight!
It was quite the year, and to quote myself from last year, I look forward to seeing what new things the girls comprehend and learn in 2020. I’m also genuinely excited for spring to get here already (and summer), so we can play outside without taking fifteen minutes to get everyone dressed, enjoy the sun, and go on more outdoorsy adventures than the past two years, even if we have to practice “social distancing.”