In the Eyes of a Child

We are currently in the thick of the 10th developmental leap for the girls, called the World of Systems. It is the last “baby” leap, occurring at about 18 months, and nicknamed the Fussy Phase– sounds awesome right?

Play time in full swing

A quick overview on what this developmental leap entails- now that the girls mentally understand more processes and that their actions can have varying results, they see everything in a more curious, yet mature mental state. They are certainly becoming little people!

A couple other notable things from this phase:

  1. You can’t spoil babies, but you can toddlers!
  2. Toddlers generally just want to be near you and have that personal attention (this is a lot harder with 3!)
  3. Bring on the mischievousness.
  4. With it comes more grumpiness and less sleep…nap time AND overnight.

After reading up on this particular leap (all-the-while experiencing it), I gave myself a mental activity to try during outings with the girls. With increasing mental capacity and curiosity of the world around them, I should try to think how a child would see and interpret new things; get away from the often mundane way adults view the world. Sometimes we forget how boring an adult can be. Being a kid is exciting! We also forget how interesting the little things can be when we are used to seeing things one way and not keeping our eyes open for the joy or excitement in it.

Harper cuddling Koda

The girls react to little things in such cute and random ways. For example, Reagan dumping out a bin of toys. She dumps out a few and reacts to the abrupt sound of toys hitting each other and the floor; then she dumps out the rest because it is fun! I can see Emerie’s mind figuring out how to sit in the doll stroller. She aligns herself, butt out, toward it, and tries to sit back. Sometimes it works, sometimes it rolls and she gets mad. Harper will sit and hug the dog, slowly petting her in a partial hug. I imagine she’s thinking what her fur feels like, how it’s different depending which way she pets, and she listens to Koda talk back to her.

I gave everyone pieces of mint grown on the back porch this past summer. It’s a smell that reminds me of summertime during my childhood…it smells so good. I showed them how to sniff the leaves. Reagan was all about sniffing and licking the leaves. Harper, on the other hand, was unimpressed entirely while Emerie just wanted to collect and carry them around.

Emerie and Harper testing out those front teeth

The other day I caught Emerie and Harper chewing on the old television stand. Very quietly, standing there, gnawing away. It must have felt oddly refreshing against those eight tiny, front teeth. I watch them sit in their comfy animal chairs- now instead of just sitting on them, they’ll turn one sideways and sit on it. Or they’ll lay across it or flip it upside down and lean on it. All new perspectives to something that’s been in the room for a few months, but has endless opportunity in the eyes of a toddler.

The girls precision is also improving. They will sit still and focus on putting shapes into the correct holes of their picnic basket, trying out incorrect holes methodically until they find the right one. They look around and find different things to add into the pink shopping cart, then watch the contents shift as they push it around the room. All so many interesting ways to look at things!


Last Saturday turned out to be one of the busiest days we’ve had in a while. With three separate outings and being out and about all day, it was anyone’s guess how the day would turn out or if the girls would be overstimulated. Surprisingly, they did great the whole time we were out, staying pleasant for nearly the entire day on a short, 30 minute car nap. Bedtime wasn’t quite so smooth, but we expected that. It was fun to have a full day of outings and see how the girls handled the new experience.

Craig took the girls to dad group in the morning for some play time (and man-time) while I cleaned and did a few household chores. We headed straight to the valley for fall, family photos after group. It took the girls longer than planned to doze off in the car, resulting in a short nap since photos started when we arrived. The day was beautiful. It was a little cold, with the fall crisp air making the girls arms a bit cold- but I was dedicated to their outfits and we went with it. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous afternoon, with the sun bouncing off the bright, fall colors at the Palmer Visitor Center. In true Brittany style, our session was quick and successful! I cannot wait to see the photos.

Harper and Reagan wandering off

Thinking about how the girls would view those photo sessions, you could see they love to explore the flowers and see the yellow, crinkly leaves on the ground. We tossed leaves at them to try to produce smiles and they curiously looked at them. Emerie, on the other hand, tried to pick up all the rotten crab apples off the ground and carry them. They likely felt squishy and cold and she carried around a handful for a few minutes; I don’t think she tasted any thank goodness. Reagan kept running across the pathways, giggling as we hollered to come back toward the camera. Harper did some great photos and then too went off after her sisters with big smiles. They are much more coordinated than when we took photos here in July. This time all three could run across the grass pathways without tumbling. They peeked at flowers and picked up more leaves and tried to grab everything out of Britany’s purse.

After photos we walked (wagoned) over to a little baby fair at the Palmer railroad station, peeked at a few vendors and I found two airplane books, and then loaded back up for the reindeer farm. On the walk back to the car, all three were attempting to lift their legs out of the wagon, feet up in the air. That was apparently quite comical and more fun than sitting there, enjoying the ride.

The reindeer farm was a hit. The girls petted reindeer, which surprisingly no one referred to as “kitties”. In fact, they were all very sullen, shy and quiet when we let them out on the wagon. Everyone did pet one though! And one reindeer really wanted to come home with us, eat out of the wagon, and check out all the contents of the diaper bag. He kept coming back for more! He tasted Reagan’s coat hood as well and she was not impressed.

I imagine that all three toddler minds were a bit overstimulated at this point in the day, with huge, furry animals (and antlers) walking about and a ton of people around. They did get a bit braver and walked around the pen after a few minutes. Afterwards everyone went for their first horse rides- Reagan wanted off by the end of hers while Harper and Emerie thought it was fun and looked a little happier about it. Emerie was a little unsure of it at first, giving me the “hell no mom” look, but after a few feet appeared to enjoy the experience.

I am still mildly shocked the day went off without a hitch on a 30 minute nap. Next year, when the girls are two, fall events will be a little more fun to experience and hopefully a bit easier. For now, I am happy to add this day into my memories as a good one with friends and gorgeous, Alaska weather.


What other things did I notice over the past week that an adult might not appreciate, but the girls find interesting?

With daily practicing of body parts, the girls now understand belly, nose, ears, and are learning where eyes are located. Everyone is extremely enthusiastic about their bellies (and yours too) and getting better at pointing to your nose or theirs. They find wearing bodysuits (as opposed to shirts) unacceptable when they can’t adequately show off their bellies to you when asked. Emerie took this newfound skill to a new level, shoving her finger right up her nose and walking around, making sure you know she knows the answer. It’s pretty cute until she comes after your nose! Reagan will tug on her ears-and I mean hard- when you ask where they are. I think she believes they weren’t there prior to her learning about them…so she tries to pull them off.

Emerie

Emerie continues to master the block building. She likes to walk around with two duplo blocks and put them together or pull them apart. She comprehends how they interlock and will sit there and focus on it. Her new understanding is impressive; and you can tell she is fascinated that she can do it! I know tower building is right around the corner and I can’t wait because that means we are one step closer to Lego’s! She also just discovered buckles and likes to buckle herself into the lunch table. Luckily she hasn’t figured out how to unbuckle yet; hopefully we have some time for that one. Everyone is fascinated by zipper pulls. This is great for fun, but not so great when they try to take their coats off when we want them on!

Reagan discovered somersaulting on the floor last week, without any help! Since before they were crawlers, everyone enjoys standing on their heads, wiggling their tiny butts in the air, giggling at the world upside down. Reagan was quite impressed the first time she went all the way over by herself and landed on her back. Why? Well the whole world moved, how cool is that?! Similarly, all three girls like to careen off the arm of the couch and flip over onto pillows, or onto a sister, or onto Mom or Dad. Harper seems to free fall off of it; I’m surprised her landings have gone so well this far.

Or just stand on the basket…

Another really cute toddler discovery is hugging. Harper will come up to you and strong arm you into a solid, double armed hug. It’s so sweet and she will hold it for a few seconds, with her head against yours. She’s a great hugger! I imagine she likes the feeling as it generally results in smiles and talking. Emerie will give you little hugs sometimes too. Reagan is not quite into it yet, but she will pull your arms tight when she wants to snuggle. If you move your arm, she will pull it back over her until she feels that compression. She’s learned this is a better snuggle position than simply being beside someone. The past few nights she demanded full on snuggling to sleep, something I am doing my best to appreciate since it won’t last forever!

After 18 months, our greyhound Kalli finally figured out she can get six, tiny toddler hands to pet her back. I’ve turned around several times this week to see the girls giggling and petting a very happy puppy.

Petting Kalli over the baby wall

The girls are learning to pretend “grocery shop” with lots of plastic, play food scattered everywhere in the family room. They all take turns with the pink, Minnie Mouse shopping cart, the doll stroller, or the smaller hand basket; sometimes they pile food into the toy bins and kitchen cabinets. Everyone mastered pretend eating, including the nom nom nom sounds that come with it. They will pretend sip out of tea cups, chew on the fake food (sometimes more than light chewing) and are starting to understand they can stack pieces together (like pieces of a cheeseburger).

Harper stacking the lotions

Harper prefers chewing the fake hotdogs; I’m guessing this is because it feels nice on her molars. Reagan often brings you food to share, and you better fake eat with her…she won’t take no for an answer and will hold it up to “bite” until you do it. You can see her imagination is expanding into the world of pretending. Emerie fills the cart or basket with food, condiments, leaves, sippy cups, or anything she can find and takes it places, usually accidentally dumping the contents out on the way to the destination. She gets all riled up if her sisters take over or grab things out of it. She enjoys collecting leaves in her shopping cart or any container within eyesight. Harper will add things to the cart, but is far more interested in pulling contents out of a box or bin and meticulously figuring out how to fit them back in. She’s gets very focused and always helps me put away the baby lotions after bath time, taking everything out and then replacing it back in the container. I mean…isn’t it so cool how everything fits!

Another fun realization relates to wind up cars (I know…not airplanes!). We’ve had several in the toy box for a while, but now they better understand how to use them and are starting to see they can make them drive without calling for assistance. I pulled up the rug in the living room and we drove cars back and forth for a while the other day. It is definitely exciting in the eyes of a kiddo- to be able to make tiny vehicles speed across the floor and bang into the wall, or furniture, or the dog…on the other side.

With the nanny out with the flu for the rest of the workweek, I used my day off to take the girls to one of the local recreational centers (along with half the parents in town) and let them run wild. It was great to catch up with a few twin moms and let the girls burn some energy. With such a dreary fall day, it was THE place to be! The center purchased new foam climbing mats since we last visited and the girls went to town playing on all the different pieces and shapes. Everyone liked to climb up the tall one, sit and “oversee” the other kids. Harper discovered a toy car that had a bouncy seat, Reagan liked to crawl through the tubes and underneath “tunnel” mats, and Emerie freely wandered the room and tried out everything, making friends along the way. Of course, I forgot to bring her glasses and patch. In the midst of the chaos of twenty-plus young children in one large room, the girls did great exploring new things and socializing with other toddlers. They climbed on everything and ran around. They made friends with a few other parents as well…parents that just happen to have some snacks…

Fingers crossed the flu stays out of our house (foreverrrrr). So far, so good. I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be fully of teething babies again, so I think that is enough to deal with. For now, I will keep trying to see the fascinating things through the girls’ eyes and find new and fun things to teach them, or learn from them!

It’s THAT time of year…

The past summer was hot. Super hot for us Alaskans that dislike hot weather and humidity! Our August maintained the warmer than normal temperatures, but when September hit, it was almost like a switch was turned and things went back to typical fall weather (rain, 60s, etc.). This temperature change, while welcomed by me for sure but not by most, brought on the first cold of the fall/winter season, giving us three snotty babies for the first two weeks of September.

This didn’t completely ruin our fall time- we continued to play outside and bundle up, and had our first puddle splashing adventure. That was a hit! The girls also realize the boots light up and will pull them out of the bin and bring me one to put on them when we are playing inside. Yes, that is Harper you see trying to eat the street puddle water. A moment after these photos everyone made a break for it and took off down the street (monitored).

Mom, put on my boots!
Tracking in leaves means more vacuuming. The girls always want to help!

Last winter the girls survived three colds total, all that mostly involved stuffy/snotty noses and fevers for all three simultaneously; only Harper ever developed a cough, which was more “flemmy” than a deep, scary chest cough. I’m pretty sure Craig and I managed to keep another cold or two at bay from the girls throughout last winter, mostly by crazy hand washing and special efforts not to spread our germs. Now that the girls are a little older, colds seem way easier to struggle through. It’s still not great, but it’s not completely unbearable. I’m telling myself that delirious point, because it might have simply been a minor cold they handled better than normal…trying to stay optimistic here, folks.

Anyway, last weekend we had one night and following morning with a seriously grumpy Reagan, which is generally unlike her. By the time we made it to the doctor that afternoon, she had an ear infection and blown left ear drum. Poor babe. By evening the medicine kicked in and her mood significantly improved.

Over the last week Harper and Emerie started tugging at their ears a little and were grumpier than usual. While I don’t always assume it is an ear infection, I figured maybe getting over the cold prompted the ear issues. After another doctor visit, we determined Harper was in the clear and Emerie had a minor infection.

While I don’t like my babies to feel sick, the snuggles are pretty nice since they rarely sit still for any period of time when feeling good. We went to the park a couple of times, even with the rain, played outside all bundled up, and met up with some friends. Looming colds or ear infections are not going to stop the adventures hit year; hopefully they will be minimal and everyone will stay in good spirits when we can’t outrun them.

We discovered a lone, tennis ball at the park that turned in to quite the toddler adventure. Throw the ball…watch all the babies chase it…pick it up, they throw it toward you, and repeat. Lots of open space to burn energy, fill up on giggles, and have some good ‘ole entertainment. Next visit to that park, I am bringing a soccer ball! Enjoy.

18 Months and Counting!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a height/weight and development/leap update on the littles…so here goes!

We decided this development checkup to split out the appointments and not bring everyone into the doctor together. The past few have gotten more difficult now that the girls are mobile and want to get into everything. Two hours in a tiny, hot doctor’s office is a looooong time with three toddlers.


Emerie

Emerie was up first and solo. Taking one baby to the doctor almost seems relaxing and allows us to have a little one-on-one time while the nanny also gets a little break! At this visit, Emerie weighed in at 22.0 lbs and in the 43% percentile. She is much higher in the height percentile than weight, at 82% and measuring 32.75 inches.

Of the three, Emerie is the best at entertaining herself with her toys, random containers and nick knacks, or really anything. She is happy to sit on the floor and figure out how a toy works, or put smaller toys into a bigger container, or play with her shapes picnic basket. This can occupy her for a lot longer than I’d probably guess, simply because Harper or Reagan usually interrupt the quiet playtime, steal a part of or all of her toy, and then the fighting (and timeouts!) begin.

Her tinier stature also assists in climbing into small places- boxes, bins, anything that looks fun! She enjoys trying to figure out how to do it; although she often gets frustrated if it isn’t easy and then gets mad and starts hollering about it.

She is a fan of saying “no no no” (it’s never only once) and pointing at her sisters when they do something they shouldn’t. She still loves peek-a-boo and climbing into blankets, or peeking out at you and hiding.


Harper

Harper is up to 23 lbs 10 ounces! She is in the 64th percentile for her weight and at 33.75 inches, in the 96th percentile for height! We have very tall babies! She continues to be rambunctious and talkative, learning new words constantly. She loves to tattle on her sisters in a slue of baby gibberish when she is mad. She will tell you allllll about it. She also loves to run around and giggle with her sisters, pulling and pushing them around the room until everyone is solidly laughing. Some nights she solo runs around and thinks she’s a riot. She’s the only one to say her own name so far, and while only a couple of times, it was very cute and came out like “Hapa” during a game of peekaboo.

Harper is the only one sleeping full nights in her crib (lately)- with Reagan and Emerie alternating on who demands attention at all hours of the night. I’m so glad she’s back to being my good sleeper!

She’s also the best at eating pouches at meal time (doesn’t matter the flavor), but probably the most picky eater in general. Lately she’s been my trust faller, and will lean right off a slide or play set, regardless of how close by a parent is. She enjoys jumping off the side of the family room couch, into a pile of (strategically placed) pillows, and jumping up and running back around to do it again.

Lastly, I still believe Harper will be my soccer baby. She remains interested in my mini pink soccer ball more than her sisters and we are working on the concept of kicking. I can’t wait to put everyone in sports next year!!


Reagan

Reagan continues to be our binkie baby and anti-crib napper; but, she will fall asleep in her car seat seconds after a busy morning of playing. She weighs in at the same 23 pounds 10 ounces as her sister, in the 64th percentile, but is 34.00 inches, and slightly taller, in the 97th percentile. She remains the shyest so far but will come out of her shell when she is comfortable; she’s timid on big park toys and not a big fan of most swings.

Lately she dislikes eating meals more than her sisters, but I believe it’s just a phase resulting from teething, snotty noses and possible stubbornness. In the evening she has started to enjoy more snugglingbthan when she was younger, and will sit with you and relax.

Of the three, I believe Reagan tries to pull things off the counter and table the most, intending to grab anything within her reach. I’ve caught her climbing onto the table a couple of times from a nearby chair to grab something, and she will just look at me like, “what?

While not so interested in the concept of soccer, Reagan loves to play catch with the mini, pink soccer ball I’ve had since childhood. She also is great at fetch… ahem…I probably shouldn’t call it that… She seems to favor her right arm to throw the ball, so we might have a right hander (I’m very interested to see if everyone favors the same hand as they grow!). The throws produce quite the punch as well, so you must pay attention or take a nice ball to the face, or throat, or chest.


Words

The pediatrician set a goal of five words per kiddo for their 18 month appointment. I believe we hit that mark over one week in August! So far everyone’s favorite word is “baby” and “kitty“. They definitely understand that kitty means the cat; but they also think it means all animals like dogs…horses…pigs… Everyone has mastered saying “no no no” and shaking their finger at you and are starting to say “not nice” back in my face when I scold them for hitting or being mean. They can also inform you when they want a “baba”. And no that does not mean they want another baby. It definitely means they want a bottle and you are not funny!

Emerie at her checkup with Dr. Katie

In addition to the everyday momma and dadda, other words they’ve picked up over the past three months include bubble, yeah (Harper loves to say this!), more (sometime they will sign it too), belly, wow, puppy/dog (sometimes when it’s not kitty), cheese, hi, ball and uh-oh. Emerie is in a phase of repeating uh-oh after she purposefully throws something on the floor. They all love to point out where their belly is if you ask and usually want to point at yours as well. There’s no privacy here; they will lift your shirt right up to make sure YOU know where your belly is. Sometimes they will point to their nose when prompted and Emerie will say nose. Reagan also says Papa instead of Grandpa. A little to my dismay, they are all now repeating our “not nice” phrase when they hit each other or steal a toy. Not only do they repeat it, but they definitely say it a little higher pitched, almost like it’s there first word to throw back in my face. Oh toddlerhood…

Harper and Reagan at their checkup with Dr. Katie!

So it appears to me that we are good to go on the word quota for these appointments! While generally speaking, most multiples’ speech is delayed, due to premieness and/or because they will do baby language to talk to their siblings instead of real words. I am unsure that this will affect us in the long run. While it’s still too early to tell, both Craig and I are good at languages so I’m guessing that will genetically rub off on them. Our next goal is 50 words by age two. Since that is six months away and we are already well into it, I don’t foresee this milestone difficult to achieve. Now if I can just keep them from learning bad words to add to their vocabulary from a few certain men! 😉


Favorite Foods/Eating

The past few months have been a bit more frustrating on the food end. In addition to Grandma Sue’s food not being a hit with the tiniest grandchildren, they aren’t really enthusiastic or interested in eating a lot during meals, no matter what is placed before them. With the runny noses that visited in early September, no one really wanted much milk either! A big part of this is due to teething- everyone finally has four molars, two top and two bottom on each side, in addition to eight front teeth. I might also add everyone has the exact same teeth in…so we are continuing the identical-ness there too.

Favorite meal foods for all three still include breakfast sausage, rice of any variety (fried, white, brown), canned green beans and corn, avocados, blueberries, yogurt, FRENCH FRIES and udon noodles. For the most part, they seem to maintain tastes similar to Craig and I. On the fruit scale they like almost everything, including mandarin oranges, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, apple (sauce), and nectarines (not peaches as much). Apple pears and watermelon seem to give them immediate diaper rash so we are holding on them for a while…which sucks because they love watermelon. They also like a lot of vegetables, including steamed carrots and broccoli, cold sliced green peppers, sauteed squash, onions and zucchini (Em really likes this!), and cabbage. Yes, I said cabbage, surprising right? Craig makes a mean coleslaw and they like it.

We discovered last week that cheese quesadillas with sour cream are quite a hit too and will be making more of them in the future. While Harper will scarf down a couple strips in no time, Emerie is insisted that she needs a good gallon of sour cream smothered in it and Reagan too. They will lick off the sour cream and hold it up for more. I think that runs in Craig’s side of the family…. They also like tofu fried up on the stove- not sure if they like the consistency or it’s just easy to eat when their teeth hurt. Dislikes include most meats- they will tolerate steak bites and chicken sometimes, but don’t love it.

Other snack foods include goldfish (of course), any type of chex mix cereal and cheerios, veggie straws, animal crackers, cheese puffs and fig newton bars. They are definitely snackers, so to mix it up a bit we add veggies into the mix sometimes too.

In general everyone’s likes and dislikes in the food department are pretty similar, but there are some variations. Reagan really likes my mom’s lime jello salad (really likes) while Harper thought it was the most poisonous thing every to touch her lips in her lifetime. Harper likes Grandma Sue’s turkey meatballs while the other two tolerate them. Emerie really likes mushrooms and now I have to share mine whenever we have stir fry; the other two somewhat tolerate them but don’t love them.

Harper is the pro at eating the fruit and vegetable pouches while Emerie and Reagan think it is more fun to squeeze them on everything and eat it off the table. That is a day-to-day battle… we finally have a house of straw drinkers! In addition to using sippy cups, both Nalgene bottles for water and sippy straw cups for milk, they love drinking out of adult water bottles with straws and the one moms received from the hospital to keep us hydrated. With a surprisingly big straw, they can all drink out of it perfectly fine. They also apparently like coffee (thanks Grandma…) and were all fighting over a frappe Craig brought home from Costco the other day.


Sleeping

I wrote this title…but what does that mean? Sleeping? Haha kidding…not kidding. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a good nights sleep for all three. In general the trend appears to be one will sleep well (maybe wake up once for a bottle but go back to sleep), one will be angry/keep us up a few hours overnight, and one that is in the middle of that, waking up but going back to sleep relatively easy (usually in our bed or or the guest room). Some nights two will sleep all night in their cribs without so much as a peep, but the third will be grumpy and fussy and still keep us up, so it overshadows the success of the other two!

I can’t remember the last night we slept all the way through without anyone fussing or sleeping in our bed! For a while I barely had a night sleeping in MY bed, often sleeping the second half of the night in the guestroom with angry baby #2. Other nights we finally settle one in the master bed, a second falls asleep with me in the guestroom, and then #3 freaks out. That generally seems to end with me sleeping with #3 in the nursery armchair for a couple hours if I can’t get them calmed enough to go back into their crib. They all continue to vary on who is the grumpiest and who is the best sleeper and it can change from one night to the next. The past week or so Emerie is the grump and Harper and Reagan are trading off for best nighttime sleeper. A couple weeks prior to that Harper was the grump and before that Reagan.

We still use the white noise machine for naps and nighttime. I am looking forward to the airport project completing next month so the noise from the 747s flying over our heads all night will be gone. Now that darkness is returning, folks also won’t be outside as much making noise; and nighttime, once again, looks like nighttime!


Activities

We tried coloring out again, this time with retractable crayons (which are… umm…SO cool). They ate them a little less and I’m counting the bashing them on the table as coloring…at least it produced some marks on the paper. We also used our smarts and taped the paper to the table. That at least lasted a couple minutes. We are getting closer…but not quite there yet.

Trying out a different type of crayon with Daddy

Teamwork is slowly starting to develop, with the girls coordinating to knock over toys, push each other around in their cars and airplanes, and best efforts to run three different directions whenever possible to confuse the poor, overtired parental figures. At bedtime the other night (picture a full bedtime march upstairs), two made it out the unlocked dog door by the time the third was up the first set of stairs (with me). They are sneaky like that. Never a dull moment.

More recently the girls are starting to help you when getting dressed and undressed. Reagan has her moments of taking her shirt off voluntarily and without permission, but otherwise all three are usually willing to assist in removal. They will put arms in the arm holes and move their legs to help, as opposed to becoming a bag of bricks and not helping. Everyone thinks it’s a game once they are down to diapers and pajamas are intended; they will step toward you and then run away as fast as they can in the midst of big smiles and giggles. It’s pretty cute…and you definitely have to chase them because they are not coming to you.

One other daily activity Craig started a little while back that is cute enough to mention… when he gets home from work, the girls flock to him for immediate attention. I’m usually home already so I get to watch this. He will pick up all three, for now this is still doable and only, you know, about ~68 wiggling pounds, and sing the Daddy’s Home song while jumping up and down. They think it is hilarious and love participating. We will see how long he can handle all three at once!

Craig preparing for Daddy’s Home singing

This blog turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, and honestly I can barely comprehend we are on the turning curve to age two already. Time is passing quick and I feel as though I say that quite often but still don’t believe it’s true. For comparison, here is a 6 month photo, taken about this time last year, and a photo from this week. Man are they growing up quick! ❤

Trust Fall

Our little climbers have been both grumpy and adventurous the past week. No matter where we are in the house, everyone climbs on everything! In the family room, they climb up the couch and into the window; in the living room onto the armchairs, end tables, and hearth; in their bedroom onto the armchair and ottoman. It is a crazy time!

Turn around for one second and they are on the furniture. Also, look at those baby blues!!

As the girls were climbing into the family room window, we tested who trusts us the most by seeing who would jump off into our arms (and the couch below):

Reagan? Craig told her to jump and she just thought about it…and no.

Emerie? Craig told her to jump and she looked at him, swayed a little…and no.

Harper? Craig asked her to jump and what did she do? Total trust fall forward, straight ahead. Good to know who trusts us at this moment in time. I also watched Harper do a full trust fall to no one on the bed other night…arms out, dead ahead!

This week marks my one year anniversary back at work, post babies. It’s crazy to think how quickly that passed, even with crazy busy days and many sleepless nights. As I write this, I revel in the fact that Craig and I are still functioning adults with full time jobs and three little ones, especially after nights like this one, where I might have a total of 3 or 4 hours of sleep, broken up into many tiny chunks, and now have another 8.5 hour work day to stay awake for!

Last year I remember thinking how difficult it would be to leave the girls and go back to the office, that I would miss them and not see every change that occurs throughout the day. There was definitely some stress my last couple of weeks home- a different kind of stress than being home alone all day with three infants. Looking back now, that adjustment period went much smoother than I had anticipated, and it wasn’t nearly as difficult to get back into the work routine as my mind had suggested it would be. It also helps that I get to enjoy breakfast and a hot cup of coffee at my desk each morning, with the knowledge that the girls are still safely sleeping in their cribs for another couple of hours.

Fast forward a year, and our work day routines haven’t changed that much. We still do an early morning feed and put the girls back to bed; we still do dinner time but now it’s with food and bottles before bed; we still have play time…it is just waaaay more rambunctious than last fall. It is easier in some ways and harder in others. The morning feed is much quicker now, taking about 10-15 minutes tops compared to 40 minutes. On days like today, that early feeding provides the opportunity to put everyone back into their own cribs (and out of our bed) for a couple more hours of sleep (for them and us on the weekends!).

I still pump at the crack of dawn every morning, while at work, and right after the girls go down at night. After 16 months, I am nearing the end of this part of my mom journey. Just imagine the free time I will get back (funny joke I know…)! This will occur once bottle weaning is a little farther along; we are progressing on sippy cup use now and are getting there.

I still enjoying getting off work in the middle of the afternoon instead of early evening (3:30 is a big difference from 5:00!). This was wonderful in the winter when I could drive home in the light instead of going to and from work in the darkness for much of the winter. Instead of hurrying home for the afternoon feed (which is no longer), I now head home for playtime before dinner. It was in the 70s and sunny yesterday, with the house overly hot, so we opted for pool time on the deck. This was the longest the girls actually stayed in the pool and played, mostly getting along! It is nice to be able to do fun activities and enjoy the nice weather. They really enjoyed putting the kitchen utensils to use- the measuring cups, spoons, and old yogurt cups…anything that could pour water. Reagan was really interested in drinking the delicious pool water straight from the measuring cup!

It is wonderful creating new and exciting activities for the girls. They now giggle at each other (not quite talk yet) and interact with you and each other. The bubble machine is quite the hit. Harper looked up at me at one point and said “bubba!” Another word for the Harper dictionary- check! In addition, anytime the dog, or especially the cats, go by, we hear little “kitty!” exclamations from all three. The dog and cat now have this title, whether they like it or not.

Just when I think we are cruising along great on this #tripletlife, I have a hilarious mom moment. Earlier this week we had a night that involved the triple wagon and watching it slide backwards down a driveway as I was handing Emerie off to someone, carrying Harper and Reagan with it. Yes, they were still strapped in (thankfully). For the record, I am quite impressed that it didn’t tip over AND neither kiddo shed a tear over their unintentional, backwards roller coaster ride. I’m sure I entertained the neighbors as I went crazy mom running after it. These are the beautiful memories to build your life on right?? Now if only the wagon had a brake on it…that would be helpful…

And I will leave you with this. Everyone has figured out the word “no”, and Harper wags her finger at us when she says it. Enjoy.

Emerie letting us “no” what’s up

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!

Sleep is for the weak right?

The good news? We don’t have ear infections.

The bad news? We don’t have ear infections.

Exploring all the cabinets at the pediatrician’s office. Somehow they are not baby proofed!

Why do I say that? The last week or so have resulted in grueling overnight routines, very little sleep for both the parents and the girls, and lots of crazy grumpy mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

Tuesday night was the epitome of it all, with a very early bedtime because survival of all was in question. That didn’t work either, but at least there was 45 minutes of silence before the next round of screaming began. You can get a lot done in 45 minutes…such as a shower, prep for the next day, and pumping for the morning feed!

We just went to the pediatrician last night, hoping this terrible week could be blamed on ear infections and a workable solution would be in sight. But alas, they are healthy with clear ears. I guess that is good news, but it doesn’t feel like that on over a week of close to no sleep and very grumpy minions. We opted to do Emerie’s 15 month shots while we were there, instead of waiting until her Friday appointment. It’s not like she would sleep any less post shots than she has all week, so we just got it over with!

I am happy to report that as of this doctor’s appointment, everyone is finally past the 20 pound mark! Only took 16 months…

  • Harper: 22 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Emerie: 20 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Reagan: 22 pounds, 5 ounces

The doctor claimed the grumpiness is most likely caused by teething. He took a good look in each mouth after clearing their ears of any issues. Emerie is generally the most difficult one to pin down at the doctor, probably considering that she has the most appointments of the three, but surprisingly she was a good sport and Reagan was the least cooperative. In fact, Emerie is taking the teething the best of the three this round, with Harper and Reagan both completely angry and miserable and wanting to fuss and snuggle.

An example of one of our fun evenings this week…

Harper has THREE molars on approach right now, one starting to poke through and the other two close to it. Reagan and Emerie both have two molars coming in as well, with one of Reagan’s showing already.

This week will consist of a lot of teething treats…a particular favorite is Pedialite frozen into popsicles. Now that they understand popsicles are for eating, not beating into each other, the table, or throwing on the floor to see them “explode”, they are useful and well liked. Other cold “treats” at mealtime include cut up blueberries (always a favorite), cold pepper slices to chew on, and cold nectarines! The frozen teethers are again a hit and we rotate through many different types in a freezer container. Depending on the day they will enjoy chewing the cold silicone ones versus the ones that have ice in them. These provide moments of calm, at least until someone steals one.

In an effort to achieve some level of sleep last night, and because it really couldn’t get any worse than prior nights and minimal napping days, we switched up a few things to see if that would improve everyone’s night. Long sleeved pajamas were worn, with the ceiling fan off (it’s been on since the great 2019 Alaska heat debacle of June/July), and put the muslin sleep blankets back on in hopes that they would be a little more comfortable when they randomly wake up and start screaming. We also did Advil and put clove oil on their gums rights before bedtime, which they dislike, but it seems to work. That could be the distraction of a weird taste, or the clove actually helps with pain; I’m not quite sure which one.

I’m also unsure which change improved sleep, but we only had one fussy baby (Emerie) at about midnight. She settled down after a bottle and some snuggles and slept pretty well between us until I got up at 5. Harper and Reagan slept all night…hallelujah!! First night with more than one happy, sleeping baby overnight since we returned from Juneau. In fact, I think that is probably the first night in two weeks I didn’t have an upset Reagan at some point(s) during the night. I feel revitalized with a little sleep today.

As we continue to survive through this grumpy couple of weeks, a few developmental improvements are visible as we go through the ninth developmental leap. This leap relates to rules; toddlers at this age are learning they have new boundaries and skills that must come with ground rules. These rules generally revolve around social cues, us trying to teach them things so they don’t get hurt, and watching them begin to understand they can change the order in a process and still achieve the desired result. For example, they can climb up the slide directly, or go to the side of the slide and use the stairs; both result in getting to the top of the slide. This week I have witnessed each kiddo climb down a stair (monitored of course) on their belly and not fall. That is definitely a recently learned trait.

Playing together on the slide

In between the grumpiness new skills are emerging. Emerie, for example, may end up being our little designer or (cough) engineer. She quickly took to the Duplo blocks and understands she can stack them together or pull them apart. Harper and Reagan watch her do this and are starting to catch on too, but she definitely figured it out quickly. She also likes to play with the sensory toys we originally bought for the airplane and doesn’t need help to use them.

All three girls still love the picnic basket and improving on pushing the shapes into the correct holes. They also carry it around all over the house. This past weekend we put a ball pit/princess house into the living room and they crawled through it, through the balls out of the pit as fast as we tossed them back in, and giggled and giggled. Reagan greatly preferred climbing out of the pit, right over the bendable walls, which was pretty funny to witness. Harper used the tunnel and thought it was so cool while Emerie stayed in the ball pit for a good 45 minutes, completely entertained.

And after the fifteenth try at a style of sippy cup, I believe we finally have a winner!!

Sipping on those sippy cups, hanging out in their summer rompers…

Fingers crossed we have reset the lack of sleep into better nightly routines; and if I’m being optimistic…into better nap times as well. I guess we will see what today brings…

Busy Summer Days

This past weekend was full of so many toddler adventures and amazing weather that I feel it should be documented. Some weekends we stay home and play, play, play…other weekends (like this one), we see how many fun filled activities we can cram into two days of Alaskan sunlight.

Sesame Street themed birthday

Craig took the girls to dad’s group on Saturday morning, and for the first time the girls decided to give in to stranger danger, with Harper and Reagan clinging on for dear life. Eventually they toned down the rage a bit and played. We were really hoping we made it past that development stage and overall I believe we have.

After Saturday’s nap time we loaded the girls up and headed to the park for another twin birthday party. With the sun hidden behind the impending clouds, the weather turned out to be perfectly warm and not too bright. It was ideal for baby adventures.

The girls did pretty well, giggling on the swings and exploring the park and the huge sandbox. William and Craig took turns taking them down the slides, which was not met with giggles, smiles, or rage- just no reaction at all! Everyone played in the sandbox and surprisingly, didn’t eat the sand! We had one baby bonk with Emerie getting a mouthful of sand, but other than that it went fine.

The 8 panel Regalo playpen greatly helped corral the children so we could eat a few bites. Overall the girls had a fun afternoon and play date!

The gorgeous weekend continued through Sunday. We are starting to get a bit daring on the outside adventures, so we broke out the swimsuits, water table AND the mini swimming pool. While the girls are definitely water babies and love bath time, we opted to fill the pool with warm water from the bathroom faucet instead of the freezing hose water. With the sun shining it stayed quite warm and pleasant and no one shivered at all. Give it another year and these Alaskan triplets will love the freezing cold hose water.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed climbing in and out of the water. It was a rare moment when all three were actually splashing in their together. Typically someone was off running across the yard while another was splashing at the water table and the third in the pool.

After backyard fun we let the girls cool off a bit and play inside before the next adventure…the Potter Marsh boardwalk and bird observatory. I’ve been meaning to take everyone down here all summer. What better place to take mobile children than a boardwalk they can’t escape from, and on such a beautiful day!

Everyone walked all over and I think we tired them out. The sun is still high at five PM since June equals 20+ hours of daylight here. Next time I need to remember the sun hats, but otherwise think it went well. Overall a very busy, but fun weekend, with mild grumpiness from shots but nothing compared to their pre age one grumpiness.

A fun filled weekend.