This spring part of Harper’s dance class included an official recital, with a big stage, a custom leotard, and about 120 other kids ages three and up. Since Craig ordered the costume, each week she runs up to her teacher, Miss Jess, and asks if the order was in yet. She was so excited to not only see it but wear it.
The last day of spring session everyone had a mini performance during the standard class time, with parents invited in to watch each kiddo perform skill routines. Because the girls are split out into two separate classes across the hall from each other, with Harper dancing and Reagan and Emerie tumbling in gymnastics, Craig and I knew we had to split to accommodate everyone, with performances offset by about fifteen minutes. Luckily Aurora Kids has a great setup and suggested Emerie and Reagan go first so I could sneak out to Harper’s class, after their floor and beam routines.
Both girls were somewhat shy to go first in their group, but overall committed to showing off newfound skills. Reagan did her first tumble and mini cartwheel without teacher assistance and her last backwards roll with a little help. She then immediately darted back to her spot and away from the crowd. Emerie also did her first tumble on her own but with a dramatic landing, her arms and legs flailed out on the mat with a silly laugh. She was also all smiles at the end. It wouldn’t be a floor performance without both of them picking a wedgie from their leotards, in case you were curious! Both did their beam routines with the help of one of the teachers and Emerie added a touch of personality with the goofy faces and tongue out.
Craig stayed to watch the bar performances while I watched Harper’s class perform a ballet and tap routine. Both Emerie and Reagan followed their teacher’s instructions well on different bar skills, and if I had to pick a favorite routine for Emerie, it is definitely this one. She again showed off some of her skills completely unassisted after class when we were all back together. Harper made sure to be front and center for both dances and right next to her teacher; pretty consistently to how she’s acted throughout the whole session.
All three were thrilled to go up front and receive their participation medals and played with them at home ever since now that they are jewelry and decoration. All in all, the entire session went much smoother than a year ago, and everyone is asking when they get to go back, which is only another week away. On the behavioral side, Harper going to solo made a huge difference on her listening, while we still have to intervene with Emerie from time to time, who can easily distract Reagan from listening.
The girls were excited at early school pickup on the big day; it was the first time I’ve picked them up during regular school pickup and right after nap time. Harper was thrilled to get dressed up and wear her outfit, have fancy eye shadow and her hair slicked back into a “ballerina bun” with a matching ribbon. After claiming to want orange eye shadow all week, she opted for a pink and teal that meshed together to look like colorful sparkles. Who knew finding kid makeup would be so difficult to find and we ended up with a big set that included every color imaginable.
Craig and I took only Harper to the fancy recital at the local college and left Emerie and Reagan home for an evening with Uncle Will. Emerie could care less that Harper dressed up and went solo with her parents, while Reagan stood at the front window and cried as we loaded up in the car; she wanted to go. Little did we know it would be a three hour performance, so thank goodness we didn’t bring everyone or we never would have made it through the whole thing.
After checking in and finding seats at the show, Harper was content looking around the full auditorium and finding her classmates, who all sat on the left side with us. The room was filled with so many sparkles and colorful dance leotards. I would guess about six dances occurred before Harper went back with her fellow Tiny Tappers to queue up for their ballet performance. After every single dance she asked is it my turn yet? When is it my turn?! She was also offended any time her favorite teacher, Miss Jess, wasn’t on stage dancing, which cracks me up. She did enjoy watching the routines once she got over that part, and was thrilled each time a princess related song came on.
Unsurprisingly for her routine, Harper confidentially walked out on stage and showed absolutely no fear in front of a crowd, pointedly going to the front both times. The amount of people in the room and the cheering didn’t phase her at all; I’m guessing she will be a crowd pleaser in the future and I can’t wait to see! For ballet she was placed right behind the teacher, and of course at the perfect angle to be difficult for filming, but moved around enough we could see her smiling face. At one point she lost focus and appeared to try to find us out in the dark crowd. Afterward she went backstage and came back to her seat for a few more performances, changing into tap shoes for the last routine. About halfway through the whole show she went backstage once more and stayed until her dance and the show finale.
Her tap performance to Aladdin’s Friend Like Me was super cute, and hilariously and in true Harper style, she turned at one point and shook her butt at the whole crowd and laughed. Being the oldest one in class, she also refused to let any one else stand on her front row tape spot, scolding the littles that tried to. So funny! Overall she followed this routine a bit better- I think the whole group did following Miss Mary- and everyone was all smiles at the end.
At the end all classes went on stage for the finale bow, showing how many kids and how well coordinated it was. It’s impressive to coordinate one-hundred plus kids and twenty-nine dance routines back to back and it was well done. You could also tell it was getting late and kids around the auditorium feeling it. We quickly headed to the car ahead of the crowd, but Harper made us turn around for a picture with Miss Jess on stage. She also cried the ENTIRE way home that her teacher couldn’t come home with her, not that it has ever happened, showing how overtired she really was after three hours of solid stimulation.
It was a good evening overall and enjoyable with only one kiddo! Emerie and Reagan would never sit that long and instead enjoyed a fun evening with pizza and a movie. Both were awake when we arrived home at almost nine. While they immediately fell asleep in their beds, Harper whined for a while longer about her teacher and fought sleep hard.
It was a new feeling for me, enjoying watching my little have fun in a new environment and getting to enjoy it without pestering the other two to be quiet. I never considered the thought I could be a dance mom- clearly if you’ve seen me dance- but who knows! Miss Jess noted at the end of the performance that Harper really enjoys class time and has improved greatly from a year ago. She continues to claim she’d rather dance than go to gymnastics so it will be interesting to see if she sticks to that decision for fall session. And she’s already asking when the next performance is and when we can order another fancy outfit. Bring on next year!
Well, we finally made it out of town for a short weekend, to the Alaska version of the beach. You know, the version that is beautiful, but cold, and only has rocks, not sand, and is in no way the epitome of warmth, relaxation, and quiet!
Did it end up being rainy? Yes. Close to freezing temperatures? Why not. High crosswinds that made it feel twice as cold!? Well of course! But also loads of fun for the girls and nice to get out of town for a night to refresh from a busy winter of work? Yes, that too!
We rescheduled the girls’ birthday weekend trip to Seward for this the past weekend, opting to wait until driving conditions through the pass were less wintery and icy than back in March. Packing up and loading into the car was easier this time around, even with the girls home from preschool, than it was for any long distance adventure last year. During the drive down the girls snacked on goodies, played with new My Little Pony sets and eventually watched a movie, as we slowly made our way down to the peninsula on Sunday morning. Road-trips continue to get easier, as I alluded to many times last year, and this year will be no exception. The girls asked more times when we will be there, but are also much easier to placate with toys, snacks and coloring books to pass the time.
Reagan was thrilled to see the waterfalls along the mountains melted and running and counted them throughout the drive. Harper was happy to sit on the inlet side of the car, constantly pointing out the sights to the rest of the passengers, who didn’t care nearly as much as she thought they should. Emerie, who fought for the coveted middle seat as we loaded up, didn’t say more than two sentences the whole drive, but wouldn’t tell us anything but she was tired. Everyone enjoyed viewing any construction activity taking place, seeing some of the larger vehicles, and three cranes at one spot down by Portage.
Luckily the clouds parted upon arrival in Seward and let brief sunlight in, long enough for a good park visit after sitting for the long drive. After running around for a bit, and Craig and I “playing Bowser” and chasing the girls (it was too cold to sit there and watch them play!), we ventured down and over the large rocks to find shells on the beach. All three excitedly looked around and climbed down much better than last year and with less complaints. Once the wind picked back up, we headed inside to grab a late lunch along the pier and everyone colored and looked out at the water and boats. The highlight of the meal- other than the demands for more ketchup for their fries- was the two wild seals swimming around the harbor. In true Harper style, she named them BOTH Harper. That seemed to be a naming theme over the weekend, every time an animal sighting occurred. The girls insisted on walking along the pier for a few minutes to see them up close, but it didn’t last long with the whipping wind and complaints of I’m cold!
Eventually we found the rented bungalow; it took us just long enough to find it for Reagan and Emerie to fall asleep and catch some zzzz’s. Harper managed to stay awake and ask us one-thousand times if we were there yet. Apparently renting a property creates some major preschooler questions, the main one producing excitement that we got a new house. This prompted questions of, what happened to our old house (old by a whole three hours, you know)? Are we going to live here now? Where is my bunk bed; it’s not in my room?Why didn’t you bring it with us?Why can we only stay one night?! It took a bit of time to convince these crazy kids that we did not actually purchase a new house for them to live in, but rented it for ONE night to visit. Mind. Blown.
I do not have any epic triplet stories of the rest of our visit, other than it was nice and cozy in the bungalow and blowing and freezing cold out on the beach. We could not convince them to go play outside and collect shells, lasting maybe fifteen minutes before the mind-numbing cold hands pushed us all back inside to play. The girls did pretty well just hanging out for the evening, playing with toys we brought and running up and down the stairway a hundred times. We watching a movie on the couch and ate a light dinner and everyone washed and dried their shell collection at the table. I look forward to the day we can rent this place and enjoy the view and more time on the deck, when it’s not so cold and rainy.
The next morning Reagan was the only one convinced by Craig to collect more shells on the beach, while the other two insisted they were NOT going outside to succumb to the elements. Next time I should probably pack rain gear! We spent the rest of the morning at the Seward Sealife Center, our longest visit yet, checking out the animals and going in and out of the exhibit areas. Highlights include playing on the pretend boat (and blowing the horn continuously), shrieking in a combination of fear and delight at the touch pool (and asking the employee to touch the starfish for them because the water was cold haha), and watching the sea lion and seals swim in the water. And no, I was informed several times that all were seals and not sea lions, regardless of my attempts to explain they are different animals.
Harper was clearly thrilled the entire visit to see her favorite animal in action (seals and the sea lion because she thinks they are all seals), even more so than last year. She asked for pictures with them swimming behind her, with a huge smile on her face, named them all Harper, and commented and complimented at how super cute and super amazing they were. Her other main phrase as they swam by- I can’t believe it! Reagan and Emerie did NOT like the large crab crawling around and immediately avoided going near it, but did enjoy watching the birds dive into the water while we looked through the glass.
Reagan and Emerie were much more content running around and shrieking uncontrollably than their sister, but by the end of the visit they simmered down enough to warrant a stuffed animal for good behavior. Emerie and Harper chose mermaids (Harper already has two stuffed seals that are her besties) while Reagan opted for a white seal to “be like Harper.”
At the end of the day and on the way home, I asked everyone to pick their favorite thing during the quick trip. Harper instantly responded it was seeing the seals out in the water, while Reagan liked playing in the boat at the sea life center and Emerie liked the bungalow and playing with her pony toys. Pretty standard answers from all three, and you could tell everyone was happy to return home and play that evening. Before we left, everyone signed the guestbook- and received several threats NOT to write on any other pages on it- and collected just enough shells to make a mess at home.
It was a nice remind to Craig and I that we can better enjoy trips around Alaska and don’t require help to do them, even though we all enjoy when other family join in too. I look forward to having more trips soon and with more cooperative weather, and am very ready for summer to arrive! At some point Reagan will stop asking how many years until summer gets here!? So true kid, it certainly feels that way this year.
Last fall we started looking and preparing for the next bedroom upgrade, from toddler beds to kid beds. A whole five minutes ago we were in three, tiny cribs and popping in and out all night long to keep them there. The girls live in the high percentage for height and while their toddler beds looked huge in comparison to their little bodies when they were three and a half, now they stretch out and their feet nearly hit the bottom rail.
Completing the next bedroom upgrade has proved to be a saga in our triplet led life. After looking around locally and finding no options, I began the online shopping for a more customized triple bunk bed with storage. I scanned a number of different models and types; deciding three vertically stacked was too high up for my comfort level, and probably the bedroom ceiling, and that two directly above a big one would result in some head bonking. So two above and one below made the most sense for the room size and for more open floor space for bookshelves or other kiddo activities.
After careful review I eventually selected two twin mattresses on the top at a ninety degree angle and a full bed below one of the twins. Top access included a kid sized stairway on one side, decked out with great storage access and drawers, and the other top bunk had a ladder and open space below it. Three, large drawers also fit under the full mattress. Measurements indicated the new furniture would take up most of their bedroom and leave little space for anything else, but that’s what a bedroom is for…right?!
Here is where it gets more interesting. Wayfair does indeed ship to Alaska, but wanted $750 to do just that. Instead, I shipped the selected merchandise to Aunt Tami and Uncle Jeff in California, which only took a couple of days after ordering (doesn’t that sound nice!). Then Papa Cliff picked up the three big boxes, loaded them in his truck and trailer, and hauled it up the Alcan Highway to get it here a little while after Christmas. Knowing it would take a bit to get it here, I ordered during Black Friday sales, even though we weren’t planning on assembling it for a few more months. Once Papa Cliff dropped it off, it sat for two more months in the family room as we pushed the girls to sleep in their beds overnight, which Harper and Emerie did a great job with and Reagan is still a work in progress. During the month of March we made this a competition to see who would end up getting which spot, knowing that no matter what, they would all fight and argue where ever they ended up and we needed to somehow avoid that drama.
Harper and Emerie were both up for the challenge, noting pretty early on they both wanted a top bunk. Reagan claimed the same, but also reminds me that she will sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed forever because she doesn’t want to sleep in her bed. To her credit, at least she is honest! Reagan acquired the big, full bottom bed by process of elimination and while she scoffed at the decision being made for her, I think she will like having all the extra space. She also commented that the bigger bed was better for her because she has the most stuffies; at least, she sleeps with the most, like four pandas, a bunny, an abominable snowman, a huge hamster, sometimes a doll, and many other things. The parents’ made the call which kid would go in each top bunk, and planned for Emerie to use the staircase and railing, due to ensuring her safety at night without her glasses on, while Harper could use the ladder. Harper also gets out of her bed the least overnight, so it makes sense she will have the ladder access.
This weekend Craig and I ran to midtown and picked up three mattresses at Mattress Ranch. At home we searched for the bed directions and of course that was in the final box we opened, after combing through all the pieces. I took the grandmas and girls to dance and gymnastics while he organized everything and discovered the box with all the bed slats was filled with mold and much of the woodwork was not salvageable. In addition, a number of the pieces were labeled incorrectly or not at all, and we were missing a whole bag of screws. All in all, it’s quite impressive that Craig was even able to understand and comprehend directions with missing pieces and get it built.
We figured out the mattresses purchased earlier in the day were going to be too tall for Harper to safely sleep against the rails and defy gravity. Before calling it a day we ran back to the store and swapped them all out for a shorter version, and set up the full sized bed. Knowing that all the upper bed slats were moldy and unusable, we had the girls sleep horizontally on the bottom bed for the first night, which is how we did it at Becky’s house last summer and while in Juneau. Little did we know the lower mattresses would also allow the girls to just barely stand up straight and not hit the ceiling. That won’t be the case in another month; and I’m guessing we will see the tears from it until they remember to crouch down.
Who knew it would be so fun to leave the top bunks open. Once the side stairs were assembled and attached, the room briefly became a trampoline park full of giggling five-year-olds. Thank goodness most of the bottom bed slats touched the floor; we did have to fix a few broken ones before completing the entire task the next day.
Once Craig found replacement screws and purchased lumber to make more slats, the girls were beyond excited for this project to be done already. Grandma Sue and I took the girls to pick out new sheets and massive Frozen pillows and then assembled the sleeping quarters with the final touches, including a lot of stuffed animals, sheets and princess comforters.
I was surprised that the first real night of the new bed setup provided some emotion for me; I did not expect it. It feels as though our baby era is really over and we now have three beautiful, little girls, climbing up into their big girl beds and somewhat sleeping through the night (well two out of three isn’t terrible). It is very surreal and feels like yesterday we were in bringing them home to cribs and later toddler beds. My Facebook memories this week reminded me they had their first bath five years ago this week in the NICU, and I still can’t comprehend so much has happened so quickly! I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this advancement, but if you can depend on anything, it’s that time will continue to pass. And after the wildness and excitement of the first night passed, everyone settled in and eventually went to sleep. Reagan was the only one that insisted she missed the old bed and wanted it back; Harper and Emerie seem quite pleased with their new spots. And no, Reagan did not sleep through the first two nights in there!
Now that a couple of days have passed, we’ve seen some blood (Harper flipping over the stair railing and landing on her chin), stubbed toes, some fighting and jealousy over personal spaces, and continually excited tiny humans. The room feels very different and more mature, but otherwise not much in our day to day has changed other than my realization that my babies are continuing to grow up!
Once again, it’s time for the contrasting and comparison between the girls during age four. It’s been quite the busy year, and one that is much more back to normal post COVID, which has been wonderful. Timing wise the girls are much easier to handle, meaning we can do more things and be a bit more “normal”, or at least survive doing normal things without required extra hands. It was very hard to narrow down my favorite “triple photos,” as I call them, over the past 365 days. There are so many! I settled on this collage after unsuccessfully narrowing the count below three, and all are taken with beautiful nature back drops and big smiles; photos that highlight the personalities of my three little ladies during daily life adventures.
I’ve already blocked out half the things we accomplished or attended last year, so here is an overview of the highlights that my mom brain can remember as I write this out.
Age 4 Changes
Age four had less significant changes than age three, but mentionables nevertheless. It was our best year of sleep so far in the journey of parenting, with both Emerie and Harper trading off doing very well sleeping overnight in their toddler beds. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was great sleep, but definitely an improvement from years where the bar to improve started very low. More recently we created a healthy sibling competition, with the current prize whoever sleeps in their bed the most gets to choose their spot in the “big girl bunk beds,” and so far Harper is winning by a landslide, with Emerie in tow, and Reagan only two nights in her bed for the entire month of March.
New Preschool Class
Last August the girls aged up into the four year old preschool class at school. Initially they were quite dismayed at this required change, not wanting to leave their daily routine in beloved Miss Tawni’s class. The transition went quite well and we didn’t lose school naps from it- and over six months later, they still adore their previous teacher, and their current one. It’s very sweet. They are also almost all the way through the alphabet, love show and tell highlighting a letter each week, and getting to do crafts and play in the gym. While they haven’t said it in quite a while, I know they are also looking forward to playground time after the snow melts…whenever that actually happens.
First Remembered Airplane Trip!
As you all know, the whole family packed up and boarded the skies to Juneau for a work trip for Craig and I, and the girls did great during the whole experience. This is actually the second time the girls boarded a plane, with the last time around at fourteen months old, and under way more duress. This time around showed us that a longer trip might be doable this summer and to a farther distance, now that we don’t (usually) have to worry about them darting into traffic or getting completely lost when we blink. It is also wonderful to be out of the stroller phase and not need to lug that everywhere we go; before long we won’t even need to lug the car seats.
The girls are already asking for another trip, and while most this summer will be closer to home overnights, such as Homer, Seward, maybe even Fairbanks; it’s nice to know we can plan for another big adventure and both parents will survive it.
Sickness No Longer Equals the End of the World
This might sound silly to include in this list, but in reality, is a complete game changer. Prior to age four I dreaded every time a cough or sniffle started in the household, knowing that meant a week or two of very little sleep or relaxation was right around the corner. This past year the girls had RSV twice, a number of colds and coughs and ear infections, and while that still sucked, it wasn’t nearly as awful to make it through each one as the toddler stage. You can now tell the level of sickness by their willingness to sit and relax and watch movies, something short lived at younger ages.
Out of Town Sans Dad
This was a milestone for me- when Grandma Sue and I packed up the kiddos and trekked down to Kenai last summer and left Craig at home to finish the work week. This had to happen at some point, and while I was anxious that my tiny humans would freak out and want Craig toward bedtime, they were so worn out by all the excitement that is ultimately went fine!
That was also one of the first times we’ve been in the compromising position of a car breakdown while out of town, and are still so thankful that all of it played out safety and it didn’t ruin the experience, or the car!
Fairs and Festivals
It is a major accomplishment that we can now attend and ENJOY fairs and other outdoor, summer events. We opted out of the busy fair experience until this age, knowing it would be quite a long and stimulating day, and not wanting to be miserable throughout it or missing nap time. The girls loved their first Alaska Fair experience and we will certainly enjoy it again next year. We also accidentally attended the annual fair in Ninilchik and while the weather was cold and rainy, the face painting and fun made up for it.
Earlier in the summer we ventured to the valley for the Scottish Highland Games, and it was the first time we went somewhere unplanned and spent more than six hours exploring, eating and checking out the sights. Harper especially enjoyed watching the dance routines while Emerie and Reagan were more there for the treats. Everyone was quite a hit in their kilts and it was a gorgeous (hot!) day of sun.
Smoother, less routine schedules ended up as one of the biggest and best improvements across the past year. We were so regimented and inflexible from the newborn stage to the middle of age four, simply because it was the only way to survive each day. Even after dropping naps, quiet time in the afternoon was helpful but mornings could play out without as much planning, and being out and about during the day for activities became so much easier. I remember thinking we’d never survive the days once we lost nap time, and looking back, staying on schedule allowed us to make it through the tough toddler phase.
New Life Skills
While accomplishments on the parenting side waned a bit this year, it was huge for the girls. All three continue to improve their handwriting and color skills, which occur daily; all three love glue stick crafts and using kid scissors. Last summer Harper and Reagan learned to pedal bike on big girl bikes (Emerie opted out and continued with her balance bike, her choice!), and can now decently steer their kid four wheelers. All three fight over who gets to use the tv remote and demand Alexa pause the movies for them during potty breaks.
Other skills include dressing themselves, especially in dress up gear, telling detailed stories, and proudly declaring when they unbuckle a car seat without help. They also clear dishes off the table, clean up the room after demands, brush their own teeth.
Age four saw a range of new animals joining the family. Craig brought eight baby chickens home last summer, seven who are still with us and providing eggs, and the girls experienced their growth and development throughout. Amazingly we had no accidental casualties from the girls stepping or smashing them, and while they are much less exciting now, the girls do enjoy feeding them upon occasion.
We also experienced death for the first time with Rafi, he received a flower burial that the girls will tell you all about, and don’t forget he now lives in heaven. Then we acquired a new kitten and she later gave us three unplanned kittens! The girls learned to be gentle with them and now walk around and play with lone Winston. That’s a few too many new animals in one year for my taste…
More Cousin Time
I am enjoying the trend of more family moving close by- last fall this meant that cousins Corbin and Elliot returned to the Alaska life after several years in Washington, and now I have a glimmer of insight into what quads are like, with Elliot the same age as the girls. The girls love to play at their house and it’s a nice break for Craig and I to have another hang out location, especially after the years of COVID, when people didn’t open up their houses for visitors, and certainly not for the triplet tornado. I should also say it’s nice to have Aunt Jenny AND my brother here too…but it’s really for the kids, right?
Cousins time on the Douglas side is also welcomed and the girls love Tyler visits, when Jaren and Savaya pop in for a hello, and when Chatum comes up to visit.
About the Girls – Age 4
This year Harper has really come into her own style. She is a fashionista, rocking all kinds of dresses but especially anything in black or pink, is a swing queen and can tower high above her sisters on the swing set, still has the need for speed on her training wheel bicycle, and knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to demand it. She loves having curly hair from we braids, putting on pretend makeup, and playing “mom and dads” with her sisters.
Height/Weight: 45 pounds, 45″ tall – she gained 7.4 pounds and grew 3″ in a year!
Favorite Activities: playing dress up and getting fancy. Lately she is more into coloring and also greatly enjoys gong to her dance and tap class each week.
Favorite Movie/Music/Show: She is a bit more fluid in her requests for television or movies, opting to pick different princesses that fit her mood, like Aurora, Cinderella, Tiana, then Pan or Leap (ballerina movie) and so on. She moved on from the Frozen music obsession and continues to adore Toward the Sun by Rihanna, from the soundtrack Home.
Favorite Princess/Character: When asked her favorite, she claims it is Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. This is likely because she is dressed in pink, as she greatly likes Rapunzel and Elsa also.
Favorite Color: pink, then black, and then orange, are her continued favorites.
Favorite Food: When asked, Harper’s immediate response was “candy.” Considering she liked sweets the least of the three as toddlers, she clearly got over that thought. After more discussion, she agreed she loves black olives, chicken nuggets, tater tots and french fries. I think her favorite food is actually ketchup.
Favorite Animal: Lately she is on a bunny kick, but also adores (all) her stuffed seals and her puppy dogs.
When Harper grows up, she wants to be: A ballerina is her most common answer.
Unique Personality Trait: Harper is our glitter and grease girl. She LOVES to be dressed up and fancy, almost constantly, but isn’t afraid to get dirty outside, in the kitchen, or out and about.
Major Dislikes: Harper’s dislikes are very similar to the list from age three, such as wearing anything other than dresses and that pants in general are the bane of her existence. She also dislikes being patient and slow, wanting to do things fast whenever she can, and getting frustrated when she can’t do something easily.
Of the Three, She is the Most: Social. She is happy to play with other kids the most, and doesn’t seem to love playing independently like either of her sisters. She’s definitely a social butterfly.
Favorite Quotes:I’m NEVER going to ….. or You’re NEVER going to let me …. for the rest of eternity. Dramatic much?
Emerie continues to be our ray of sunshine; she loves to learn new skills, collect and carry around tiny things, and spend time at home, which is her happy place. She loves to pretend nap, getting a bed all set up with her stuffies and “sleeping” with all the shades closed. She also enjoys scrolling through books and snuggling up on the couch. Gymnastics is proving to be a great activity for her and she constantly asks what day we go next. She doesn’t let daily patching hold her back from anything and remains a good sport about wearing it each day, which is huge! She had one eye surgery this past year and is now on her longest stint ever between doctor visits.
Height/Weight: 38.2 pounds, 43.5″ tall – she gained 4 pounds and grew 2.25″ in a year!
Favorite Activities: gymnastics, collecting beads and playing restaurant. She often asks how to spell food related words so she can make a menu and deliver you a meal.
Favorite Movie/Music/Show: As I’m sure you guessed, her favorite movie remains both Frozens, and not Encanto! She is also re-upping her love for Pan (Rapunzel) and the corresponding television series, Tangled Adventures. As far as music, Let It Go continues to live on as a daily (sometimes hourly) request, followed by what she calls Bring It In, which is Isabella singing Encanto’s What Else Can I Do.
Favorite Princess/Character: Emerie continues to be an all things Elsa (Frozen) girl, but now has a second character to love, Isabella from Encanto. You might think she’d latch onto the main Encanto character with glasses (Mirabel), but that lasted about five seconds until she saw Isabella’s purple, flowered dress. She is constantly dressed up as one of these two characters when playing at home.
Favorite Color: This remains unchanged from birth- team purple!
Favorite Food: Last year cheese quesadillas topped the list without question, but this year she is completely anti-dilla. Of the three, she has the most opinions about food. She likes macaroni and cheese, or really most pastas, and cheeseburgers (just the patty with cheese) and french fries.
Favorite Animal: Definitely a change from last year, her beloved monkey has retired to live a life confined to her toddler bed, while her “mommy and baby turtle” go to school each day and MUST be in her bed every night. The Mom turtle was a gift from Doctor Winkle before her last surgery, and she picked out the baby turtle at the toy store earlier this winter after a good amount of overnight sleep in her bed.
Unique Personality Trait: Emerie is a great friend. She picks up on other kids feelings and will reach out and offer to play with them. She’s very insightful!
Major Dislikes: Dislikes this year changed a bit from age three. For example, while she strongly dislikes black olives, pizza has grown on her a bit and she enjoys it once a week at school lunch. She also loves her bed compared to last year and is often the first to fall asleep in it each night. Age four dislikes include eye patching, although it’s now a more accepted practice, putting on socks and shoes, and playing outside any time it is cold, which is apparently extreme torture. I think she may just dislike being cold in general.
Of the Three, She is the Most: Stubborn and introverted. If she gets stuck on something, she really gets stuck on it and doesn’t want to back down. She enjoys independent play and will figure out something to do without the need of intervention.
When Emerie grows up, she wants to be: Elsa. This is her answer every single time I’ve asked her this question the past six months, and she is quite set on it.
Favorite Quotes:That’s DIScusting. Another fan favorite is her made up nonsense that one of her sisters kicked me in the face, which she claims quite constantly.
Reagan continues growing as our artsy girl. She adores coloring and crafts and will spend hours working on things. She gets grumpy if I forget any of the masterpieces at school each day- mind you sometimes a whole pile is waiting to come home- and loves to display them on the wall. Reagan is the most talkative of the three and into storytelling about her day. Ask her to tell you a princess story sometime- her depictions and the parts she highlights are completely hilarious. She can also put her hair in a ponytail and is so very proud of her new skill!
Height/Weight: 41.4 pounds, 44″ tall – she gained 4 pounds and grew 2.25″ in a year!
Favorite Activities: Definitely anything related to dresses, dressing up and getting fancy. Her younger days were quite the opposite and she disliked dresses; now it’s all she wants to wear. She also enjoys pretend play and is always asking her sisters to play swim girls or moms and dads or some kind of animal.
Favorite Movie/Music/Show: Aladdin is the current favorite, although a few other princess movies are sprinkled into to her random requests. Her favorite songs is unchanged from age three, Pink’s Cover Me In Sunshine, and she added two additional songs, You Can’t Stop the Girl by Bebe Rexha (from Maleficient), and Speechless, Jasmine’s song from the live action Aladdin.
Favorite Princess/Character: Reagan’s favorite princess is currently Jasmine from Aladdin, ever since watching the live action film, and is completely obsessed with her. Coincidentally, she is also dressed teal, her designated color. Another favorite character is Maleficent from the Sleeping Beauty story, which may seem a bit scary, but is very near and dear to her heart.
Favorite Color: Teal most of the time; once in a while blue or white.
Favorite Food: Right now maraschino cherries are her number one request, followed by cucumbers and ranch. She also answered she likes broccoli, chicken nuggets, mayonnaise sandwiches.
Favorite Animal: This is also unchanged from age three, and you will see pandas all over the house, and about six of them in her bed every night, ranging from teenie-tiny to decent size.
Unique Personality Trait: She loves to break out into song at random times throughout the day, and creates a wave sound with her voice as she serenades quietly to herself. She is the most talkative of the three by far, and can tell you some wicked stories about movies she’s seen or experiences she witness and school. If someone else is hurt, you will find her grabbing a random stuffed animal and sharing it with them to make them feel better; she is very empathetic, unless she has caused the issue!
Major Dislikes: While last year’s hair brushing doesn’t make the list for age four, she continues hating to sleep in her own bed the most of the three, ending up in ours about 90% of the time. She also dislikes wearing tights and shirts and only dresses are acceptable anymore.
Of the Three, She is the Most: Emotional. If one kid is randomly crying or pouting in the corner, she’s probably wearing teal.
When Reagan grows up, she wants to be: Her last answer was a teacher like Miss Tawni, or a painter.
Favorite Quotes:Mom. Mom! I want to tell you about my day. Myyyy day I played with Emie and Harper and had a great day….” It almost always starts with that exact phrase and goes into a long spiel detailing all the things she accomplished at school, getting louder as she gets into it.
Four Year Old FAQs
What are the biggest differences between the three? What are their similarities this year? While all three are definitely into the same types of things, such as princess everything, dress up, playing on bikes and swings and pretend, they all maintain attention on different things a bit. Emerie will sit and play with the Barbie dolls downstairs by herself for a while, while Reagan will sit and color and Harper will wander off with her baby doll. Reagan picks up newfound skills the quickest and with the least effort, while Harper gets flustered before putting in much effort. Emerie takes a bit longer to gain a new skill and you can see her kind methodically thinking out how it all works.
What is the biggest personality difference? Emerie loves to be at home more than anywhere we go, even to places she likes. I think she is like me in that way. Reagan is more like Grandma Sue and Craig and is the talker of the three; always with something to say! Harper is a social butterfly and always wants to play with friends, not so much on her own.
Who is now the best sleeper? Who is the worst? While this varied a bit throughout the year, Harper and Emerie traded places on best sleeper for much of the summer and fall, at least until we hit RSV season and coughing stressed them enough to wake them up. Reagan will continue to win the red lantern award for sleep, with no plans to stay in her bed. In fact, she constantly reminds me that she should be allowed to permanently sleep in my bed, and I should relocate to her room. Such fun. Now that I am tracking who stays in their room overnight, Harper leads by a land slide the past month, with Emerie about half her count, and Reagan a slight miracle if we have a whole night with her out of our bed.
Who is Team Mom and who is Team Dad? I mean realistically, everyone is Team Grandma Sue. Whenever the girls are mad at us, they always holler I want Grandma Sue. They also constantly remind us that Grandma Sue is the boss.
Alliances are pretty consistent from age three to age four. Harper is for the most part Team Mom, unless Dad goes to guys’ night, then she wants him every time. Reagan is completely Team Mom and no longer has one foot in each camp like last year, and Emerie is completely Team Dad, as she reminds me every night with a solace of I want my dad; I miss him.
What was my favorite memory of age four? There are a number to choose from, but I would say my favorite thing was getting out and about and finally taking the kids out of town for some fun. It feels like we are almost normal and can start having fun!
I’m sorry this has been a long one with so much to say! My happy five year olds are excelling and keeping every day interesting- Craig and I are constantly on our toes. Luckily that is nothing new from the past five years.
Last week we released two of the three kittens (Wallace and Winnie) to go spend their lives at the cousins’ house. At the last minute we switched up which kitten would stay with us, much to the dismay of Harper, opting to keep one of the orange boys and letting the black haired beauty go. Winston is the kid cuddler of the group and sleeps next to Rory, our poor adult cat whose life was ruined by the arrival of new family mates (his words, not mine?!). Some nights I also find him cuddled with a kiddo in their bed, or on the pillow next to Reagan, who is almost always in our bed at some point through the night. All the kittens tolerated the preschool torture pretty well for the most part; it wasn’t uncommon for me to find one wrapped in a blanket, sitting in a doll stroller or bed, or snuggled in a blanket and “going shopping” with a kiddo, until they found a way to escape.
The first night without Wallace and Winnie involved tears and anxious kiddos that “their” kittens were gone forever!!I’ll just NEVER see the baby kitties again. So very dramatic yes, even after constant reminders that we can visit whenever we see cousins. Harper is still upset, after about a week, that we gave Winnie away. The following day we brought dinner out and both kittens immediately came out to greet not only Craig and I, but also the girls! It’s good to know we raised them right….and they can handle kid chaos and loud noise…right?!
On the actual kid front, instead of just #kittenlife, the girls are finally over the two week cough and back into routine after our Juneau trip. They continue to share new personality traits, some more wonderful than others. For example, the latest insult to one another is no longer I’m not inviting you to my birthday, as it was last year. Now it is I’m not going to marry you, with a tongue sticking out and extreme attitude seeping toward one another. After a kiss the other night, Reagan told me that meant I married her, because kisses mean marriage, Mom, and you just married me! And to top that off, several times I’ve caught Emerie yelling the f-word, correctly mind you, but also muttering it under her breath, like stop f-ing doing that. I wonder where she learned that from hahaha…. Emerie also had an epiphany the other day on the word burger, explaining that her pronunciation sounds the same as her saying booger. Mom, like the boogers in your nose; they sound like a burger! Everyone is picking up so much more about the English language in their already excellent vocal skills.
All three are really getting into their drawings, numbers and letters. Reagan has almost all her letters memorized and helps her sisters learn theirs; she likes to draw them when instructed how to spell words. She has her name down and enjoys signing all her artwork. Her customized letter “R” still has the adorable circle with two lines dangling from it and is about the cutest letter I’ve ever seen. Harper is picking the alphabet up really quickly as well, but is much better at writing it if she sees it visually, which is my learning style too. She stresses over spelling her name out correctly and often replaces the “a” with the “e”, but is getting better by the day. She colored and made a fan at school last week and was thrilled to bring it home and model it. The next day all three had fans in their backpacks- coincidence? I think not. So far Emerie is the least interested in her letters and lacks the focus on writing and learning them, but every once in a while gets on a tangent and you HAVE to answer all letter requests immediately so she can write out words. She is still a bit unsure writing her own name, but is also improving, telling us she has lots of “e’s.” She has greatly improved on her numbers over the last month too, and can piece the whole train numbering puzzle together without any help, a big improvement from earlier this winter.
As you will see in the photo below, we are working on learning important words in the English vocabulary, such as french fries, tea, and how to write out the whole family’s name. “S” was the letter of the week at school two weeks ago and the girls all fought over bringing Grandma Sue’s picture for Friday show and tell. This past week was letter “T”, and a photo of Tyler was shared. They asked to bring him in person, but settled with bringing a photo. Good thing we have lots of family that has lots of different letter starts, so they pick them up easily and associate the letter with their names.
Our living room is now more of an art studio- i.e. Reagan discovered how to use scotch tape. She constantly brings home five to ten pictures from every school day and runs around the room, taping them up in different places so we can see them. Harper mostly adds her designs to the side of the fridge, and Emerie forcefully demands Craig puts them in his office.
Last week was a busy, out of the office week for me with a convention, so for girls’ night in (and Dad’s night out) I slacked and bought everyone happy meals from McDonalds. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve created the more fun (and healthy) charcuterie boards for the night, and when I commented that at school pickup, Harper and Reagan informed me I should make the goody boards and then you should leave and go to Shiloh’s for dinner, so we can havegirls night with dad. Emerie disagreed with that suggestion, commenting I should leave and go to Jessie’s house instead, but definitely leave so Dad could join. What the f children?! No love.
And now, can you believe in only two more weeks my tiny humans will be five years old?! I surely can’t believe it ❤