Triple the Trouble

As we round up to age three, the girls all know their colors, numbers up to about fifteen, most of their shapes and a TON of vocabulary. Life skills include mostly dressing themselves, running away given the opportunity, potty training pros, teeth brushing, baking, tower construction, coloring and drawing, and so much more!

But just because the girls were born together, look similar and hit most of their milestones together does not mean they are always the same. In fact, it continues to get easier to answer some of the differences between them as they grow and learn new things. Here are a few for the current stage of toddlerhood as we round up to age THREE!

Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil and yet…the kernels do not POP at the same time. Don’t compare your child to others. Their turn to pop is coming!

Unknown

Harper Anne – the strong willed one

Height: 39” (90% in height)

Weight: 32.2 pounds! (66% in weight)

Harper is all about her pink color and anything princess related. I’m unsure which Disney princess is her favorite, as she will randomly ask for Cinderella (and Gus Gus the mouse), Mulan, Snow White, Pan (Rapunzel), Ana and Elsa. She also loves to color everything black and always requests the black marker when given a choice. In fact, this little girl will color an entire page, making sure to fill up the color every where; if black isn’t available she opts for brown or pink. I’m sure this is just a phase! She dislikes water the most of the three and is very nervous going around the floating river at H2Oasis; she will not do it unless she has a tight grownup safety net the entire way around.

Harper is the hugger of the group and the only one that will really voluntarily give one to a sibling! She is also very expressive about her feelings and will tell you when she likes/dislikes something, or when she wants to love on it. I want to kiss it is a common term that applies to a variety of things such as the trash man, the forklift driver at Costco, and Daddy’s four wheeler. She is a cuddler and most nights will snuggle up with me and watch a show before we go up to bed. That is worth noting because as an infant she resisted cuddling the most of the three!

We shifted “top diva status” in the past year, with Harper taking the title as we round out age two. This is likely because she’s a girl that knows what she wants (and doesn’t want!) and has no qualms about throwing a full out, pouty tantrum over it. Her grumpy face is adorable in my opinion, which is surely not her intent when giving it to me, and her strong willed attitude combined with the face is one for the memory books. She also provides the entertainment of a silent tantrum and will lay face down on the floor and wait for you to react. It’s hilarious!

Favorite word/phrase: I love it, I kiss it, I hug it (about everything!) and I tired! when she’s not happy about something.

Favorite food: Harper enjoys meat more than the other two, liked plain chicken, bacon and, of course, hot dogs! She also LOVES black olives and would eat an entire can if given the opportunity.

Favorite book: Llama Llama Nighty Night (referred to as the “Potty Book”); she can quote the whole board book by memory now but will only do it when she feels like it.

Favorite song: Cocomelon’s Itsy Bitsy Spider and Shake It Off is making a comeback. She’s also on a Little Bunny Fufu kick.

Favorite show/movie: A few months ago I would have said Wreck It Ralph replaced “Pan!” in her heart but more recently she is on a big Cocomelon, Netflix’s Leap (ballalina movie as she calls it), Cinderella and Mulan kick. She is also anti-Moana and doesn’t want to watch it.

Favorite toy: her dolls and all things princess related. She enjoys playing with the American Girls dolls and towing her favorite one around. She’s also on a Cinderella kick and really likes Gus Gus the mouse (and received a stuffed one for her birthday!)

Favorite activity: coloring or watching a show. She favors black and brown and will take the time to color the enjoy paper or ornament before she’s done; she’s also the most willing to sit and watch TV, much more than her siblings. She also loves to play pretend napping, with her dolls and sisters using blankets and pillows on the floor.

Hand dominance: right hand

Dislikes: sleeping by herself, some sweets and being cold

Favored Parent: she’s a Momma’s girl for sure!!


Emerie Faye – the helper

Height: 38.2” (76% in height)

Weight: still hovering around 30 pounds (37% in weight)

Our little Baby B has turned into quite the sweet little girl. Emerie is such a helper and very willing to share with her sisters (when asked and even on her own accord) as well as clean up toys and get dressed on her own. She loves playing with blocks and building things, her purple monkey (seemingly named “Monk”) and her cabbage patch doll Sadi and loves to play pretend with them. Her towers continue to grow in height and she insists she doesn’t need help on them.

Emerie is a complete water baby and would live in the bathtub if allowed. She often gets an attitude because she doesn’t want to share her water from the spout and will fight for it at all costs! One of her favorite things is floating the wavy river at H2Oasis, near an adult but freely by herself in the water!

Patching the past six months has greatly improved; now that she is older and better understands rewards and obedience, we are able to get more time each day than when she was younger. I find that she’s a little more timid when we go places wearing it, but for the most part will still run, climb and slide at the playground. Instead of pulling it off immediately, she will ask when it’s time to remove it and wait until we say yes, which is SO helpful. The past few weeks the patch’s new home seems to be on Grandma Sue’s leggings, while she is wearing them no less, after she takes it off herself. Silly girl.

Emerie loves to read the entire Llama Llama Nighty Night book from memory; she loops one of the pages twice and it’s very endearing. She can recite her own name as well as both her parents, Grandma Sue, Papa Cliff and Uncle Will and Aunt Manda. She likes to remind her sisters not to run in the parking lot and is the only one of the three we don’t have to worry about darting out in front of a car.

Favorite word/phrase: I do it myself! and I want to sit in the middle! of the car, where she is definitely the best behaved.

Favorite food: she always downs her berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) and as many pickles as available. And does snow count as a food? Because she is always eating that too.

Favorite book: she seems to favor the That’s Not My Llama book and most other Llama Llama series books. She randomly likes to read “Tyler book” from Christmas.

Favorite song: Jesus Loves Me or Dave and Ava’s Lola the Cow

Favorite show/movie: Pan (Tangled) and Cocomelon

Favorite toy: it used to be her tiny monkey but lately monkey is getting a little less love while she plays with “my purple sloth” and stuffed Olaf. She enjoys building with the magna-blocks and making towers all by herself or adding a handful of Little People into them.

Favorite activity: building towers, reading books one-on-one with you and wrapping up her Cabbage Patch doll Sadi and carrying her around.

Hand dominance: right hand but sometimes left

Dislikes: she will plug her ears at loud noises and her patch. She’s also in a kick right now where she doesn’t want to feed herself and wants someone to scoop up the food for her.

Favored parent: she plays pretty evenly between both of us


Reagan Jean – the comforter

Height: 39” (90% in height)

Weight: 32.6 pounds (70% in weight)

Miss Reagan still appears to be the tomboy of three and I’m interested to see how that plays out. She isn’t a huge fan of dress up, other than the occasionally sparkly tutu, and really likes to “drive” the four wheeler with Daddy. She plays with her cars and construction equipment the most and went through a phase of always ensuring one was in her coat pocket. She LOVES play dough and can sit at the table for an hour making shapes. Her coloring masterpieces are getting fancier by the week and several are hanging on the fridge once she agrees they are finished. Reagan loves playing at the water park; or, you know, running away from you there. She is also a girl after her Dad and Grandma Sue’s heart and loves any and all sweets.

Reagan expects you to focus if she is speaking to you and after a year will still hold your face in her hands and speak nose to nose. She concentrates when explaining a story and thinks out what she wants to say. She has mastered the art of getting dressed and will put on pants, socks and shirts without needing much help. If the pants have back pockets she will put them on backwards so she can use them- how well thought out is that! Toward the end of every evening, becoming tired equals a burst of energy and she often wants to climb all over everything (us) and irritate her sisters as they are calming down for the night. In general it takes her the longest to fall asleep in her bed (or at least to settle) at naps and bedtime.

Reagan continues to be the spontaneous singer and dancer and will often break into both when it suits her mood. The maternal instinct is growing for Rher too, as she now babies her stuffed animals. You will find her walking around the living room with a teddy bear wrapped in a blanket, whispering loving words to it and shushing her sisters because it’s trying to go to sleep! She will tell you baby is tired or baby doesn’t feel good and console it; her new baby doll with matching binkie is quite the hit. She will also bring toys to her sisters when they are upset and pat them on the head when she has to apologize.

Favorite word: why! But it doesn’t sound like why, more like wwwhhhyyyyyyyy….? and daddy fix it.

Favorite food: she is the biggest sweet tooth of the three but also likes lettuce, celery and bananas! She also loves Craig’s sweet pancakes and will eat several of them in one sitting and inhale the neighbor’s homemade lumpia!

Favorite book: the kid Bible and bedtime llama llama books. She loves to recite them for you.

Favorite song: she likes Cocomelon nursery rhymes and sings the ABCs a lot. She is definitely quite the little singer and breaks out into song quite often

Favorite show/movie: Tangled, Cocomelon and Leap

Favorite toy: she favors playing with cars and little people and always has one handy in her pocket; she really likes Daddy’s four-wheeler and her musical “cell-phone”

Favorite activity: play dough, paint and coloring – she is always asking to color, use markers, or paint something. She also really likes to decorate cookies and pretend cook her cake and cupcakes.

Hand dominance: right hand

Dislikes: being told no, having a voice raised in her direction, tags on any of her clothing and dress up

Favored Parent: she’s a Daddy’s girl all the way


So how are they different?

A perfect example of how different they all are- look at their magnetic block creations! Reagan really likes to make flat, 2D puzzles and strategically choose which color goes where. Harper generally makes a big stack and then runs off with them or demands more help from an adult. Emerie will start with one 3D square and collect little people to add to her castle as she expands it across the table or up to the sky. At some point, if no one destroys the creations, they usually end up all connected in some way or in a huge pile on the floor.

When we first overcame the fear of the loud four wheeler, everyone fought over sitting on Daddy’s lap for an excursion around the neighborhood. Now Emerie prefers sitting backwards on the sled and look at me while Harper and Reagan both like to “drive.” Harper discovered it’s fun to sit on an adults lap on the back of the actual four wheeler and look out too.

Everyone responds a bit differently to discipline. Reagan will straighten up with a stern voice in her direction much more than the other two will, Harper often needs a time out to miss the current activity, and Emerie responds to a combination of time-out and spanking, although she ends up with both a lot less often than her sisters. All three respond really well to positive praise and a reward system.

But not everything is different- of course there are also similarities to raising three of the same age at the same time. Everyone likes to sit in the middle car seat and fight over it, with Emerie the best behaved of the three during rides around town. Favored activities include the trampoline park, sledding, playgrounds, neighborhood walks, swinging (yes it needs its own category), baking, play dough, arts and crafts, anything with buckets and scoopers and pretend play. Everyone loves to play in the bathtub and make a huge mess on the bathroom floor. They all LOVE trash truck and snowplow visits, seeing forklifts at the store and helping hold things in a shopping cart. Moose sightings are a huge deal and worth talking about for days. Everyone loves their designated colors and fully believes they should never have to share something that is “their” color, including silverware and dishware, clothing and any type of toy/stuff animal that is pink/purple/teal. All three love to FaceTime with family and hold the phone themselves, hogging it as much as the parents will allow and running off with it to hide.

When asked what they wanted for dinner on their birthday, the overwhelming response from all three was cake!! In future years I plan to let each kiddo choose dinner one night over the course of the birthday week, but for now how can I refuse such an excited response! For the record, they didn’t each as much cake as you would have expected them to over birthday week! They did, however, pick the icing and berries off said cake.

Since you all know how smoothly the actually birthday went…we managed to finish prepping for a jump park birthday party last Sunday and it was pretty much a twin-fest up in the park for the morning. Later that night we attended our rescheduled dinner to Red Robin. The waiter and crew sang happy birthday Red Robin style and Harper, being a mini Becca, was super embarrassed, turned red and stuck her tongue out at everyone while Emerie and Reagan smiled and watched the charade with amusement. Everyone enjoyed the ice cream sundae and sprinkles.

We continue to open random presents we’ve forgotten about and it has really become a birthday week. I still can’t believe we are now in age three!!

Top 12 for Age 2

Since the lovely quarantine kicked off right at their birthday last year, I thought it would be fun to do the top twelve photos of each kiddo at age 2, so here we go! This was originally a top ten, but of course I couldn’t decide which ones or possibly narrow it down to that number so top twelve it is.

So here are a few favorites throughout the year, in no particular order, for those of you that don’t get to see us all the time or don’t live locally. Lots of personality and attitude coming…

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Unknown

I couldn’t resist a side by side comparison of birthday # 2 with birthday #3. Check out the difference!!

Harper Anne

Emerie Faye

Reagan Jean

It’s crazy to see how much smaller they were only a year ago, with so much less hair on their heads and words in their mouths. I can’t even imagine how many more changes we will have over the next year.

Upside Down

Snack time

Well as you can imagine has been quite a busy past two weeks. What I alluded to on my last blog was a change from normal, daily routine to Craig and I working full-time while juggling childcare ourselves and trying to figure out how to go forward; this occurring without any notice or ability to plan ahead accordingly. I imagine this is exactly how many families felt in March, with daycare closures with no notice due to the COVID-19 virus spread. Our daily life didn’t change that much from that shift because of our set up, but is changing now. Props to all of you parents, because I still feel like a stressed out, scrambling mess and it’s been almost two weeks. Two hard weeks.

Craig and I are both working from home and alternating who has the kids throughout the day so that we can make meetings, answer emails and complete workdays. Getting early morning hours in before the girls wake up, working through nap times and into the evenings allow us to get a lot done; but as you can imagine, makes for very long days, both mentally and physically. Longer than our normal long days, the ones we’ve had for the last two years. Oh, did I mention we also have three toddlers in the house? Yeah, that too.

Park time with Mom; exploring new playgrounds

I ventured to the park completely solo one morning last week. That marks the first time going completely by myself and not meeting anyone right away; surprisingly the girls actually did pretty well. They played in the area that I started them at and let me change a diaper without the other two running away. Everybody even played nicely. Now this is not the normal park adventure, usually Harper is running away from me with a big, defiant smile on her face and bringing her sisters along for the ride. This particular adventure alleviated some of my concern taking them by myself somewhere (that is not fully closed off or contained) and surviving. They wore their backpacks that have lovely, little handles at the top and I left the leashes inside, just in case I needed to break them out. But I never did!

There isn’t much time to blog about recent, random things happening in our household, but I have managed to record a few. For example, Reagan slammed Harper’s hand in the back door one afternoon. When I said to go say sorry to your sister because she’s crying with a hurt hand, Reagan tried to blame it on the door. That is funny now but I’m sure in the future it will get old, really fast. If someone bonks on the table, which happens often, another will go over and pat the table and say not nice! We had our first smashed drywall event in the dining room (surely won’t be the last one!), this one from Harper accidentally pushing a chair off the table onto Reagan and hitting the wall. She was definitely trying to climb up and pushed it over with her head and back. That resulted in three screaming toddlers but luckily no injuries.

The girls now repeat ready, set, go to each other and say bless you after a sneeze (occasionally). They also announce burbs and farts to anyone who might make those sounds. We are still working on thank you, but they will say please if they really want something; clearly they understand its meaning.

It feels like half my time in a day involves looking for the third of any object, whether that is a sippy cup, a third stuffed animal that someone insists they HAVE to have now that they like them, or a third set of shoes so we can go outside. Either way, I’m always looking for the third of something. I can’t imagine this will get better anytime soon!

We are finally latched on to stuffed animals- Harper has a pink plush bear and Reagan the same in white. Much to Emerie’s dismay, we received them from my original baby shower and do not have a third. She occasionally loves on her plush elephant- this week we pulled out a big from the out-of-sight stuffed animal bin and she has really taken to carrying it around, feeding it and snuggling with it in her crib. The next step will be to remove the binkies at nap and bedtime, with the hopes the animals will provide enough comfort to replace them. I also order THREE of the same bear and plan to seamlessly (and sneakily) swap the current stuffies out and hope they don’t notice. We will see.

Personality traits are on the rise.

The past week Emerie is on a mean streak, which isn’t her normal, and is quite grumpy. In addition to being unkind to her sisters (frequently in the afternoon), she has started making little whining noises when she doesn’t want to do something, we’ve had one day with no nap (almost two) and she managed to hide her main glasses somewhere in the house, not yet to be found! In fact, we’ve regressed a bit on the glasses wearing and are once again taping them to her face. This is more because she dislikes the pair she has to wear until we find the other ones. The only real improvement this week is her asking to take her patch off before hiding in a corner and doing it anyway. This is a big step and we are trying to reward accordingly for asking permission first. Other notable cute things are her requests to color and pretend time with her animals.

BFF time at the park. Loooove this photo!

Reagan is on a very emotional streak and quite a bear some days. She wakes up grumpy, is immediately missing patience and frustrated very easily, and wants attention allllll the time. It is making being at home constantly more difficult than usual for sure when one of three is attached at the hip. But on the other hand, she is napping well and talking up a storm!

Harper is still on her anxiety streak, freaking out in her crib when she wakes up and wanting to be close to Mom and Dad. About half of every night involves me sleeping next to her in the guestroom, with Craig settling Reagan if she is disturbed by her sister and Emerie sleeping through like a pro. She’s still waking up early but does so much better when Craig is working downstairs; not sure why but she will sleep past eight when he’s home! She is also talking up a storm and adding new verbs every day.

Please reach out if you’d like to do a park date! That is our sanity during the mid-morning chaos, a way to let the house be quiet for a little while for the working adult, and a safe way to get out of the house while social distancing and still enjoy some adventures.

Books and Water Fun, but not Together

While some of our toddler friends are now using full sentences and it mildly blows my mind, the girls are using multiple words relating to things but not quite stringing verbs yet. That doesn’t mean they don’t increasingly comprehend things, and new words pop up everyday.

In fact, all three are now singing the ABC song all the way through, and naming off the letters up to “K”. One will often start the song with a few letters, and the next will pick up where they stop. They seem to prefer the alphabet far more than the numeric system. Major credit goes to Nanny Chris here, whose been singing them the song for months now and it’s slowly and unknowingly seeping into their brains and out their mouths!

At the end of each weekday, I almost always have this conversation with Emerie:

(nanny walks out the door to her truck)

E: Nanny?

Me: Yeah, nanny is going home.

E: Buh-bye?

Me: Yeah, you will see her tomorrow!

E: Pricey?

Me. That’s right, she is going home to see Price (her husband).

E: Price… Nigh-night?

Me: Yes, she’s going home to see Price and go to sleep. You guys make her run around all day

E: Buh-bye (a little sadder)

I feel as if this interaction almost qualifies as sentences, or at least a fully comprehended conversation between myself and my two year old.

At the dinner table the other night we did a word quiz and surprisingly, they pay way more attention to your words than I even realize. I pointed at things all over the room and they knew all of them, such as TV, clock, fridge, window, outside, curtain, plate…and the list goes on. They are getting really good at knowing their foods, and will ask for mango, broccoli, avocado, or noodle! Any day now they will be stringing some verbs along with those nouns, and for now I will count my blessings that they haven’t learned the word “why” yet. Not sure how we will survive that one times three.


This past weekend the warm weather allowed us to break out the mini pool and toddler sprinkler. To date the girls haven’t experienced the frigid, cold Alaska water that we all grew up running through and swimming in. So far this summer and last we filled up everything with warm water from the sink or bathtub and lugged it outside. This especially works well on cold days, when warm water in the water table allows the girls to play with it but not have freezing little fingers and toes.

First sprinkler!

Interest was peaked when the sprinkler toy began to fill with water and shoot upwards, but they were unimpressed at the temperature and ran away, shrieking cold! After a few minutes and lower water pressure (so it wasn’t spraying above their heads), they entertained the idea of playing with it. Harper was the least excited to be cold and mostly stayed at the warm pool. Emerie and Reagan tackled the adventure eventually and stood in it after a bit. It was so cute though and in no time they will all be running through it like crazy kids, just like we did growing up.

And yes, you better believe they are all wearing princess crowns and water shoes for their water experience. Weirdly enough, three crowns came in the box with the sprinkler.

Kid BFF Paris and Mom BFF Janelle joined us for the fun and beautiful weather. Throughout the play session, Paris kept randomly dumping water over Emerie’s head and she made such angry faces in response, without a sound or cry. Not sure why Emerie was the main target for the day, but her reactions were priceless. Paris also managed to fling it at me as well, and a lot on herself! All in good fun and the entertainment lasted almost two hours.

Two things I want to note about visits from Aunt (Auntie!) Janelle and Paris. One, the girls swarm to her and Mom becomes a form of chopped liver. Personally I think this is fantastic, because the hundreds of hand!! demands are all directed at her, requiring hand holding down the slide, when jumping off the bottom step or the picnic table (safety first people), or for running around the yard. It might get a little difficult when all three insist on a hand immediately; and well, she only has two arms after all.

Secondly, it appears the mean streak is stretching out from simply torturing each other when tired and grumpy to trying to torture Paris. All three are picking up on how to push her buttons, much like an older/younger sibling relationship, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a little hilarious (if it wasn’t quite so mean). We are still working on not throwing toys at each other, and Paris realizes the threat of a toy lifted over a head probably means it’s coming for her face, and she reacts accordingly (I mean who can blame her?!). Well, now the girls, and by that I mean mostly Harper and Reagan, menacingly hold up a toy and will chase her with it, just to be upsetting and get a reaction. We are working on that one and some timeouts are in order as a result…because like it or not, they are going to grow up liking each other. And Paris shouldn’t have to wear a face mask or helmet at our house to keep herself safe…


Big girls!

I am excited to report we are finally entering the book stage of toddler hood. Both Craig and I like to read and considered it a hobby prior to kids. I grew up reading the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Angelina Ballerina and Madeline, and am excited to raise my girls on them as well. I may or may not already have a large set of Nancy Drew books in a box for a few years from now… While we are obviously not to that level of reading yet, but it is a goal to get the girls interested in books so they will not only thrive at it when older, but enjoy it as well. This is a beautiful state to live in, where you can sit at your window and read a book, enjoying a beautiful view of the mountains and outdoors. I have a lot of memories doing this at the cabin growing up and hope to pass a similar experience down to my kiddos (might also need to find a cabin- not the point…).

Books in the Douglas household in the past two years have been used for many things but none of them for their actual intention. They’ve been paperweights, weapons, chew toys, and table stoppers, not readers! Until very recently, the girls wouldn’t even sit through three pages of a book, generally because one would steal it from you and run away, or smack her sister with it and induce crying, or get bored and wander off. The only successful story is at bedtime, with everyone crib captured, and even then they coached you through it the entire time or scream until you get to the monkey page.

Pre-dinner book time

I recently ordered a few cute books relating to hot topics in the house, specifically monkeys, ducks and puppies, and they are a hit. We are implementing book time at the dinner table while they are strapped into the boosters and we prep their plates, and for a few briefs moments they will flip through them and exclaim monkey! Or quack!

The other night everyone sat with me on the couch and we read an entire book about excavators and work trucks. An ENTIRE BOOK. It only took 27 months to get there…I’m excited and look forward to the many times we can cuddle up and enjoy a good book.


Other random updates so far this month? Emerie now has four bottom molars…no idea when the last two came in. Reagan and Harper are still working on theirs and Reagan’s chipped front tooth is still sensitive.

Harper has tread marks on the side of her face from falling off playground equipment and catching her face on the rope climber. She is also still resisting sleeping in her bed in the early morning. She is starting to love her baby dolls.

Reagan has two skinned knees, which reminded us to put band-aids in the diaper bag from now on. She handled it pretty well though! She still takes the longest to settle at night, but is sleeping great overnight. She is not afraid to pick up bugs and get dirty!

Emerie has made it through the past few weeks without injury, but will constantly remind you of her pinkie finger owie. At some point the nail will fall off. She is still sleeping like a CHAMP. She likes to carry around bags or purses or pots of things and show them to you.

Everyone likes to spend the days outside…including the Nanny!

All of the Glamor

You know what’s hard? Parenting. Raising nice, obedient, intellectual children in a high pace, technological and diverse everyday environment. Making sure they are healthy, safe, and comforted each and every day, that they get enough attention and one-on-one time, and grow and thrive.

The past week has been more challenging than our normal triplet life and not something that is depicted on my usual cute and happy social media posts. Which brings me to a point of irritation for my week: social media. It is great to sharing your life and updating multiple people simultaneously and be able to look back on prior years’ activities, but it glamorizes so many things that realistically aren’t. For example, Facebook and Instagram posts that show smiling babies, cuddled up with one another, with clean houses in the backdrop and parents nicely dressed, with perfect hair, clothes and makeup…everyone is smiling.

This is more realistic!

Can I call BS on this for a moment?! Not that those moments don’t exist, but they are not the everyday norm, whether you have one kid or three or seventeen! In fact, I really do understand the effort it takes to get a cute photo of three toddlers together, with no one blurry or screaming or looking away, and it usually involves me as a sweating mess by the time they are all camera ready and cooperative.

Don’t get me wrong, I post more happy and uplifting things on my accounts than any of our hardships, since the happy memories are easier to carry in the long run and especially in hindsight. But sometimes I want to see the messy photos from people- because we are all going through things, especially now. I want to see the struggles and how they are overcome! That’s far more valuable to me than a bunch of perfect, unrealistic (but very cute!) photos. We should want to remember the treacherous and highly active life we are experiencing; someday we will look back on it proudly…because we made it through! Is that so wrong?

Raising children, let alone multiples, is not glamorous or for the weak of heart. It requires a ton of energy, patience, dedication and sacrificing hobbies, sleep, socializing and often your sanity to get through each day. It’s survival mode, with one task following the next all day long and sometimes no time to enjoy the good moments. It can be very lonely, with not enough time in the day to say hello how are you, even by text, to other people who don’t generally reach out to you to say it.

Grumpy Harper

Now I wouldn’t trade my life as it stands today, but I wouldn’t mind it being a tad easier from time to time and like any parent, sometimes need some support. It can be frustrating to see other’s “perfect” lives, or at least the ones they want to show, on display. Now I definitely have my moments and tend to provide others with my “highlight reel”, but who really wants to see what the chaos is really like? Anyone? Besides me?

My day to day optimism is running a bit low these days, and while I don’t agree that talking about difficulties is the same as complaining about it, I venture to say this is what raising three toddlers really looks like.

Someone is always upset…it’s rare to have three happy at once although it does happen occasionally (and I try to be camera ready for it!). Typically they rotate on the fits. Recently Harper, who was inconsolable the entire weekend and cried for about three days straight, is slowly starting to improve in mood. Crying, whining, more crying and a lot of wanting the opposite parent who is holding her, about 100% of the time.

We checked her ears, any potential new teeth, looked her over head to toe and asked her about any owies, and are now just guessing she is simply anxious or in a major developmental growth spurt and trying to figure out how to manage it. We initially thought it was 1) a fear of airplanes flying overhead, 2) loud noises like airplanes flying overhead, 3) the wind hitting her face/hair, and the current guess is 4) anxiety of parents out of sight or a fear of the dark.

A not-perfect photo that depicts my day perfectly.

Mid last week she started with running in the house, crying for some unknown reason and not wanting to be outside, to insisting on attention 1000% of the time or continuing the total meltdown, to refusing to stay in her crib and immediately climbing out unless you were within eyesight. Prior to last Friday, she had never climbed out of her crib or attempted to, even after seeing Emerie and Reagan do it, and enjoyed playing outside without any issues. The normal nap time routine meant setting Emerie and Harper in their cribs, turning out the light with the sound machine on, putting Reagan down in the guest room bed, and crossing your fingers they all blessed you with a full, two hour nap. Fast forward to this week- we are surviving nap time with Nanny Chris laying down and settling Reagan in the guest room and me taking my “lunch break” and sitting in their room until they both fall asleep. Harper will emotionally instruct me to “sit” on the sofa in the nursery, and then immediately falls asleep, knowing I am sitting there. She then continues to wake up hysterical and occasionally we can coax her back down, but not most of the time. Emerie, my sleeper, will chats herself to sleep and mostly nap through Harper’s outcries. The double adult method is not preferred, to say the least, but we haven’t been able to resolve her stresses.

The mood disruption also means once of us must sit in their room at night, until all are completely asleep, because you can’t get up and sneak out after an exhausted Harper falls asleep, since the other two sense your movement and want to go with you. The past two nights I’ve spent two-plus hours past 2 AM, sitting and reminding them I am nearby so they’ll go back to sleep in their own beds. Sufficive to say, sleep patterns are not going great in the Douglas household right now, in addition to upset babies during the day and our usual busy routine.

As we navigate through another unknown of toddler hood, and pray the other two don’t step into it with Harper, toddler beds are now on order (unfortunately) and we are slightly scrambling to determine what other baby proofing needs to occur. Closet doors need to be purchased, painted and installed, more baby gates to block off other not babyproofed rooms, decisions on how to rearrange nursery cameras out of reach, those types of details that must be solved while still handling one upset and needy toddler AND her two sisters; all during a global pandemic that almost completely limits any support from outside our household.

So yes, even writing this made me tired, and it isn’t exactly joyous and uplifting; but hey, this is real life. Saying it’s hard is okay, because life isn’t easy or perfect and parenting three can be chaotic. I would not agree if you told me that my life was chaos- in fact people have told me that before and I semi-take offense to it. Why? Because my life is routine, routine, routine. It is very regimented. The minor (and major) interruptions are what we have to get through, because it is just a phase and we will get through it. We just might be a bit more tired during it…

So please…take a nice nap for me on this long holiday weekend, and send some extra patience our way. I think we are going to need it.

Have to end on a cute photo at least- Emerie, Reagan, Harper