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.
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.
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.
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)
Me: Yeah, nanny is going home.
Me: Yeah, you will see her tomorrow!
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s ironic to be talking about giving the girls more freedom at home, when everything going in across society seems to be restricting access to basic amenities we are used to. What an interesting time!
Last weekend we tried opening up the living room “play jail” and freeing the girls to explore the rest of the room and main floor, and be less supervised than in prior months. Of course this meant blocking off the stairs, rearranging some furniture and baby proofing newfound opportunities to get into stuff.
The first thing requiring baby proofing was the fireplace. That took t-minus five seconds before Emerie tried to open it up and test out the charred wood. She, of course, shared this new find with both sisters. Needless to say, it now has a child proof lock on it.
The diaper changing area is full of fun things to play with that are not for kiddos. A favorite is the temperature taker and ear checker. These moved up higher until we put things back. The sock and diaper drawers seem to be quite the messy hit as well.
Any surface that can possibly be climbed on was moved out of range. No more end table and lamp. Thankfully it’s more light out now and we can go the summer with less lighting. The wooden bin “bookshelf” is distanced from the reclining chairs, as it was way too easy to reach and resulted in three children constantly climbing on it. It’s also easier for the girls to access the bins, which is actually a time saver because they will put boots on and their coats (with some help).
Because the front living room windows are now within acceptable toddler range, the girls appear to understand the concept of outside versus inside. They will tell us when they see something outside, and especially like four legged visitors (moose) that creep right up to the window and when Mom and Dad get home and come in the front door.
Earlier in the week we finally had warm enough temperatures to walk the neighborhood (yay sunlight!). I asked Emerie to get their hoodies out and she proceeded to get one at a time from the bin and bring them to the corresponding sister- the teal one for Reagan and pink for Harper. Then she grabbed the white one for herself (since we don’t have it in purple and she knows that). She called their names as she delivered them. So stinkin’ cute.
After the weekend we put the baby jail back for the nanny. She ended up just blocking off the fireplace and hearth and opening up the rest of the living room all day. Big step! So far everyone is still going strong…the kids AND the nanny!
Now if we can just get them to stop standing on the chairs, licking the windows and screens, and pushing each other off the furniture. Oh and running out the front door, which Harper did the other day. Apparently she wanted to spend the night with my favorite “nanny”.
Fingers crossed if we have a two week quarantine (however that actually plays out), that it will start feeling like spring outside and be warm enough for outdoor kiddo adventures. Please please please!
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?
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:
You can’t spoil babies, but you can toddlers!
Toddlers generally just want to be near you and have that personal attention (this is a lot harder with 3!)
Bring on the mischievousness.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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!