Wonders of Christmas

This is a little late, but better than never. I’m happy to report our December went off without a hitch heath wise! The girls counted down to the big day, asking how many sleeps remain each afternoon and over and over when Christmas will arrive. That, and when summer will get here, which is a bit farther away considering we just had winter solstice.

The preschool class had a Christmas party the Friday before the big day and cookie decorating was quite the hit, according to the teacher. Emerie decorated her one, completely covered cookie while Harper and Reagan had platefuls of beauties to bring home and display. After a two weeks, they are still sitting on the counter in all their glory, as we attempt to keep sugar to a minimum (since we have sooo many cookies!).

Much of the month, with the crazy shift in weather, was spent staying busy doing all kinds of activities inside. By crazy weather, I mean the close to 70 mile per hour winds in town, to crazy snow drifts blasting off the massive snow piles, and then a dip into negative temperatures; all this equals the girls not wanting to play outside (and who can blame them?!). Since sledding was off the table until conditions improved, we continued to hit up the jump park, visited the play coffeehouse and created coloring masterpieces and art projects at home, almost daily. A number of ornaments were painted, hung on the tree by yours truly, then removed from the tree to become play toys. We attempted Color Me Mine for the first time since last winter and it was a completely different experience than going when they were all three years old. Everyone picked out the same llama planter to decorate and instructed Craig on their color choices. Everyone wanted at least one stamp to spruce up their look. Overall it went quite well; even Emerie took her time and had fun! They finished off the activity with candy cane ornaments- Harper’s became a mesh of green and red, Emerie created a design and Reagan attempt red, white and green stripes. I can’t wait to remake them next year and see what they look like! And, for the next few days, everyone asked me several times a day if their creations were ready for pick up. Silly kids.

Auntie Megan brought over a “pie in the face” whip cream game that was quite the hit with all five kiddos one afternoon. By the end everyone wanted to lose and put far less effort into the battle, knowing the result produced delicious whip cream to sample and spread everywhere. We will definitely have to get another game and continue the kid torture in the future. I’m certain everyone will want to push some whip cream into the faces of several grandparents and uncles!

We spent much of December dressing up, with all three strongly demanding that shirts and pants are unacceptable forms of clothing. At this point in their lives, I’m not exactly sure why I even have a drawer full of shirts, as it becomes a huge task to even suggest they wear anything other than a dress. Luckily it worked out with my overspending on the Christmas outfits, so they had tutu dresses, their fancy “concert dresses” (as they say), princess themed ones and all the normal twirlies to choose from, as well as the festive boots and red ballet slipper flats. Their teachers were told we have HUNDREDS of Christmas jammies to wear, at least according to Harper, after their pajama party at school. It’s not really hundreds, but more than I should probably admit….

The girls visited Santa at Cabela’s and he took time to individually talk to each kiddo, answering questions and smiling for photos. I may have mentioned they needed instruction to sleep overnight in their beds, which he helped me out with! The girls questioned why presents were under the tree mid month- yes, because I’m THAT mom that wants things prepped ahead of time, especially knowing sickness hits our house so quickly- so they learned that only some presents come from Santa on Christmas Eve and others come from mom, dad and grandparents. My theory panned out last year when we wouldn’t have opened any presents otherwise, due to the pneumonia that ran through the adults in the house. Next year I plan to take each kid shopping individually to choose a gift for each sibling. I didn’t try this year, assuming they would pick something they wanted and then lose their minds when it went to someone else.

It doesn’t seem like many kid Christmas shows and movies are a hit in our household, with the exception of the Muppet Christmas, Polar Express and one random Netflix hit that hey, has three tiny kittens in it. We did a week of watching one of the three each night; and the girls were seriously annoyed that the kids in Polar Express don’t actually have names. It’s funny how much this irritates them.

We swapped presents with Auntie Megan and crew on Christmas Eve and as usual, Megan outdid herself for each kiddo. The hit of the afternoon was certainly the color changing barbies, that dunk into water and turn from solid teal to a typical barbie, with skin tones and hair colors. They were thoroughly excited to check them out; Reagan so much she peeled much of the paint off with her nails while sitting at the table.

The girls were wired on Christmas Eve night, especially after opening stockings (stuffed to the brim with randoms I collected over the past few months) and one present. It took a bit to coax them into sleeping, especially so Craig and I could finish the final touches of Santa’s visit and put out a few more of the big presents. Craig spent the afternoon locked in the garage, building the Barbie dream house (Costco!) that had sooo many pieces and I had the presents hidden and waiting for their morning debut. We then filled the dreamhouse with princesses and accessories from when I was a kid (barbie sets from the 90s are way better than now!) and enjoyed a quiet house for a little while, basking in the Christmas ambiance that I truly enjoy every winter.

The girls woke up at a decent hour on Christmas and we somehow convinced the early risers to wait until everyone was up to start. They were thrilled to see bites out of the three cookies, courtesy of Santa. This year presents were far more fun to watch, as less intervention was needed to help open presents. Except when taking apart doll packaging, which takes an army of scissors and patience to pry everything open while excited preschoolers oversee in excitement and demand you to go faster. The girls did quite well playing most of the day, with new toys and with each other, and didn’t even notice the dollhouse downstairs until after lunch. This year’s theme was very girly (shocking), and included mermaids, (pretend) makeup, dance lessons and leotards and new 18″ dolls, with a few other goodies in between. Each kiddo received their own custom music box: Harper a pink ballerina one, Emerie a purple unicorn one, and Reagan a pink and teal mermaid one. This gift might have backfired a bit, as the three separate tunes played allllll afternoon on repeat, and they even managed to remove the windup pins in record time. The boxes now reside in their bedrooms and are not yet filled with treasures, because the music was by the far the most exciting attribute to watch. As soon as presents were opened for the morning, the questions on when is it going to be our birthday and when will summer be here started again, since they know both things occur post Christmas time. I will also say, the kitten (Molly) very much enjoyed the girls opening presents and jumping through all the paper.

This year we ate Christmas dinner instead of throwing it into the freezer for when everyone was healthy again; and Craig’s beef wellington was delicious as usual! Jenny, Keegan and the boy cousins as well as Uncle William brought other goodies and it was a really nice day. The cousins exchanged presents and ran around wild, enjoying the day. The pink, purple and blue sequined stockings were put to work as mermaid tails and are still randomly around the house. It’s wonderful to have cousins close in age that now live close by!

At bedtime that night I asked everyone to share their favorite thing(s) about the day and their most beloved gift. I will point out by this time everyone was way overstimulated and tired, and definitely a bit on the grumpier side of the happy scale.

Reagan (who is definitely long winded like her Grandmother and had all kinds of thoughts about the day- so this is paraphrased…): My favorite thing was opening presents and doing Mom and Dad’s hair and makeup. My favorite present was my mermaid music box, makeup, the dollhouse and new dress shoes from Grandma Sue.

PS. If you allow your “hair and makeup” to be done by your local preschool professional, you can sometimes receive a head massage and nice hair brushing. Not too tough on the sanity and they demand you sit still and not get off the couch. Well played…right?

Emerie (who was extremely ready to go to sleep, covered in her stuff animals and wanting to listen to Elsa on my phone): My favorite thing was opening presents and listening to my music box. AND wearing Pan’s hair headband (a long, flowered braid headband). AND playing with my mom and dad and sisters. My favorite present was the big turtle from Papa Cliff and the big, barbie dollhouse.

Harper (who was past any form of cooperation and crazy raged over still being awake): My favorite thing is nothing! (after further mother harassment she answered better). My favorite thing was playing with the flowers from Aunt Jenny, playing with my new music box and just opening presents. My favorite present was the high heels from Grandma Sue and wearing the black dance leotard.

If I had to choose their favorite items over the past week, the flower set from Aunt Jenny is definitely the winner. They all continue to build custom gardens (and fight over them) and make flower food, flower decor, and anything else they can dream up. The dollhouse has a few visits a day and everyone continues to stomp around the house in their new dress heels (you can guess how thrilled Craig is about that!) while rocking their princess braided headbands. Everyone has already worn the new sparkle pants from Grandma Anne in the next size (sob!). Harper adores her new doll, named Babela (like her last one) and insists on carting her around everywhere and sleeping with her at night. Emerie is now a flower garden queen and always toting a few around. Reagan often wanders downstairs for an hour and pretend plays with the barbie set up.

However busy and dark the dead of winter is, I enjoyed the Christmas season this year. While I am excited for the light on the horizon (for a few more seconds each day!), I find a special place in my heart and mind for the cold, snowy season full of Christmas lights, goodies, friends and family. Maybe that’s the Alaskan in my blood, but who knows. Cheers to a new year!

Christmas Kittens, Anyone?

The past few weeks have been all about the massive amount of snow hitting our city in the past week, in record levels. 41 inches in total officially, but we probably saw a bit more than that at our house! Something that should definitely excite my children, and yet they hardly even batted an eye at each growing foot! When it gets too deep to play or sled in, I guess it becomes a little less fun. From the adult perspective, driving (and shoveling) is terrible but the atmosphere is absolutely stunning. The last few days turned cold and sunny, creative a beautiful frozen tundra look across the city, with frost capped brush. The frost fairies have been busy!

Breaking city snow records is not our news for the month. So if you need to hear about something other than snow and the fact we are in the very middle of the dark, cold, never-ending winter, then here you go!

The Douglas house now has its SECOND set of triplets! Now you all take a deep breath, because it’s not inspired by me (thank heavens!), but our littlest kitten Molly, who managed to get herself knocked up earlier this fall. She’s still a kitten herself, probably around six months or so, and this past Monday she delivered three tiny kittens. A fitting number for us, don’t you think?

This set is definitely fraternal, with one fully black and two tabby orange striped. None of them look like their mother, who is white/grey with some brown. Mother and babies are doing well and they are already growing like weeds. When she’s not tending to her litter, she adamantly demands affection and snuggling naps, which I’m sure I wanted when the girls were newborns.

It is a funny comparison to watch, remembering the tougher, newborn days years back. She will wander off for hours, snuggling on our bed overnight or sitting on the couch with the girls; but immediately treks back to them at a single kitten shriek. You can’t pet anywhere near her stomach or a vicious attack results, because those nipples are raw. I remember that for sure, even just from pumping. She is constantly whining for more food, pointing out when the food bowl is lower than to her satisfaction. Teen moms, I tell you! 🙂

The girls are excited to share them with visitors, but overall we’ve kept them at a distance until they get a bit older and less fragile! Eyes will open sometime over the next week and then they will become more like triplet toddlers- you know, moving around constantly, wreaking havoc and getting into absolutely everything. After that we will let the girls play more a little more.

Harper is telling people we’ve named them Harper, Emerie and Reagan, and the black one is Harper! She of course claims that one since her favorite color is black and pink. From what we can tell the two tabby’s are boys and the fully black one appears to be a girl. Who knows what names they will end up, but it won’t be duplicates of the first triplets of the house!

Reagan also keeps asking how the babies “got out” of her belly. THAT, is a lesson for another day!!

You better believe there will be some up and coming videos and photos of the girls playing with the furry, newborn triplets, once they are more mobile and wild(er). And for now, we will try to keep our household capped at one set of identical triplets and one set of feline triplets and NO sets of future ones…

The Triple Echo

While our family has so many things to be thankful for in our lives, having the kids feeling well for Thanksgiving this year wasn’t one of them. Having the kids feeling well for Halloween wasn’t one of them either, so fingers crossed for Christmas!

By mid-morning on Thanksgiving, and after Grandma Sue flew up here and created a smorgasbord of treats for the day, we made the call to cancel our meet up with the cousins, as to not share the second crud to enter our house in a month. This one is a bit different than a few weeks ago, with Reagan again instigating with the deep, dry cough, but the other two claiming stomachaches (which later turned to coughs). While Harper had no fever, she clearly felt miserable and put herself down for a nap about 11:30. Emerie, on the other hand, seemed entirely fine, but presented a 101 fever that morning.

So while this probably isn’t holiday for the books, we still have so many things to be thankful for. For example, it’s easy to forget how much easier our daily lives are now that the girls are older, and even easier to forget the barely survivable age three. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!

We are also extraordinarily lucky to have generally healthy kids, enough food on the table, a warm roof over our heads, plenty of toys and crafts, and a wonderful life in this beautiful state. The girls have built-in playmates, even when they fight, and are now playing games with one another and letting that creativity emerge. They all love their preschool and teachers and have grown to have many friends. Craig and I are very lucky to have good, supporting jobs (and bosses) and stability and flexibility from them. I am constantly reminded that having a supportive boss, who values family and reality that life happens, really improves and relieves some of my daily stress! Sometimes I get in my own head about how hard life can be, and I have to remember how truly lucky we really are.

Now that we are full blown into sickness #2, the “triple echo” is back in effect. I don’t know if this is a random thing, a multiples or sibling thing, or just a full on coincidence, but the girls have once again started echoing each other. For instance, when one gets up and wanders into our bed in the middle of the night from a coughing fit, the other two may be fully asleep but will join that sister in a quick coughing fit and then just roll over back to sleep. When the escapee (to my bed) has other fits throughout the night, it’s almost like the ones sleeping across the hall copy and cough in sync. It’s actually a bit weird!

It works on longer distances too, but this could once again just be coincidental or the sharing of germs in a similar time frame. This week Harper coughed so hard she threw up; luckily she was already home for the day with a fever and not at school. Within about fifteen minutes Craig received a call that Emerie was puking at school, after running around in the gym. Coincidence or triplet thing?

When the girls were newly home from the NICU, for the first three days they co-slept in the master bedroom and would echo one another in baby speak while completely snuggled in their swaddling and cribs. You might think, awww how cute! But in reality, it literally kept my dramatically overtired mom brain from catching a few zzzz’s, listening for any sound that might be off; and exactly why we moved them into the nursery so quickly. The constant echo would be crazy for two, let alone throwing a third in there and it stayed on repeat all night long.

Pedialite popsicles and a pullout couch (and Bluey) for the win.

Now that they are older, the echo seems to stick to the coughing nights, that and the synchronized puke fests, which do happen upon occasion, even at age four. I could do with less of those! Often I witness the coughing ones in the dead of night, when I’ve fallen asleep in the nursery chair after convincing someone to remain in their own bed. One kiddo will start the cough, fully asleep, and after a few seconds the second will respond, and then the third. It’s weird and it doesn’t always wake them up, and just like that, it’s done.

My last guess is since they’ve grown up together, eat and nap and go to bed together, everyone is just in-sync and don’t know anything else. They dislike doing things alone (like sending only one to school for the day) and enjoy the comfort of their siblings, even during the constant fighting. When one is gone, the others will point out they miss them. They truly can be sweet when they want to be!

So for now, we are probably more than halfway through sickness number two of the winter, and hope to be feeling better by the preschool Christmas concert on Friday that I REALLY want to go to. The Christmas tree went up last weekend and everyone was excited to look at all the different ornaments and hang them on the tree. We only had one mishap with Reagan sidestepping off a chair as she leaned to hang one up. She has a pretty nasty bruise on her thigh now. They were all thrilled to see the ones colored last year throughout the winter, and enthusiastically decorated the lower half of the tree. And now we get to enjoy the holiday ambiance over the next month, since it seems like we will be home for a lot of it, avoiding the sub-zero cold weather and resting up.

Falling into Winter

As pretty much all parents of young children know, Bluey is life. What is Bluey? An Australian children’s television show that supports morals and raising good humans, in the form of blue and tan puppy dogs. While it may be repetitive and get stuck in your head, the story lines nevertheless are wonderful and support good family values, sibling love, creative and respectful play, and good life lessons. We managed to avoid Bluey marathons for at least three years, knowing that the girls considered it special when preschool turned it on, and kept it that way. Eventually, as all parents do, we caved and this show now plays SO MUCH. Even more so when everyone is sick and confined at home until fevers reduce and energy returns. The show has actually grown on me and some of the girls’ games are now played after certain episodes are watched, like “Keep-ee-Upie.” In layman’s terms, this is known as keeping a balloon off the ground. I’m pretty certain a few of our chickens have names based on characters in different episodes on the show (Diddums is a favorite, and Telemicus).

You know they are sick when they snuggle in and don’t move!

One of my favorite words to emerge from the show really fits with our current #tripletlife lifestyle. Harper is on a kick of saying things are difficult: people, sisters, parents, a task, everything. It turns out there is an episode on Bluey where Bingo (the little sister) uses the word “trifficult,” and I’ve decided this fits well in our household that deals in everything triple. It’s meant to be tricky and difficult combined, hence trifficult. We have a lot of bedtime routines that I would call trifficult to a tee; so, very, trifficult. Some evening conversations go like this, as the girls are lying in their beds resisting the urge to finish the day and go to sleep.

Harper: Mom, where do narwhals live? (narwhals became quite a discussion after Craig’s return from his Juneau work trip, where he found a pink, purple and teal one)

Mom: They live in the water. (It’s bedtime, so don’t be descriptive or long winded)

Harper: But what kind of water do they live in?

Mom: Well they live in the ocean.

Reagan: But mom, why don’t they live in the sea? Why the ocean? I don’t want them to live in the ocean! *whineeeee

Mom: Well, the ocean is bigger than the sea. They need their space. (this answer is based on no legitimate narwhal knowledge on my part)

Harper: Awwww, I don’t want them to live in the ocean! I want them to live in the sea *more whining. So then where do we live?

Mom: We live on the land, in Alaska. It’s next to the ocean. (the girls are well versed in their home state and a few cities where family lives)

Reagan: Well then why don’t we go to the ocean then? Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean? WHY? I want to see a narwhal but you NEVER take us. (I now see the trap ensuing)

Harper: Yeah, we never go to the ocean. Why don’t you EVER take us to the ocean?!

Emerie (whose been listening thoughtfully the whole time): Turtles live in the water. I love turtles, they are my favorite. I want to go to the ocean. (Good diversion, kid)

Harper (taking the bait): Otters too, I want to go see otters. And the narwhals, since you never take us.

Mom: How about you just go to sleep. We will go to the ocean eventually.

Harper: My narwhal wants to go to the ocean now; she doesn’t want to sleep. Mom, she wants to go to the ocean. (and it went on from there)

And on and on and on….


Pumpkin carving this year was pretty similar to last year, other than the added enjoyment of Cousin Jaren and Savaya coming over to help with the activity. The girls thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone else clean out the pumpkin guts, but just like last year, Harper was the only one willing to use her hands. Emerie and Reagan “helped” gut with spoons and demanded the adults loosen the seeds to their satisfaction. Eventually they returned to playing and the adults finished things out. Jaren’s puking pumpkin was definitely the winner…if we were competing on designs. The girls thought it was pretty funny.

I also had the joy of watching my children knowingly torture their cousin this time around. For the longest time all three interchange their boy cousins names, but now they are starting to do it on purpose to get a rise out of them. Today in particular, all three whispered to each other go call him Tyler with a maniacal laugh, would shout hi Tyler, and then all run away in overwhelming giggles. It’s funny to know they are purposefully tormenting Jaren now. I wonder where they get that trait from?!


A few more Halloween activities led to more princess dress up and fun. The girls had their annual Halloween party at school, with snacks and goodies and fancy, carved pumpkins. Reagan came down with quite a nasty cough the evening before so she had to miss it, with the doctor telling us that day she had RSV (for the first time at age four…which is pretty good!). She demanded that I take photos of the classroom decorations and that her sisters explained what went down that day. One of the teachers’ aides kindly found a squishy eyeball for her to have like her sisters, which prompted much discussion.

Harper and Emerie gladly wore Encanto’s Isabella (Emerie) and Rapunzel (Harper) AND wore their dress up princess heels, which was very exciting since those are only worn at home. One of the teacher aides asked me what Reagan was supposed to be, which seemed like a strange question until she clarified. The girls were going around telling everyone Reagan doesn’t get a costume because she doesn’t sleep in her bed at night. Well not entirely true kiddos…she doesn’t sleep overnight in her bed, but her staying home sick trumps that! It’s funny how the girls perspective is sometimes.

While the weather temperatures decided to drop for the rest of our fall festivities, that didn’t stop us from attempting them anyway. Extra layers and warm, “cozy (fleece) pants” kept extremities warm long enough to enjoy Trunk or Treat at their school over the weekend. It was not nearly as busy as last year, but the girls saw lots of classmates and friends throughout. I heard a few comments from older kids that those are the triplets. Those triplets are the same age! And so on. I even heard one grade schooler comment that their parents probably never sleep. That’s pretty insightful! So their school celebrity status is still going strong.

Harper and Emerie opted for the same outfits as their school party (plus a pink cape) while Reagan begrudgingly wore Anna, only because she wanted a cape. I sneakily convinced everyone to wear princess gloves, to keep hands warm but also to accessorize! Harper requested her hair be down, which she does at school everyday no matter how it’s styled, Reagan had two braids like Anna, and Emerie rocked her Elsa braid ponytail clip.

Craig prepped the decorations and then headed over early to set up. By the time we showed up, he was pretty cold, and I was sweating getting everyone dressed and into the car! Cold or not, the car looked pretty great and mermaid like. The girls were certainly impressed and tried to grab handfuls of the candy from our bowl, that we were trying to get rid of! So. Much. Candy.

The rest of Halloween weekend was spent at home, resting up from the coughing, RSV ridden and very tired kiddos. We attempted to walk around the neighborhood a bit on Halloween night, simply because the girls were so hyped up about it and have asked me for about 364 days when we could next trick or treat. It was a pretty cold night but mostly snow-less, with the neighborhood really picking up by about 6:30. The cold, crisp air was not doing us any favors; after about a block Emerie and Reagan were blustering continuously and we decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They turned around with Cliff and Craig while Harper and I went a couple more blocks. She is fearless, even without her sisters in tow, and did quite well going up to front doors on her own and ringing the bell. Toward the end of the excursion, she was turning candy down and informing unsuspecting folks she needed the packs of M&M candies from their bowls and nothing else. Silly girl. We trekked over to the fanciest decorated house (with a dragon) and then turned around and came home to warm up the appendages, which were quite cold at that point.

We definitely ended the fall season and threw ourselves straight into winter illnesses with a bang. If we are lucky this will be the worst of it for the year, but since we’ve had snow less than a week and temperatures continue to dip, I’m not optimistic that will happen. I am thankful that this is our first diagnosed bout with RSV- it must be so terrifying for folks that have tiny babies coughing and wheezing like this. It was definitely something we worked super hard to avoid when the girls were still considered preemies, and then with COVID, managed to avoid it until age four and a half. Now let’s avoid it for a few more years please. The week spent at home really displays how much the girls have matured and now play with one another or creatively alone, something they didn’t do nearly as well last winter and definitely didn’t last as long. Not sure how Craig and I would have handled the past week a year ago, so thank goodness we didn’t have to!

We made it through the rest of our sick week with dozens (hundreds?) of Bluey episodes and a lot of princess movies, continuous dressing up (from pajamas to princess dresses and accessories), and a lot of down time. We finally convinced the girls to watch a non-animated movie, Maleficent II, and they didn’t react to the scary bits as much as I expected. And we’ve watching it at least a handful of times; they really enjoy seeing the fairies and all love Maleficent and no longer believe she is the villain of the story.

Craig and I continued to brutally step on the dozens of tiny rocks, ahem “crystals”, that litter the floor of our house from Miss Reagan, who adamantly collects them and using them for everything. If we aren’t stepping on rocks, then it’s the tiny plastic jewelry and sharp edged glass beads that are lying in wait for crushing (skin crushing, soul crushing, stepping on them hurts!). Emerie especially loves to accessorize and the house is covered in beaded necklaces, rings, shoes and other head wear and I can’t for the life of me keep that $hit off the floor!

Reagan now knows what bedtime looks like on the living room clock and will argue if it’s not right at eight when we scoop everyone upstairs. I don’t believe she knows what 8 P.M. actually is, but she knows where the hands sit when it’s the right time. So that’s superrrr fun with an overtired preschooler(s). Other intellectual discussions occurred while at home, and I continue to try to remember to write down Harper epiphanies, simply because they crack me up. The only one documented so far this month is related to the poor kitten getting her tail slammed in the door. Harper’s response? If she doesn’t have a tail, she will no longer be a cat and she will die. Ummm ok? That sounds a bit rough and dramatic. When asked what she would be instead, Harper looked me square in the eye and levelly answered, well she wouldn’t be a cat. Touche kid, touche.

I have to say, watching winter occur from the confines of my own home is far preferable to being out and about in it, so we timed the impending illnesses well for that. The yard looks so beautifully white and undisturbed, mostly because the girls hack up a lung when out in the cold for any amount of time. That and they have no desire to be out there until they feel better, other than for the occasional bundled up four wheeler ride, which is met with just as much excitement so far this year as last. Craig and I are back on the mend and the girls seem to have crushed the fevers, with the cough letting up for the most part. I am really hoping for bedtime to smooth out a little, because triple coughing children after ten days is rough on the sanity, for both the kids and the parents.

Stay warm, my friends. ❤

July Jolliness

And just like that, July is nearly over! The month passed quickly being out and about with friends, hitting work deadlines and visiting with both grandmas, Anne and Sue. On Grandma Sue’s last visit the girls talked her into purchasing their first, itty-bitty sized bras, ones that are actually meant for small, preteen girls. All three were exceptionally excited to wear them around the house one afternoon and agitated they couldn’t wear them to dinner in public! Who knew age four be the beginning of that argument?!

Our 4th of July was laid back, we skipped the parade and events around town and just hung out at home, enjoying the nice weekend. The girls played on the water slide, experimented with every form of water imaginable in the back yard, including ice cubes containing secret gems, and made a lot of flower soups. We all went shopping and one afternoon Grandma Sue and I trekked down to Girdwood for a solo afternoon with Harper, while the other two went with Craig on a park date. All the hang out time at home also allowed Craig to get the chicken coop built in the backyard; the girls even occasionally “helped” him build it.

The following weekend resulted in a couple park visits in between rain and some time spent on the Saturday Market rides. The girls all rode with Craig on the big ferris wheel (not my favorite thing to ride-aka heights), and while Reagan was the most nervous of the three, all shared big smiles as they went around. Emerie ended up yelling from the ground that she could see Craig’s leg tattoo when they were at the top, which she thought was exciting. Everyone enjoyed several carousel rides with Grandma Anne in tow and sucked down some shaved ice and lemonade. It will be fun to see how they do with the fair rides next month…I’m betting we will have to pry them off by the end of the day.

Girls night this month meant Grandma Anne creating a smorgasbord of food options and served the children as they demanded (asked?) for more of everything. Dinner and a show with fancy dresses, fancy hair and a picture! in true Douglet style, followed by sparkling apple juice, fruit, veggies and other delectables.

Emerie, Pella and a TBD named chicken

This month Emerie found a new bestie, whom she named Pella (NOT Bella, she insists), and she lives in the form of a chicken. She’s great at spotting her (lightest feathers) and loves to take the darn thing all over the yard, snuggle her in her dress, and scold her for pooping on the deck. She constantly expects this poor chicken to be obedient and listen to instruction. It’s hilarious to listen to a four-year-old complain that her beloved chicken won’t listen to me and inspires frustration….I wonder what that feels like!

Fourth of July fanciness

One afternoon at preschool pickup, I told the girls I wasn’t feeling well (air pressure change headache). On the drive home, all three informed me that I needed to drink more water, I needed a blanket on while I sit on the couch when we get home; then that I need to make them dinner and eat it. After that, I was told I’d feel better if I went to sleep in my bed and didn’t work the next day. Very specific, but well thought out steps from my four-year-old clan!

As the Facebook world already knows, our kitty cat Rafi was hit by a car in front of our house a couple days after the holiday. While this kind of thing happens in life, we weren’t quite ready to share the concept of death and heaven with the girls, opting to do just that after some discussion. Over the past two weeks we still receive the random questions, such as is the black kitty STILL dead? or does Rafi have to be in heaven?!, things of that nature as they try to work out the new concept in their heads. This whole event taught me a couple things as a parent: 1) the girls are resilient and can handle the truth on some, big life things, 2) they ask insightful questions as they learn something new about life, and 3) they can be very sweet when they want to and care for their animals.

Another insightful tip? Flower daisy bouquets are a HUGE hit in this house. The flowers were intended to be grave decorations, but never actually made it that far. Instead, the girls’ good intentions were side tracked by their creativity, taking their bouquets and creating play food, soups and everything you can imagine. I will definitely buy random bouquets in the future, just to take apart and play with.

Sleepyheads IN THEIR BEDS!!!

For the first time in almost 4 1/2 years, the girls ALL slept six nights in a row in their room, without climbing into my bed or the guest room. While six nights in a row doesn’t sound like a massive accomplishment (a thought I would have had pre-parenthood), it’s huge for this house. It’s about as big as a miracle. It’s been such a long time, with lack of consistent sleep a normal reality for the adults for years now. Harper continues as the rock star sleeper, not even batting an eye at six nights, while Emerie and Reagan remain the challenge to keep in their room, a challenge we are hopefully tackling.

The achievement of five days gained the girls an ice cream shop trip and a goodie! Everyone knew the treat came after school and constantly asked when we were going; Harper and Emerie opted for chocolate ice cream and Reagan wanted cotton candy…every wanted sprinkles.

It feels strange walking into the nursery each morning for school, since I’m so used to creeping around the house with one still asleep in my bed, usually Reagan. I’m holding my breath this trend will continue and that we are slowly getting out of the baby/toddler loop of assisted sleeping arrangements.

Another exciting milestone occurred this month…soccer!! The girls started preschool soccer this week for the first time. This month’s torrential downpour paused for the first night of fun and overall the 45 minutes went about as expected. They all participated in the first five minutes of stretching and it went a bit downhill from there. It is quite cute watching them do jumping jacks!

Harper had her good moments of listening and running back-and-forth, Reagan had her good moments of the same, and Emerie was by far the least excited to participate and opted to stay sitting at Craig‘s feet for most of the session. She found entertainment in wearing all of the portable chair bags rather than running around with a soccer ball like the other kids. At one point she was jumping on top of her soccer ball and falling as it slid out from under her, laughing from the ground. Luckily she found her groove the second night and really enjoyed it.

It’s still a mystery who will want to pursue the sport, but I hope at least one or two of them find a love for it like I did as a child (and adult). Not only is it less expensive than dance and hockey, but it’s a great sport to learn, promotes healthy movement and fun with friends, and one that Craig or I could help coach in the future. Harper has a love of running and speeding anywhere, making her an easy fit to play forward or midfield as she gets older and into a more organized version of it. Reagan had some fun moments kicking her ball and might be able to find her niche too; the jury is still out on Miss Emerie.

Other notables this month include walks in the (never ending) rain, playing outside with umbrellas, ice cream truck visits, picking fresh raspberries, and painting! Once the weather improves a bit, we will get out and about for fireweed picking, blueberry picking and other late summer outdoor adventures. And we all know fall is around the corner…I will try to hold onto one more month of summer before I get excited for the season change!