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!

Whirlwind Week with Family

It’s been six years since I last saw my brother and his family, who live down in Washington. Six years is quite a long time, especially considering four additional kids were added between the two families since we last saw one another, several job changes and a lot more grey hair (or just less hair in general?!). To make up for lost time and no major traveling during the pandemic, we crammed a TON of things into the past week during their Alaska visit; equally quite a whirlwind of fun.

I’ve looked forward to this week for ages. I love that Craig’s family is not only large and full of a lot of spirit (you know who you are), but also the fact that they are close by in other cities in Alaska, and often travel to or through Anchorage so the girls really know their extended family, cousins, grandparents, and so on. My side of the family is not only significantly smaller in comparison, but the few members I do have are far away or have chosen to live their lives apart from ours and not know the girls. It’s never bothered me to have a small family (one brother versus Craig’s seven siblings), because close friends who love you as part of their family is all that’s really needed and we have many of them! It is also a marriage perk to be brought into a big family dynamic. This week definitely warmed my heart, seeing my brother and sis-in-law and nephews, watching all the kiddos interact and get to know one another, and spending time with my side of the family after so long and introducing them to some of Craig’s side.

After throwing the kids together into forced friendship and insisting everyone are cousins, we stopped off at the park to get some energy out and let the bonding begin, then loaded up into two vehicles to venture out to the reindeer farm for an afternoon of exploration. The weather turned out perfectly, not too hot or cold with sun by the end, some snacks (for the kids and the reindeer) and fireweed ice cream (hated by the boys but enjoyed by the girls), and horse rides! The kiddos especially liked feeding the reindeer, more so this year because of the fence buffer that kept pushy animals from force feeding themselves. Last year the girls were less than impressed at the frenzy of reindeer excitement around them and more concerned about their safety.

While feeding the moose and reindeer were enjoyable and produced lots of preschool conversations and questions; the big, afternoon hit revolved around horseback rides for all, playing in the big sandbox filled with sand toys and dinosaurs, and climbing in the giant tubing and rolling back and forth. The latter was especially fun for Aunt Jenny, who ended up rolling around with a couple kids in tow and a lot of giggling. Reagan enjoyed the horse rides the least of the group for some reason, especially since she was so excited to do it upon arrival. Everyone else was all smiles, waiting for their turns. I am also happy to report we wrangled a driving nap out of four of the five kiddos on the way home.

Another activity of the week, planned since the canceled 2020 trip, was family photos. My excitement for this has spanned two years and is probably more realistic now that the girls are four. Ate age two, it very very difficult to contain the wildness, let alone get them to focus on a camera and smile. So with five kids under eight, four adults, a lot of mosquitoes, and a million promises of Swedish fish gummies and ice cream bites in return for smiles, we managed to get some good ones.

Family photos are always chaotic, but the end product is absolutely worth the behind-the-scenes effort. It is no small task to match multiple kids, redo hair and clothing, and strive to keep them clean until picture time. This is the first time we didn’t drive out to the valley for our summer session, which was a lot simpler logistically! I also realized after our session that we forgot to do a couple with just the girls together and then just the boys together, but in the chaos of it all, our photographer did a great job capturing some precious moments between our families and even pulled some smiles out of the boys.

If you are curious about our amazing photographer, his website is here!

After pictures Jenny and I took the kids over to the jump park, as promised to the boys for a good photo session; after about thirty minutes the girls were completely over the busy day and maniacs from exhaustion. We ended up going home with everyone crying and doing a quick dinner from Taco King and letting everyone calm down. Busy, busy day!

The next afternoon Craig and I ambitiously trekked down to the Kenai Peninsula sans any other adult entertainers (that sounds wrong!), i.e. Grandma Sue, which greatly helped our survival last summer. We now know the key to prepping and packing for a trip is to drop the girls off at preschool for the morning and packing and loading the car while they burn energy at school. This genius plan allowed us to get everything ready to go, the house cleaned and yard trimmed and watered, and on the road by 1:30 in the afternoon. This, however, did not result in a nap on the drive down. It did result in a LOT of snacks and a movie, and we made it all the way into Sterling without stopping.

While my children are definitely bigger sassers and back-talkers than when we did this trip last year, they are also a bit more responsible than their three-year-old selves, making hanging out much easier than last summer. Even in the midst of the “full moon attitude” never ending this month, they are more content running around the yard, playing with buckets of water and nets on the dock, and even minimal movement activities like coloring at the kitchen counter. It is definitely more manageable now to be away from home for a few days, and really great when additional family members are in tow. It is also a breath of fresh air after some previously difficult outings when they were younger and nice to feel a bit more normal.

We spent an exuberant amount of time playing out on the lake and enjoying the sun, riding the jet-skis and getting pulled behind it on the triple-seated float. The girls started out a little tense and nervous on the first ride with me, but by the end of the day were pros and all asking to ride it again and again. It was quite hilarious to hear their shrieks of joy from all the way across the lake, that turned from fear to bliss throughout the day. The boy cousins joined in too and the adults took turns riding in the float while Craig or Miss Becky drove.

Most of the first day was spent outside before the girls actually went into the cold water; in fact, cousins Corbin and Elliot, who don’t live in Alaska, jumped off the dock long before the girls even dipped their feet in. By the end of the afternoon everyone was walking around in it, with Elliot running in circles and jumping off the dock. Harper was quite content reorganizing the rope on the dock and tying knots around things while Reagan and Emerie filled buckets of water from the lake and played with the mesh nets. Cousin Corbin mastered catching the tiny fish around the dock and showing them to everyone before re-submerging them; Elliot was happily jumping off the dock into the water on repeat. Aunt Jenny showed everyone how to direct the kayak (with a rope connected so the water didn’t take anyone way!) and the adults even managed some relaxation while the kids played. It was a really nice, normal afternoon that resulted in tired and tanned kiddos!

Everyone then hung out for family dinner at Jaren and Savaya’s house down the road. The kids mostly played around the yard or demanded to run circles around the fire pit…at least until Emerie fell into it. All in all, it was a wonderful, fun filled day, catching up with family and enjoying the midnight sun.

Our only hiccup that night was Reagan’s puffy eye, which resulted from her full on crash into the bathroom doorknob. It probably deserved some icing, but it happened right as everyone was headed to bed and we didn’t realize it was such a hit until the next morning. That or she just wanted to match Emerie’s left eye, which is still slightly droopy from her May surgery.

Reagan’s fancy eye and ice cream face!
Flowers for her Tyler

The next day we adventured over to a beach in Kenai to play with sand and collect pretty rocks, which were plentiful. The boys wandered down the coastline without a care in the world, checking things out and living the dream. Eventually Keegan ended up catching up to them to bring them back while Jenny and I found some really cool looking rocks. Since the fishing trip was a no go this year and we spent most of our time on the beach least year with great, family survival rates, we made sure to visit at least once over the weekend. Turns out it wasn’t sunny across the peninsula like at our weekend home base, and the girls weren’t quite as thrilled to play in the blowing wind and cold. After additional layers of hoodies and pants from the car, they collected pretty rocks and buckets of sand, flew kites, and picked the wildflowers. Emerie even picked a beautiful purple bouquet for Tyler.

Harper and the squeegee

After the beach adventure, lunch and some chocolate ice cream from the place with the giant cone that we kept driving by, the kids and I loaded into the boat and took a few turns around the lake with our host Joe. Elliot insisted he was having fun as long as he had a strong, death grip on both of my hands and I didn’t move. The highlight on the excursion, which likely looked ridiculous from the shore, was spinning in a few circles, trying to grab a squeegee that fell into the water. No children were injured in its retrieval and the girls thought it was hilarious when it took multiple tries to grab it. Harper then gave it a bunch of licks afterwards and “washed” the front windows as we rode back to the dock. Gross.

Through my normal torture methods, we ended our weekend adventure forcing the family into matching family T-shirts. Becky humored me and snapped some photos with her nice camera and after a week, I finally figured out a bribery candy the boys actually like…gummy worms!

It felt amazing to get out of town and a break from the mundane for a few days. It was also a much overdo family hang out with almost all of the girls’ cousins; we were missing cousin Chatum! The trip demonstrated that each year traveling gets much easier and less stressful than prior years. It’s about damn time!


We ended our vacation week at the Scottish Highland Games festival out in Palmer. Spending nearly six hours out in the sun, it is definitely our longest festival time since the girls were born and getting much easier to explore, entertain and contain the littles without complete parental burnout by the end of the excursion.

The girls sampled half the food at the event, eating dipping dots ice cream, several shaved ice flavors, hot dogs and French fries, and a ton of lemonade. They walked around the entire event, since we didn’t bring the wagon, and were quite the hit in their kilts, which matched Craig’s. We stopped at the bathroom about a thousand times, taking those kilts on and off and on and off. At one point I even dropped my phone in the toilet; after giving it (and my hands) a solid soap scrub, Emerie made sure to announce to the entire festival my mishap. Silly girl.

Harper and Emerie put a fire out at the fire truck with Dad while Reagan watched and all three climbed into the truck, asking the firefighter a ton of questions about switches and buttons inside the rig. I had to force them back out; they didn’t want to get down. We checked out the ax throwing booth, Craig’s favorite, and the girls looked at all the custom made axes. We watched the local dance groups for a few minutes, something that brought out major excitement in Harper, who asked the rest of the afternoon to go back and see them.

The musical entertainment that afternoon consisted of two sets of unrelated twins: the Harptwins and the Volfgang Twins. It was so random! We wandered over to the stadium before the show and took a photo of everyone- the girls were shy and unsure about adults that look identical. I’m not sure I’ve ever met identical adults that dressed the same and it was a fun experience. I mean come on, how cute is this picture!

After spending the whole afternoon in direct sunlight, the girls didn’t fight sitting and watching the Harptwins’ show. Camille and Kennerly, on their second visit to the Highland Games, had a set full of twin jokes and sarcasm that was quite entertaining. They joked they mixed up who stood where on the set and that the audience didn’t appreciate all that effort…since you clearly can’t tell them apart. Harper was happy to sit on my lap and watch them in action on their harps; Emerie and Reagan eventually wandered off for another potty break and then face painting.

It was the first time I sat through any type of show since becoming a mom and much overdue and welcomed. The Volfgang Twins came out for the last several songs and the girls made it back with fancy face paint to watch them play on the big drums. By the end of the show we were all tired and loaded up and went home.

All in all, a great week of memories with family, friends, and adventure ❤

Kickin Off the Summer

The Douglas household was fully embracing summer by the middle of May. A little optimistic, maybe, but also a nice break from the dreary and cold winter and spring. Harper’s obsession of shorts and dresses has passed to the other two and everyone now strongly demands such attire each day, regardless of the weather outlook. Fancy dresses were worn during gardening and throughout the long, sunny weekend.

The neighborhood will often witness three princesses biking down the street, in full-length princess dresses, heels (although they are learning heels are hard to bike in!) and bike helmets. Harper led the charge on the peddle bikes and training wheels and had the process completely down in about two days. For the most part her understanding of breaking is learned, other than when stressing down a “big” hill, freaking out and slamming into a curb. Reagan was right behind her and picked up the peddling a few days later. Her stuffed panda is mandatory for all rides. Emerie has no desire to climb on the bigger bike and races around her sisters on the pink balance bike. Occasionally Reagan will opt to ride hers and fly down the street with her legs out, balancing! We plan to let Emerie decide when she wants to transition to peddles, especially considering her balance is still off a bit from her recent surgery.

In addition to the almost daily neighborhood bike rides, we are back to the constant water play. With dandelions in bloom, custom versions of dandelion soup and tea are the hits of the house. Every time you turn around you find dandelion parts, water, and flower petals. The girls designed some great food off the fallen petals on the floor of Bells Nursery this week. And those are free! A number of bouquet deliveries have also occurred and I can confidently say that our lot has no growing dandelions at the moment.

Another really cute moment during a bike ride last week; Emerie found a field of seeding dandelions on a nearby neighbor’s lot and abandoned her bike to collect them. By the time we caught up to her, she was hollering she found a bunch of wishes! So cute.

Reagan already mastered the art of swinging and while she knows how to do it, she still wants to be pushed sometimes. Harper and Emerie study their sister’s new skill and are starting to do it themselves too. New types of swings continue to pop up on our property thanks to Craig’s creativity and we now have a front tire swing and normal swing, and three regular swings, a trapeze bar and a fancy sun seat in the backyard. This week the girls all learned how to do a back flip holding the trapeze and are so thrilled to show it to everyone.

The Douglas family is also growing again (calm down, not THAT) with the arrival of baby chicks. As shouted at me when arriving home from work to them, we got Easter eggs! We briefly tried adopting some last year but quickly learned the girls weren’t quite ready to be gentle with them (and I might have threatened Craig’s life if we kept them). This time around is going much better. Craig told me he showed all three how to gently help the babies drink water while I was at work; Emerie’s first attempt was more like a shove-the-entire-chick-into-the-water type of “help,” but she will learn. Reagan and Harper are quite gentle with them but enjoy petting their heads more than feeling the scaly feet on their hands. A few have definitely tried to learn to fly in the moment from getting thrown by a stressed out preschooler; none of them have died yet either! When asked what everyone is named, the quick consensus was all names starting with ballerina (Ballerina Emerie, Ballerina Harper, Ballerina Grandma, Ballerina Tyler) or Ling-Fong. Yes, we will work on better names as they get bigger.

We are almost three weeks out from Emerie’s surgery and her eye is straightening nicely. Unfortunately this improvement is tied to a very droopy left eyelid (like her first procedure) and now that she’s a bit older, she has more opinions on it and tells people her eye is closed or that it won’t stay open. She asks to go to Dr. Winkle to fix it too. Her patching and wearing of glasses continues to be a daily battle; she is such a trooper while patched and distracted with an activity and while a bit less balanced, still works really hard to do everything her sisters do while wearing it. I’m thoroughly impressed at how well she handles her wobbles and continues having fun and try to give her credit and praise when it goes well.

A few more girls nights have occurred over the past month and I feel as though they are getting easier to navigate by myself. Maybe it’s because we are getting into a groove; more likely it’s due to the yummy food and ability to chow down on dinner with a movie in the living room, which we don’t do any other time. This week elevated temperatures resulted in a granted ice cream request to kick off girls night before dinner, and went really well.

The three day daycare closure and holiday weekend meant a solid six days with the kiddos home. While exhausting and very stimulating, the girls slept in later than normal due to efforts to tire them out all day, no naps and direct sun beaming down through most activities. Reagan even slept until 9:30 one morning! I’m guessing a growth spurt is right around the corner.

The majority of Memorial Day weekend was spent outside with lots of adventuring and activities. We played at the beach (an Alaskan beach with dry, cold sand!), played with the water slide and pool in the back yard, ran the sprinkler, destroyed the back deck with smashed orso balls, shopped for and planted flowers and vegetables, had play dates with friends, went to the park, explored Saturday market carnival rides, and so much more. The girls continue to be fearless and went down a three tiered slide for the first time. Emerie bonked her forehead on the second trip down and was less than impressed and Megan nearly broke her leg (again) at the same time. Everyone loved the carousel and boasted big smiles throughout several rides. All five kiddos joined Megan on a spinning apple ride and no tears or screaming occurred, much to my surprise. It is very likely all three will be fans of fair rides in the future and that state fair this year will probably cause us bankruptcy; here I was thinking they’d be nervous or hesitant (well Emerie and Reagan anyway- Harper has always had a need for speed!).

Now that summer is here, a few trips are in the planning stages and I look forward to trekking to a couple other towns on the road system this summer. I will certainly have three extremely tanned and super blonde girls in tow for most of it…and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans we get into.

Put Your Back Into It!

The girls attended their first chiropractic back adjustments last week and so why not just take all three at once and save some time?! We loaded up and headed over to where our fellow twin mom also works and let the girls get those growing bodies adjusted.

Harper could NOT stop laughing throughout her turn. I mean full on giggling and she was a great sport, following instructions and holding still when asked. Reagan remained a bit wiggly but overall followed directions as well, randomly giving up a giggle here and there. Emerie definitely displayed her love for her eye doctor more than any other, giving Doctor Hanifen a run for his money and refusing to hold still.

The contained room was full of fun, chiropractic things (like an exercise ball, neck pillows, a spinning chair and a decorative water fountain) that made for great entertainment. The whole “event” lasted a mere 20 minutes, in which you could definitely hear the bone creaks (bone creaks) that each kiddo created during the correct twists and turns by the doctor. All three definitely benefited from the adjustment, and he gave Emerie a few extra moment to address her growing pains, that seem to reside in her legs at the moment.

Everyone had a blast and both parents survived the ordeal. At this age I’m not sure triple doctors appointments are the best choice but they do save time. By the end of the appointment, this is how excited the girls were to be there.

Nothing else too crazy is happening over here this week. The girls are embracing their inner kittens and crawling around the house meowing at each other, quite constantly and it brings them much enjoyment! In the car…I can’t say that is as enjoyable for the parents!

We had a fun girls night while dad went out to throw axes for “dads gone wild”. It was a fun night at home after a very busy work day (in my real life office!). We are starting to get out and about a bit more and wishing the weather to warm up faster than it wants to!

The last week or so Emerie is in an epic funk over wearing her glasses at night. Everyday is an epic battle for patching and actually wearing her glasses and now nighttime is exactly the opposite argument. She demands to wear them in her bed and is furious at any explanation that involves their removal. A couple nights I’ve simply given up and sneakily pulled them off her face once asleep. In addition, she is quite the exaggerator and will comment things like I have a HORRIBLE owie, Mom, and then shows a minor knee scrape under her pants.

Harper is now using the wording “inie meenie minie mo” to make daily life choices and it’s hilarious. You know, picking out underwear or what marker to choose for her picture, all different things! The high heel and dress shoe obsession continues and she constantly sneaks outside to play in the wet grass and snow. A few minutes ago it was ballet slippers.

Reagan is on her usual coloring kick and has been helping me color the 3D Easter house to perfection. I can’t wait to show it off, if we ever finish it! Her biking skills have improved since last fall and she now zooms down the street with Harper on the balance bikes, not quite obeying the stop at the stops signs yet but getting better.

And now I’m off to stuff Easter eggs! ❤

(Four)ces of Nature

For this year’s birthday blog I want to compare and contrast the differences and similarities to my three little minions, who are no longer toddlers and full on preschoolers (that’s for you Sara!). I have to continually resist the urge to keep calling them toddlers, probably because my brain still can’t agree so much time has passed into parenthood.

And while I can’t recall half of the major events and milestones we accomplished this past year, there are certainly a few that are easy to remember.

Age Three Changes

Bye bye binkies

I can’t decide if this or the toddler bed transition was the most significant change in age three. It was definitely a major stresser last spring when we cornered ourselves into taking them away under a deadline. Reagan needed her front tooth pulled and that meant cutting them off for all three, especially considering Reagan was our #1 binkie fan. If you’ll remember, we did an elaborate “binkie fairy” scheme over the span of a week and slowly required the girls to give them away to other babies in need. Looking back this went better than expected and after a month or so they stopped asking for them. The first week or two was a bit rough but we made it through!


Big girl beds

We pulled off this change last August and decimated our wonderful nap time in the process. The girls were very excited to have big girl beds, even trying to help Dad build them out in the garage, but once reality set in, they only slept uninterrupted (all three) maybe two nights since then.


We miss you naps!

The girls were (mostly) fantastic throughout age two at giving us a nap from 1:30 to 3:30 time frame, sometimes stretched to 4:00 but no later than that or bedtime was rough. I believe we earned those longer naps, since they barely gave us any stretch in the earlier days. Age two nap success only occurred when one parent sat in the nursery arm chair, which was okay because it gained two hours of greatly appreciated silence and a strong mental reset for the adults each day.

I remember wondering how we would survive the loss of the afternoon nap and now that it’s happened, it just means grumpier girls in the late afternoon and early evening and longer days, but not the end of the world.

The girls still nap at school, although not as long. We decided pushing it at home wasn’t worth the stress when they wouldn’t settle down and that was a good call, And we still get the occasional afternoon car nap on a busy day- which is amazing- but most afternoon quiet time looks more like this (picture).


New Preschool!

As you all know, we were not drama free on childcare for the girls. We rolled into age three without one altogether, with Craig and I both working full time from home at the same time and Grandma Sue popping in and out from Juneau to keep us all alive and sane. We transitioned to a new place in early July and it has been truly wonderful. The girls adore their teacher and teacher aides and school setting, they feel comfortable and excel at their activities and in the atmosphere, and Craig and I can rest assured that they are treated well and loved while we are at work.


Weekend trips!

I was so excited to do a couple weekend trips last summer and finally felt they might be survivable and (while stressful) fun for the whole family. I undoubtedly looked like a complete basket case (or lunatic) preparing for the multi-day trips (and packing for them), but I am very glad we went and made the memories. The first trip meant set net fishing down in Kasilof for one weekend, with lots of playtime on the beach, fresh air and kiddo avoidance of the questionable “icky” fish. The second went into backcountry Alaska by four wheeler, adventuring to an off-the-beaten-path cabin sans electricity. Everyone made it back in one piece and we will definitely attempt more trips this summer!

Other Mentionables!

Car seat buckling

The girls all buckle themselves into their car seats now. It doesn’t sound like a major life skill, but it’s such a timesaver when loading three kids into the car constantly. This life skill can be contributed to lollipop “encouragement” at daycare pickup every afternoon, but nonetheless is a win in my book! We have come a HUGE way on getting to the car without any random parking lot running and minimal meltdowns in the past year and it’s amazing! Those lollipops also greatly helped in learning our colors…


Surgeries, Patching & a Tooth Pull

As noted above, Reagan had her front tooth pulled back in May and was a rock star throughout the whole procedure, even proclaiming her love for the pediatric dentist who freed her broken tooth. The donut she demanded afterwards indicated her pain tolerance is pretty great for a kid!

Emerie had two Botox eye procedures over the past year, one in June and another last month. As usual she was a total trooper and came out of anesthesia like such a big girl; it’s really nice it’s easier as she gets older! She also continues to proclaim her love for Dr. Winkle and Harper and Reagan both jealously demand to attend her visits. Morning patching continues to be a bit of a fight but overall she cooperates greatly and is such a strong girl.


Covid & Quarantine

It might be fair to say those two weeks were the toughest for the whole year (until I remember working full time with no daycare for five months), although the intense sicknesses around Christmas might be a close second. Timing worked out nicely for our brush with the pandemic, meaning it was deep into fall but not winter and we could play out in the yard while stuck at home. Craig and my symptoms also managed to be a few days apart and that helped tremendously with keeping kiddos entertained (and survival). And, of course, it’s no surprise to say we were thrilled the girls had mild symptoms and felt okay.


More Cousin Visits

The last thing to note is the more frequent visits from the cousins, now that Tyler and Jaren are in easier proximity to Anchorage. The girls adore their cousins and while they can’t seem to ever call them the right names, they constantly request them to come play, pretend call them and talk, draw pictures for their fridges, and carry their photos around the house (and fight over them).

And in case you need me to decipher who is who….Tyler is Tyler, Jaren is Tyler, and Chatum is Jaren. Someday they might get it right….

Tell me about the girls!

Keep in mind that while they are all the same age and mentality, they are all very different. Their likes and dislikes, while constantly changing at this age, greatly vary between the three. It highlights that they are individuals while also sharing many other things together. Here’s are some individual details for each kiddo!

Harper Anne

Harper is an easy going girl that loves to be on the go, speeding on her bike or adventuring around town. She appoints herself the boss a lot and can be stubborn when she thinks she is right on something. She excels at sleeping in her bed, always wants to wear shorts and dresses, and has a love for her ballet flats.

Height/Weight: 42.25″, 37.6 pounds

Favorite Activities: riding balance bikes (speeding around on them really), dance class, anything relating to princesses, and playing dress up. She loves to spend her day in dresses, fancy shoes and a crown and making silly faces for pictures.

Dislikes: anything that moves slowly, the fact she has to wear pants ever, and being woken up abruptly when in her bed. She hilariously dragssssss herself out of bed, limbs not working and mouth sassing.

Favorite movies/shows/music: Fancy Nancy, Rapunzel’s Adventures, and pretty much any princess movie. Her favorite song is “Northwind” from Frozen II, that the mom sings to Anna and Elsa at the beginning of the movie.

Favorite Princess: Aurora and Belle

Favorite Color: black, then pink

Favorite Food: black olives, steak and french fries (pretty sure this is close to my favorites too)

Favorite Animal: When asked, her favorite animals are animals with stripes. In reality, she adores her Little Seal and Big Seal (because we somehow bought the same stuffed animal in two sizes!). She also loves petting her kitties, who have warmed up to her presence after four years.

When asked what she wants to be, she responded instantly, a ballerina!


Emerie Faye

Emerie is our go getter that constantly sings let it goooo or demands we don’t talk about Bruno! She can be introverted and enjoys independent play, being at home and spending her days in Elsa dresses. She adopted the guest bedroom and gets up in the middle of every night to relocate to it, promptly going back to sleep.

Height/Weight: 41.75″, 34.2 pounds

Favorite Activities: Independent play in general, collecting and carrying tiny things around, any water activities (and drowning our bathrooms constantly), building magnatiles, dress up, and watching/coloring anything relating to Elsa and Anna from Frozen. She is a homebody and enjoys staying home and playing, often requesting to go home to play when we are out and about.

Dislikes: wearing her glasses all the time and eye patching in the mornings, wearing socks with her shoes, sleeping in her toddler bed, being outside in the cold, hair bows (usually), and black olives and pizza.

Favorite movies/shows/music: She also loves Frozen I and II and pretty much all princess movies; if she had to choose a favorite to watch, Cinderella and Snow White are towards the top. Hands down her favorite song is Let It Go, which she calls the castle song! PJ Masks is also an up and coming favorite, as well as Encanto and Cinderella II.

Favorite Princess: Elsa and Aurora

Favorite Color: purple, duh! She also has a purple unicorn dress she wants to wear everyday.

Favorite Food: Cheese quesadillas with sour cream. She would eat them every day if allowed.

Favorite Animal: When asked she claimed caterpillars and raccoons (surprisingly), but I would also claim her beloved “Monk” monkey and her stuffed owl are on that list.

When asked what she wants to be, she responded a purple Elsa! Who am I to deny that creativity?!


Reagan Jean

Reagan is our shyest of the three and more emotional than her sisters. She adores all crafting, painting, coloring and cooking and excels at staying in the lines on her creations. She also loves Daddy’s four wheeler and bringing her stuffed pandas everywhere.

Height/Weight: 42.25″, 37.4 pounds

Favorite Activities: Coloring daily, painting, dancing to music (she’s a booty shaker, what can I say!), creating with play dough, cooking with Grandma Sue and taste testing the flour, playing dress up and playing pretend with her stuffed animals. Now that it’s light outside after preschool, she really enjoys playing by herself on the back deck.

Dislikes: sleeping in her bed overnight or being left alone, getting her hair brushed, and her socks not fitting right!

Favorite movies/shows/music: While Reagan likes princess movies, her absolutely favorite is the movie Abominable, about her beloved Everest, the yeti. Sleeping Beauty is likely her favorite princess movie if she had to choose, and she’s also a fan of PJ Masks. Her favorite song is Pink’s Cover Me in Sunshine, which is renamed Grandma’s Song.

Favorite Princess: Elsa and Aurora

Favorite Color: blue, then green, then white!

Favorite Food: Her favorite food right now is hash browns, which she wants each day for breakfast; otherwise cheeseburgers and apples top the list.

Favorite Animal: Without question, this girlie is panda everything. She sleeps with two stuffed pandas every night. When asked her favorite, she responded pandas and bunnies.

When asked what she wants to be, she immediately answered a painter! Given her creativity and artistic ability we already see at age three, this could be pretty realistic.


And some other fun questions to ask, just for memories’ sake!

What are some similarities all three share? What are the biggest differences? Of the three, Harper is the most outgoing by far, Emerie is the most stubborn (if I had to choose one!) and Reagan is the most in touch with her feelings. Harper adamantly wants to go fast ALL the time while Emerie wants the opposite, and Reagan goes back and forth depending on the day. Reagan extensively enjoys coloring in the lines while Harper and Emerie continue their “eclectic toddler style” creations. All three enjoy cooking and baking, but when it comes to decorating things, Emerie is speedy and done in five minutes, Harper goes back and forth depending on her mood, and Reagan will insist you leave her alone until the masterpiece is completed, which may be a while.

What is the biggest personality difference? Emerie is a homebody and loves to stay home. The other two are more up for adventuring. Harper seems best at going with the flow while the other two often whine about things.

Who is the best sleeper? Worst? Harper maintains her status as the best sleeper of the group, which is nothing new for the last few years. She loves sleeping in her bed and being cozy, unlike Reagan and Emerie, who want parents nearby or prefer to wander into the guestroom to finish their night of sleep.

Who is Team Mom and Team Dad? Harper seems to still be on the mom train, while Reagan shifted alliances over the past year from Dad back to me. Emerie, on the other hand, is a complete daddy’s girl now. Everyone continues to be completely enthralled by Papa Lon and adore their Grandma Sue and Papa Cliff. Grandma Anne visited twice last year and the girls still ask about more tea parties. And of course you can’t forget about Auntie Megan weekends, Auntie Janelle visits, and all the new friends that were made this year.

If you ask them who is the boss…who is it?! 100% of the time the answer is Grandma (Sue) is the boss! followed by Mom and Dad and Miss Tawni. We’ve got this down!

Who is the cutest? Um, silly question there, it’s ALL OF THEM.

And I’ll end our fourth birthday post on that fun note. I still can’t believe they are so cute. And four. FOUR! What?!