Egging Us On

Typical Easter routines this year are changed for many families across the country (and world), due to quarantining at home. We spent this time last year at home almost exactly as this year will play out, doing a basic egg hunt for our (then) just starting to walk toddlers, and of course munching on some candies and doing crafts! This year is far more exciting to me, because egg hunting will be a much more exciting experience for the girls.

I purchased Easter basket goodies the same time I bought all the birthday decorations, not suspecting all events would be canceled shortly after. The best part about the girls having a March birthday? All the Easter and spring inspired decorations and cute spring clothing are pink, purple, and teal pastels. Finding things for each color is very easy, including perfect dresses party favors, and gifts for their baskets.

Week three of quarantine slanted toward the calmer side of week one…thankfully. Feeling a little more like my pre-kiddo self- for those of you that don’t know me that means a little more cooking and crafting than I’ve done the past two years- and trying to come up with fun things to do while also accomplishing things around the house (my life goal each day is to stay caught up with laundry and go to bed with an empty kitchen sink). This included fancy brownies (that means with icing), a few new crafts to try, actual cooked meals (usually I defer to Craig, he’s better at it), and getting small household things like vacuuming under the cribs and cleaning up the moose poop in the front yard.

Working from home allows me to hear some of the fun, inner workings of a typical day with “nanny.” At one point I heard Emerie playing along with Chris as she sang the ABC song; each time she paused Emerie would say the next letter. Craig tried that later on that night and she wouldn’t do it for us! Reagan will sing along to the song and Harper is starting to hum different theme songs and she’s pretty good at Baby Shark.

We are working on our numbers at bedtime, reading the same book on repeat, that counts from ten to one with animals and stars. Emerie is convinced all numbers are nine, Harper continues to just throw crib toys at me, and Reagan yells nigh night on the last page. They all love page six, which has the monkeys.

The celebrity items for the week are 1) nanny’s truck, 2) stars (on the nightlight projector, 3) the word “no”, 4) Tay Tay music and 5) chalk. Off and on all day you hear nanny truck! with pointing outside.

A few new house rules, according to the girls, are: 1) Craig is the bottle holder during evening routine, 2) I must sit with them as they drink (these days are numbered, as we should already be off that pre-bed time feed), 3) boots can be worn throughout the day and should never require socks, 4) coats/hats must immediately be removed in the house or total, triple meltdowns, 5) every bath time should involve suction cups or crayons, 6) Baby Shark must be played multiple times, and 7) anything visible on the back deck, gross or otherwise, is fair game to taste test. Yes, this included the frozen dog puke, which they all tried to lick and cried when I stopped them!

A few implemented parent rules? 1) Everyone gets to nap, whether they cooperate or not, they are staying in bed for at least an hour, 2) if dinner plates are picked up, the food is taken away, and 3) daily outside time is required. Harper has not napped well the past two weeks, but will begrudgingly stay in her crib while Emerie sleeps through the whining. We are also working on hand holding, especially walking around with them as opposed to carrying them. Harper does not like this unless she’s walking across snow, but the other two are pretty decent with it. Emerie likes to insist you hold hands so she can lead you places.

Harper singing

Another fun thing to note from this week; the girls are starting to understand their singing voices; this includes humming random songs like Twinkle Twinkle and Baby Shark. Harper is really coming in her element and singing along after songs on television, but when we try to sing ABC with her, she literally says no after every. single. letter. A- no! B- no! C- no! and repeat. All three will sing parts of Baby Shark and the do do dos and then demand we play the actual song. They are also starting to pick up on the shark motions and do them.

In the past week, we’ve had two successful nights at potty training. Do not mistake the level of effort on this…in fact, because life is completely centralized at home (100% for me and the girls and just work outside the house for Craig), we are taking no drastic measures to change anything that could disrupt the routine that keeps us functioning. That being said, why not dabble a little here and there with the impending potty chairs and underwear and get comfortable with it without a bunch of pressure? So two nights in a row, after bath time, Harper wowed us by sitting on the potty until she went (five plus minutes each night!). Emerie ran around a bit, sat for a moment and went once! She was very proud to receive the M&M. Reagan was much too busy with the nearby sound machine to sit still and try it, but is still the most vocal of the three about a dirty diaper.

One thing I really wish we could do more of with the kiddos, because we see our singleton friends doing it and I always imagined it with my own kiddos, is cooking and baking. We are a very baking friendly household, both Craig and I grew up making things from scratch. With three, close proximity or sitting on the counter usually results in fighting over things, grabbing something that is breakable or inedible, or making food preparation very difficult when everyone wants to “help.” So we haven’t done this very much. One morning over the weekend Craig put all three small and very messy helpers on the counter while making breakfast. They thoroughly enjoyed watching the pancakes cook on the stove, out of arm’s reach of course, and tried to touch everything on the counter. They loved the new opportunity…until it was time to get down and eat breakfast, that is!

Easter Day x 3

We started off the morning with bright eyed girls who slept in long enough for me to set up the egg hunt for later that morning. I pulled out the fancy toddler table and chair set, the one we can’t leave out because they insist on climbing and standing on it, and prepped the Easter baskets. Not only did the girls actually sit at the table and explore their baskets, but they even ate a small portion of the breakfast we ordered from Southside Grill. There was definitely a great amount of “sit down on your chair” and “get down!” throughout the meal; I still call that progress.

The baskets consisted of little Target knick knacks, color coordinated eggs filled with scented play dough and stencils, a pair of flip flops, and tiny chicks that peep (that they did not find interesting at all!). Everyone immediately hated the flip flops on their feet so those will be saved for later this summer. The play dough was used several times over the course of the day, with everyone enthusiastically watching us cut them into shapes and mashing them together. I’m pretty sure there are bits of dough beaten into the floor all over the living room, but at least they had fun!

After breakfast, everyone received pig tails (refusing the bows I pulled from the baskets) and dressed in their Easter outfits, which remained relaxed since we had no plans to go anywhere and it isn’t actually spring here yet. That means June and January polka dot dresses over warm onesies, purchased so long ago I can’t remember when I did it, and adorable gingham printed capris (from primary.com) and booties.

The egg hunt was quite the success! The emptied Easter baskets were refilled down in the family room, with the girls picking up on the activity pretty quickly and enthusiastically running around the room and climbing under things to find them. Overall the fighting was minimal and only a few times did someone take eggs from another’s basket. No one realized goodies were inside the eggs until all were picked up and we “cracked” open the first one, highlighting a goldfish! The next few minutes were filled with exciting toddlers wanting ALL the eggs opened immediately and stuffing their faces. Since I assumed this is what would happen, eggs only contained a small treat, a goldfish or a marshmallow. All in all, we had very satisfied customers!

The rest of the day progressed pretty uneventfully. We all played and played…with the eggs, the play dough and stencils, around the house and outside. It was nice and relaxed and laid back, despite the dreary weather.

Uncle William came over to enjoy some steak at dinner and the girls happily repeated Uncle for the rest of the evening. They also “showed” him how to use the play dough at their little table and how to mash different colors together. That activity lasted quite a long time; once they started standing on it, back to the garage it went for another day! We all ate at the dinner table like grown ups, although the girls weren’t that into the food. They were, however, very much willing to eat their entire mini chocolate bunny and cover their hands and faces in a full layer of chocolate. Even Harper, who likes sweets the least, went all in and devoured the entire thing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and cozy Easter, spending time at home with their loved ones!

Hunker Down: Week 2

How can those adorable faces be so mischievous?!

This week is all about my toddlers living their best toddler life. And by that, I mean major shenanigans, tiny adventures, learning how to be mischievous, and everything in between.

Harper and Reagan are now talking a lot more and expanding their vocabularies; Emerie continues to mimic all the words you give her. The main word for this week is no and mermaid. Do you a want timeout? No! Do you want more food? No! Do you want to come inside? No! Do you want your diaper changed? No! (but it really means yes but they still want to run from you)

Saying her words!

They now call William Uncle, it’s really cute; and are finally starting to say Grandma after months of coaxing. It has taken much convincing!

Bedtime routine consists of sister chatting, reading the bedtime book while they throw stuff animals at us and then snuggle down in bed, and using the new nightlight from their birthday. It has multiple projector settings with a swirl of colorful stars! Different settings seem to interest them greatly, but we’ve found that settling is more difficult for Reagan when they are shifting around the room in red and blue. White, not-rotating stars seem to be accommodate going to sleep.

I can sum this week up with two words: mischievous and wild. More personality traits are emerging in each and they are maturing into sensitive, high energy, smarty pants toddlers. For example, Emerie is now mischievously sneaking off to places out of sight (like the play castle or caterpillar, and taking the time to pull of her glasses and patch before re-emerging like nothing ever happened. She’s started doing this for just her glasses as well; but is slowly learning if a stern voice threatens her with timeout, she will go find said glasses and try to put them back on. It’s quite a lot of effort to keep track of them (and I don’t mean the kids on this one haha). We’ve also taken to small rewards when she does obey, find the glasses, and put them back on her face. She especially enjoys an M&M or a marshmallow.

On my solo Friday off, mischievous Reagan showed Emerie how to climb out of her crib as I brought Harper downstairs. I found both of them standing on the changing pad area of the crib, looking out the bedroom window and giggling. Luckily she hasn’t tried it again, but I’m sure she’s saving that for another day. On the flip side, a post bath time Reagan climbed back into Emerie’s crib and lost her mind that she was again contained, even when she put herself there. Toddlers…

Mischievous Harper keeps finding the dog food…no matter where we put it! I guess there are some healthy elements in it and, as typical, she goes at it 100%, grabbing full handfuls. On the table, back porch, stairs…she b-lines straight to it at every opportunity.

Other fun mischievous things for the week: climbing out of the bathtub without permission, running out the front door and toward the street, pulling off diapers and running around, and yes, poop… Bolting the front door is now a necessity and we probably need to invest in another lock to add- all three have dashed out the front at one point; luckily a parent was close by or they were running out to welcome Daddy home.

It’s been a while since a poop incident…so I guess we were overdue. While working away on my laptop, upstairs and out of sight of children, I hear some commotion downstairs regarding diapers. Apparently, our almost-ready-to-potty-train Reagan removed her pants and diaper and proceeded to take a nice #2 bathroom break on the floor behind the play castle. The area is out of view and private from most of the room and between the castle and front living room windows, making it the perfect spot to be up to no good! Now, of course, when you have three toddlers and one of them is doing something they shouldn’t, it’s a given that the other two will get in on it. So both Emerie and Harper walked through it; thankfully they had socks on, but gross! Harper also had it all over her hands and kept repeating yucky! And Emerie? Well, she was walking around, repeating oh shit, oh shit later that afternoon. I mean, we knew that would happen eventually…right? I choose to blame that one on Craig. Anyway, it was quite the commotion to get Reagan’s diaper back on. Oh so fun. Poor Nanny.

The girls now try to participate during diaper changes and often point at their sister and repeat yucky. They wish to help facilitate the change, grabbing diapers, any and all accessible wipes, pulling on sisters’ clothes, climbing on the parent, all of it. That help also means taking a diaper, opening it and holding it up to their sister, and giggling. With the changing area open to the whole room now, the girls try to beat on the sister that’s momentarily immobile…or the occasional rare moment where I can convince all three to give kisses. That’s only happened once and I wish I had captured it on film, but I didn’t have my phone handy.

To continue the potty theme, after coloring in the shower for a few that evening, on a whim I put everyone on potty chairs. Knowing ahead of time this usually ends messily, we let them run around in the nursery before pajama time. Two successfully peed on/next to the potty (well kinda- missed mostly but they were sitting on it!) and one went right on the floor…her trend for the day (and I’m sure you can guess who). So yes, enough if that. And I didn’t take any photos…you’re welcome.

We attempted this again another night and had one success! Harper got an M&M for it, wowed her audience (Emerie and Reagan), AND to commemorate the joyous achievement, threw the chair full of pee at Craig. So funny.

For the wild portion of the week, we make it a point to burn as much energy as physically possible during awake hours, especially being at home all the time. This has improved napping for the most part. Reagan has been sleeping on the guest room bed and we’re finding she takes a two hour nap when no one interrupts her in the middle of it. This means she actually likes sleep as long as it’s steady; something that’s been questioned the past year. It’s almost as if she’s flipped with Harper, who is having a harder time settling herself this month, waking up multiple times during a nap and having a hard time going back down. Emerie is a rock star, napping through Harper’s insistence to get up, AND for the most part sleeping all night! If she does awake in the midst of the night, she easily settles with a snuggle and sometimes a bottle, going right back to sleep after. The other night she even laid back down by instruction when we snagged the other (screaming) two.

Finding more ways to enjoy magnets!

My solo Friday went decently and the girls were in jolly moods- we played outside twice in the morning with the fresh, wet (April) snow. They made snowballs, played in their snow covered cars and “helped” me shovel the deck.

For the most part, the day went without a hitch until the mailman rang the doorbell twice, smack in the middle of nap time, waking up Harper. Emerie didn’t nap at all but was in her crib almost an hour and a half, with the doorbell going off the last straw. Very frustrating, since we have a sign that reminds visitors not to wake sleeping babies or ring the doorbell. Our typical mailman (mailwoman?) is great and never wakes the kids. It’s the small things that can have such a big impact on the day, you know? Ruining a nap may seem small, but it’s the only hour of sanity I get in the 12+ hours everyone is awake.

As most moms are, I’ve been scanning the internet for creative crafts and new activities to keep the kids interested and engaged throughout the day. I cooked mac and cheese again with all three colors this time and the girls liked to point out the differences. Emerie commented Harper for the pink noodles, and everyone is improving on repeating the real colors back to you.

I also attempted a Facebook craft video using empty rolls of toilet paper. It lasted all of five minutes before little hands tore it to shreds, but they were definitely entertained well into the afternoon just playing with the ping pong balls and toilet paper rolls. I think we will find a way to reinforce it so they can’t tear it down- that will provide a great deal more entertainment. Who knew gravity was so exciting?!

Other WILD traits for the week including running around the house with doll strollers and the driveway with chalk, riding tricycles, and dragging me around the main floor by my hands, which prompted a good twenty minutes of laughs and lots of steps for me. A few nights consisted of very grumpy toddlers, even after good naps and overall days, and overnight sleep is about the same.

All in all, this week was more chaotic than our first seven days in “hunker down” mode, which went pretty smoothly in terms of triplets, Here’s to hoping week three is calmer than this one; and if not, a few more glasses of wine and batches of no bake cookies should do the trick. We finished off the week with 30+ hours of triple grumpy toddlers, for no major reason that we could tell. Even with decent naps and some decent meals, they were all GRUMPS. So please, let spring show up so we can start spending hours outside in the sun and heat (warmth?!) to burn that energy and have some happier children.

Hunker Down: Week 1

Last week was my first week teleworking, at least since I was six months pregnant with the girls. My prior at-home working experience consisted of a quiet house, comfy armchair, minimal movement and my laptop and was a great two months, minus the lack of comfort of carrying three babies.

My work goal was to stay out of sight of the kiddos while the nanny kept them entertained and alive. All in all, that part went pretty great and was a nice break for me, since I could focus on work from the comfort of my own house!

With a few days warming up over forty degrees, we handled the cabin fever with afternoon walks and a couple stops at one of the hidden gem parks in our neighborhood. It was great to get out of the house and enjoy the sun while letting the girls burn some energy climbing the equipment and digging out the rocks that weren’t frozen. Even with the nice weather, the park was mostly empty of kids, which was great!

I was hopeful the warmth would continue for the weekend, but nope! The girls last about ten minutes outside on Saturday, having insisted they wanted to go by donning their boots and hats and trying unassisted to put on their coats before screaming in frustration. The cold wind won quickly, but not before this ADORABLE video of what I assume will be how Harper drives at age 16. I mean, after all, she is the sprinter of the house.

Other random things from our first week of solitude included toddler crafting, exploring new parts of the house and outside, and continuing to learn new life skills. Everyone is enthusiastically learning to put socks and pants on without help, but until the skill is mastered the frustrated rage continues. The girls saw their first house fly- a big one- and that meant several minutes watching it buzz against the window, with everyone trying to climb the armchair and catch it. Impressively enough, Harper eventually managed to catch grasp it in her hand!

With the living room no longer under toddler blockade, the front windows are now accessible and a whole new world of “ouwsi” (outside) is available to view. This includes the random moose visits, flocks of birds in the trees, people watching and hollering about any and all dog walking. It also apparently includes watching dinosaurs walk by- someone was pushing their kid and fully decked out as a t-Rex. The girls didn’t know how to feel about that one, but encouraged the dogs to whine and bark as it “danced” by.

Tricycles from Papa Cliff!

More outdoor toys warmed up in the house, such as the dormant tricycles from the garage and the play castle from the back porch. With the rug pulled up and the furniture out of the way, the main level gives a decent amount of space for movement. The pedal concept isn’t there quite yet (Emerie is close), but the scooting around and ringing the bells is providing much entertainment. For a while Reagan would only ride them backwards.

The play castle provides hours of entertainment; it has become an enclosed fort, a climbing tool and tower, an area to hide with stuffed animals, and of course contributed to the cycle “run, climb, slide, run, climb, slide.” Queen of the slide is quite the game, with some not-so-nice kicking if one is indeed at the top and defending their territory and kingdom. We are working on courtesy and nicely opening the castle door and letting a sister come in. This still results in the occasional door slamming on fingers and faces, creating total meltdowns; but in the kind moments one will knock on the door, another will open it and they both say “hellloooo!?” with a big smile. It’s ridiculously adorable.

Builder Emerie

In addition to creative play activities, we continue to rotate the common toys, bringing out unused items for a day or two, or even hour or two, and putting them out of sight. Building blocks sustain interest for a while and then become yet another toy you don’t want to step on in the midst of the mess. The girls took a turns building block towers over the weekend; Emerie putting in some solid effort unassisted, Harper and Reagan took turns sitting in my lap and designing. I can already tell as they grow, Emerie will be building the masterpieces and Harper and Reagan will try to steal them or knock them down.

The doll strollers and baby dolls are brought out for a bit and then re-hidden. There is great enthusiasm in pushing each other around in them, but are starting to get too big for it! In addition, the pushing becomes a way to go as fast as possible and slam straight into a table, or cabinet, or each other. Luckily it is mostly in good fun, and the rider doesn’t seem to mind the bruised knees. Sometimes it’s too girly to simply push the stuffed, singing animals around in the strollers (they are appropriately named Bear, Puppy, and Monkey, according to the girls). Harper started it and Emerie and Reagan followed suite- to push their soccer balls, strapped in mind you (safety first), around the main floor. I’m happy to see the love of soccer starting, even if it’s balls strapped into strollers.

Car racing is another new event. The girls are starting to understand some activities can be done with each other and not necessarily with parents. The wind-up cars provide this type of entertainment and they are starting to sit across from each other, legs spread out, and shoot the cars back and forth at one another. It’s very cute and creates a few minutes of giggles. A couple of times the cars are pointed toward the toddler trying to fling it away, resulting in it constantly returning to them. This is hilarious to watch; they think it’s hilarious.

Working from home results in minimal daily movement so walking in the afternoon is vital to ensuring some exercise. This pushes dinner behind the typical 5 PM the girls are accustomed to. Eating later and unassisted, with spoons/forks (as opposed to hands), seems to greatly improve moods and results in less food thrown on the floor. This week’s obsession is sautéed mushrooms, mac and cheese shapes (colored pasta was a hit!), and heaps of broccoli (it would be blueberries too if the stores had any!). The girls exclaim “all-da” (all done) when they are finished. If the unfinished plate isn’t immediately removed, it usually flies to the floor for the dogs; but sometimes they will nicely hand it to you. Emerie seems to think saying the phrase means she should be allowed to get down and play without delay, and will impatiently yell it at you.

Other random craft activities throughout the week included coloring and trying out play dough again. I’m hoping to get more creative on some crafts over the next week, but am waiting until I have a full list for the store before picking up a few miscellaneous things needed. This time they didn’t spend the whole time eating the play dough (other than a few exploratory licks) and were equally awed that it could transform from a heap of nothing into a ball to play with. We colored with markers in the bath tub, played with water cups in the shower, sat at the kitchen table with crayons and chalked up the driveway (they still suck on the chalk though…yuck). Reagan tried to make Craig’s car more beautiful in that moment, while Harper went for the garage door and Emerie the actual driveway! Harper also enjoyed some wind sprints, up and down the driveway, running at full force.

Everyone wanted to help Dad replace his spark plugs, including shouting at him out the window and running around the garage. That lasted a whopping five minutes before shattered glass ended the fun and herded everyone back inside.

A few cute moments have occurred throughout the week as well- Emerie accidentally smacked me right in the face with a book, stopped, and with a concerned look, gave me a kiss right where she hit me. So sweet! Harper has given a melting-down Reagan several hugs this week, and Emerie kisses the top of her sisters’ heads. In the nice moments they share toys and will bring an extra toy or snack to an upset sibling. Progress.

For the first time ever in the Douglas household, we had a nap time REQUEST. Miss Harper asked the nanny for early nap time with a “nigh night” and pointing upstairs. Crazy thing is, she and Emerie immediate went to sleep after going down a few minutes early. Now that is a first and it only happened once.

Helping make lunch

The color coding comprehension continues to expand. Harper brought the correct color boots to Reagan and Emerie several times this week while Emerie brought everyone their coats. Last summer’s plastic Adirondack chairs were intensely fought over because Harper took the teal one from Reagan, and then Reagan took the purple one from Emerie. So it seems the color battles are beginning…that should be interesting.

We even had a day with happy, post-nap babies. Typically, as in 100% of the time, all wake up in full rage from their nap and it takes several minutes snuggling to calm the masses. We had one day happy and chill, after TWO hours (for all three at once that’s highly uncommon), giving me time to prep dinner and get it in the oven before they awoke. Pretty amazing and productive! Productive for Craig too…who accidentally took a nice, long nap with Reagan.

I can barely do this anymore

We ended the week with a broken kitchen faucet. Craig ran to Lowe’s to grab a new one (it’s essential in this house!) and in the 20 minutes he was gone, all three babies were screaming, trying to strip their poopy diapers, AND I managed to get the faucet stuck turned on, creating a steady stream of water underneath the sink and across the countertop. Well, we survived. And now have a new faucet thanks to our plumber buddy down the street!

I will sum up this week of toddlerhood adventure and quarantine with Craig asking Emerie what color she learned over the weekend. Her response? “Taco!” Okay, so that is a great answer as an adult too…but she was actually trying to say “yellow.”

It feels like a lot happened in the past seven days, when really staying home is pretty normal in this household. We tried to avoid the flu and colds most of the winter, only going out strategically and hoping for the best. Hopefully we can cruise through another week in the same style…which would mean decent naps, busy busy days, lots of fighting and loving… also many requests for “Tay Tay” (Taylor Swift), dance parties, food fights, face-time calls with the grandparents, and everything in between.

The big TWO x 3!

Birthday number two turned out to be greatly different than the last year’s. The original plan was another large party, at the same place as last year, surrounded by visiting family and friends of all ages, to celebrate another birthday milestone.

Well, that did not happen. With impending quarantine in Anchorage, and many other places across the country already implementing the new rules for a couple of weeks, we knew our big birthday party was not only not happening, but probably not the smartest thing to do given current circumstances.

The recreational center canceled the party and closed due to public safety concerns, so we considered doing a smaller scale party at our house. After the passing of another week, even more things are closed and people seem to have more questions than answers relating to the spreading virus.

With any plans outside our little kingdom (house), we tried to make a fun and eventful day, as much as possible, for the girls.

Frozen hoods as mats

Everyone woke up in good spirits and ready to take on the day. Finally able to give a present, I pulled out their new, Frozen themed hooded blankets. They love to wrap up in blankets and run around and these blankets allow just that. While a big big, they are soft and the girls happily “wore” them until they pulled the next gift off the table, a tiny, metal pot and pan set.

Does anyone else have a hard time not giving presents to their kids as soon as they buy them? It took a great deal of self control to keep those hoods upstairs this past week and not give in and go get them. I feel that this is going to get more difficult as they grow, since new things bring so much excitement and enthusiasm!

First birthday photo of the day.

The girls played with the pots/pans until breakfast was ready. The set also came with a strainer, whisks, and other realistic kitchen utensils, making their stir stir stir exclamations and motions completely adorable. Any birthday should start out with something delicious, and what better breakfast than some bacon and chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream topping? I assumed Reagan would scarf everything down immediately but she and Harper remained more skeptical. Emerie, on the other hand, probably ate half a pancake as she repeated chocklat, like she couldn’t believe it was in her breakfast!

After breakfast birthday dresses were dawned, ones that specify the day and say TWOnados, and everyone sported pigtails. Grandma Sue and Papa Lon came by for a visit and we did a couple other presents. The letter magnet boards I’ve been saving were opened without much help from adults! The coloring boards only keep their interest so far and after a while, they need something new to try when everyone is sitting for a few minutes after or before a meal. Reagan ensured her sisters opened everything satisfactorily and ripped her wrapping paper like a pro. Harper and Emerie more daintily pulled on the wrapping paper. It was quite the change from Christmas time, when they couldn’t be bothered to sit for five seconds and open something.

New toys and birthday dresses

We didn’t go wild on presents this year because we already have so many different things in the house. If I could have predicted the possible quarantine, I might have purchased a few more things to peak their interesting when stuck at home all week and weekends, but for the most part, we can be creative enough to survive.

All in all, the morning was full of new toy exploration, snuggles with Grandma and Papa, and hanging out in the living room, enjoying the sunshine. I finished a batch of triple colored cupcakes (pink, purple, teal of course) that turned out great, and the girls played in the backyard with Grandma for a little while.

It is always nice to have a beautiful, sunny day when stuck at home. I’m spoiled by the amount of sunlight that flows through our windows and it makes the mood cheerier, even when outside boasts huge snow piles and ice. Last year at this time grass was showing; this year the front yard still has four feet of snow.

The warm day prompted an afternoon walk. With Grandma in-tow, we stopped at the playground just off our normal loop and let the girls check it out. Reagan confirmed she still enjoyed collecting handfuls of playground rocks and testing out a few of them for flavor; hopefully this will be over by the time all the snow melts.

They did great at the park, climbing right up and sliding down the slide unassisted. Emerie climbed all the way up and didn’t even wait for Craig to meet her at the bottom. How they have grown! The girls again played out back after a little more ice chipping on the driveway, taking full advantage of the sunny day. I cannot WAIT until spring gets here.

The rest of the day remained uneventful. We face timed Grandma Anne and Papa Cliff simultaneously as we all sang Happy Birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake. Everyone devoured the frosting and questioned the cupcake; Harper at most of it, Reagan only a little, and Emerie shared hers with Koda.

All in all, three clothing changes, two hair changes, triple 1.5 hour nap, one toddler escape (Harper) and fun day with Mom, Dad, Grandma Sue and Papa Lon.

Mini Birthday Party

This year’s birthday party consisted of inviting the best friends over for a play date (Paris and Kaden). While it was not as fun and exciting as I hoped it would be (and legally had to stay under the 10 person rule recently implemented), the girls had fun, opened a couple gifts, and played with their friends, nanny and grandparents.

Dr. Emerie?

The doctor play set, even after a few days, is still a popular item. Depending on who has stolen which part from the briefcase, the girls will come up to you and “check” your ears, listen to your heart, and give you a shot. Not all ear checks are considered sanitary, as everyone enjoys sucking on the end of it and then shoving it into your ear, saliva and all. Maybe that will give us ear infections for them to “check.”

We opened up the living room for the play date and haven’t closed it back up since. Now that they are in year number two, closing off part of the living room almost seems like more of a hindrance than a help, with their main game plan to figure out how to escape. Luckily the main floor is well blocked off, with the stairs going up and down gated off and impenetrable for the time being.

Cupcakes!

My spur of the moment cupcakes ended up turning out great! I mixed the batter into their three colors, with pink on the bottom, purple in the middle, and teal at the top. Craig “whipped” up a whipped topping (see what I did there?) that was devoured with requests for more.

Colorful streamers were hung across the living room, out of reach of the tiny hands, and even a fancy tablecloth put out! The girls definitely tried to empty off the table by pulling it, but didn’t knock anything off.

We sang happy birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake for their morning snack for the second day in a row! They did not understand blowing out the candles, looking at all the faces smiling their way and wondering what in the world to do. After helping blow them out, Kaden and Paris joined in on the sugar and everyone calmly munched down their treat. It was cute and Janelle captured a little of it on video for all of you to enjoy!

Birthday number two varied from last year’s in a couple ways. Last year they were crawling and just starting to learn to walk; this year they RUN everywhere. Last year the baldness was still real; this year enough hair exists for tiny pony and pig tails (yay!!!). Last year’s party had 25+ pre-toddlers yelling and playing; this year just a handful. Last year the sleep deprivation was real; this year…oh wait. Yeah that’s not that different haha.

The whole birthday felt very laid back- staying home the whole day and spending time together. I feel that we were able to better it and process the fact we’ve made it two years! They played with gifts, dressed up in fancy dresses read new books and spent some time out in the snow. I recognize this will likely be the calmest birthday we will ever have!

2019 Memories

I thought it would be fun to ask those closest to the girls a few questions and document their answers. Here we go!

What is your favorite moment of the girls this past year?

CRAIG: Taking the girls swimming- they all seem to love swimming and being thrown into the water.

BECCA: I really enjoyed some of the random adventures, going to the reindeer farm, taking summer photos, and taking the girls to the toddler swim area at the Juneau rec center.

AUNT JANELLE: I don’t have just one because there are many! I love every dance video I see, every giggle or laugh is just so precious, and every new word they learn is one step closer to arguing with their mama.

GRANDMA ANNE: There are two things I most remember from the last year. Watching the girls jump like crazy in their little jumpy seats in the living room and the joy and excitement as they did it. The other activity was decorating Christmas cookies. Smearing frosting all over their hands and faces as they attempted to “decorate” and eat the cookies was priceless to watch.

GRANDMA SUE: This summer, watching them with all our family out on the deck and how they interacted with each of our family members.

PAPA CLIFF: My favorite was seeing them do their water coloring, all over their bodies. That made me laugh.

NANNY CHRIS: When the girls started crying for “nanny” when I left. They really missed me and that makes me feel loved by them!

What is something that makes Harper, Emerie, and Reagan each unique?

CRAIG: Each of them have their own personality and express themselves in different ways. Harper is a brute and rough houser, but gets very upset if she gets hurt. Emerie plays by herself and enjoys exploring how things work, like puzzles and new toys. Reagan must have all binkies…at all times. She will assign the binkie she doesn’t want to the other girls.

BECCA: The older they get, the more unique they look to me. But excluding looks for this question, they each have little personality quirks individualizing them from each other. It’s fun to watch Emerie sit and try to understand how a toy works, when you can see her mind working hard and focused. It’s entertaining to see Harper’s devious side, when she will pause, smile, and then 1000% commit to whatever shenanigan she puts her mind to. It’s adorable to watch Reagan rockin’ out to a song on YouTube, fully committed to whole body movement without a care in the world.

AUNT JANELLE: Emerie is a bit more of a trickster daredevil compared to her sisters.

GRANDMA ANNE: I think the hardest thing for me when I visit is being sure that I spend individual one-on-one time with each girl. To encourage her own individuality and interests. Although they are identical and still very young, their personalities are different and unique.

GRANDMA SUE: Harper’s little giggle as she looks right at you and teases you or wants you to snuggle with her and read a book. Emerie how she has such a desire to learn and giggles in your face when she accomplishes something. She has done so well with so many words and the girls follow. Reagan has learned so much and I love how she tries to help her sisters.

PAPA CLIFF: Harper hugs. She came up to me and had me pick her up and sit in my lap and cuddle. Emerie is dancing around in a box, showing me where the caterpillar is. Yaba do! Emerie also seems to take more chances than her sisters. Reagan seems to be the calmer one. She will let her sisters do something or start something and then follow their lead. She is good at throwing Papa Cliff kisses.

NANNY CHRIS: Harper is so sweet and funny. She knows what she wants. Emerie rolls with the punches- she’s very loving and forgiving. She reminds me of her Dad- very much like Craig. Reagan is a thinker. She’s cool, calm and collected like her Mom.

What was the hardest thing this year in terms of raising triplets?

CRAIG: Everything we do takes a lot of effort, getting dressed to go outside takes 20 mins, going to the store involves loading and unloading everyone. We need multiple shopping carts to take them out.

BECCA: The lack of sleep, especially when everyone was sick all of January, was very difficult; but I’d say the hardest thing overall is having to go at 110% every single moment of everyday to keep everything going well. Routine, meals, work, house upkeep, activities, all of it.

AUNT JANELLE: All the colds and trips to the doctors, so many ear infections and chipped teeth!

PAPA CLIFF: The hardest thing for me was seeing the two sleep deprived parents!

NANNY CHRIS: December through March- staying inside and keeping them happy and busy. Winter with toddlers.

What was the girls’ biggest milestone?

CRAIG: The girls are becoming more independent and able to help themselves when they are hungry and thirsty.

BECCA: Last year this one was easy! It was learning to hold their own bottles. This year I would say learning to walk (run) and become more coordinated. It completely changes the triplet game and while it makes things harder is one way, it’s also easier than the infancy stage in other ways.

AUNT JANELLE: Learning to climb out of the cribs by themselves hahahaha

GRANDMA ANNE: A huge milestone was graduating from the NICU in just four weeks. They were so tiny but went home before their expected birth date.

PAPA CLIFF: I think the biggest milestone was realizing and recognizing they each have two sisters.

NANNY CHRIS: Talking! The girls can tell me what they need and who hit or bit them.

What’s the funniest thing they did this year?

CRAIG: When they all shit on the floor before bath time…

BECCA: While it isn’t always at the time, it’s enjoyable to see what shenanigans the girls get into, how they plan an escape or climbing onto the table, how one of them will be the bandleader and take the other two with them. The five minutes of no diapers in the living room was pretty hilarious too, except for cleaning it up…

AUNT JANELLE: Most of my favorite funny moments are ones that haven’t gone into the blogs but have been texted to me, usually with an “OMG!” before the story. Those are my favorites because these girls have no shame sometimes!

GRANDMA ANNE: Love Emerie demanding that everyone shut the outside door, or the refrigerator door, or the gate. It wasn’t funny at the time, but watching Harper bonk her sisters repeatedly is funny long after the event. Observing Reagan so easily and quickly climb out of her crib and then explore the nursery makes for a great laugh.

PAPA CLIFF: For Reagan and Harper, it was dancing to Baby Shark while Emerie was at her eye doctor appointment. For Emerie, it was dancing around and showing me Yaba Do.

NANNY CHRIS: Harper- she makes the funniest faces and she knows she does! Emerie- getting in trouble then trying to make me laugh by laughing! Reagan- getting out of her crib and finding her in the living room.

What are you looking forward to this next year?

CRAIG: Hopefully they will be potty trained and we can stop buying diapers!

BECCA: I’m excited to see their skills continue to develop (loving the word explosion and interactions with each other) and greatly looking forward to putting them in ballet or soccer.

AUNT JANELLE: Since age 2 – 3 was my favorite for Paris, I can’t wait to see the girls become even more independent with mobility and conversations. Their little imaginations will grow even more so too which is so fun to watch. Plus they might be able to start new activities like sports, dance, etc. How fun!

GRANDMA ANNE: I look forward to the girls language development so they can express themselves better. Also am curious to see what sort of unique sister language they develop between themselves.

PAPA CLIFF: I am looking forward to just being with my babies and watching them learn to ride their tricycles.

NANNY CHRIS: Them becoming more independent and playing with one another, like play dough, coloring, etc. peace, peace, peace!

What do you miss the most about their first year compared to now?

CRAIG: When they could not climb everything and everywhere. They were lighter and easier to carry then.

BECCA: I will miss the bouncer stage; it was beyond cute. I will also miss the baby giggles…they are different than their laughs now and no sound in the world is as good to hear as when all three just learned to laugh together.

AUNT JANELLE: They were so much easier to catch, now that they’re mobile it’s harder to pin them down.

PAPA CLIFF: I miss the bouncing up and down in their bouncers. They would really go to town!

NANNY CHRIS: I miss the rolly-polly age where they didn’t move much but cuddled and were very happy. They were so cute and weren’t moving so much!

What are your favorite memories to share?

I would love to hear them from this past year, from post infancy to pre-toddler-hood to full on toddler-hood!