Preschool Spirit Week

Last week was spirit week at the girls’ preschool. It feels like they are so old to participate in such an event and I could have put a bit more planning into it to make it fun, but here we are! I thought it would be cute to document what they each dressed up as throughout the week. While the concept of allowed dress up was missed by the girls, they definitely had fun getting to wear abnormal outfits to school each day.

Day 1 – Pajama Day

Monday was pajama day, of course, since who wants to actually get dressed and start the work/school week? This was an easy pick for everyone and we opted for cotton sleepers instead of the long, flowy princess styles that are not functional during the day. Stylish isn’t always practical, right? Reagan also insisted on covering her feet with cozy socks, because it was the theme!

Day 2 – Dress Like Your Parents Day

Day two was a bit more of an argument to make a decision. All three agreed they didn’t want to dress up as Dad (he’s not into dresses and that was a deal breaker), but when we suggested jeans (jeggings- they’ve never worn REAL jeans), cute boots and comfy hoodies, they declared a compromise with skirts, boots, and two layered princess t-shirts. Now I am in no way a fancy dresser (obviously), so the insistence to “wear dresses like Mom” made no sense upon request. Everyone also had a high, messy bun, headband, and a coffee cup for their morning photo!

See the resemblance?! They look SO GROWN UP!

DAY 3 – Class Color – Blue Butterflies

The 4-year old preschool class they are in is called the Butterflies and apparently that meant their class was blue. Luckily I found three blue pants and found their blue shirts from the previous daycare class, and we were good to go! The girls didn’t quite get that memo because everyone had to have a colorful tutu and ballet flats.

Craig had the idea to bring the butterfly wings from the fair to wear for the day. He was able to snap a few cute shots of everyone running through the halls at school (or should I say flying?) and repping Mr. Ivan’s class.

DAY 4 – Future Career Day

This was probably the hardest day to pick of the entire week. While I attempted to get cohesive, real life job desires out of each kid; everything always loops back into their love for princesses and fairy tales. After making that comment, another mom reminded me this is the time when reality doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be the driver of the future, and wishing to be a princess isn’t a terrible thing. It means they wish for happiness, love and a fun story; and really, what is wrong with that?

At first each separately asked for Queen Elsa. After more discussion, Harper opted to be a ballerina, with a pink skirt since a sheer, dance skirt wasn’t very warm, and several accessories, including her pink bowed tights. In fact, her outfit was very coordinated as pink and black and she wore those glasses the entire day. Emerie requested her bring-it-in-dress, which is Isabella from Encanto, a sunhat and a flower wand. It took a bit to get any answer from her but Elsa, her go to costume for everything. Reagan requested Jasmine for the day and a mom to the kitten for the picture that morning. She also mentioned she wants to be a teacher, but the impending dress options booted that idea right out the door when she remembered Jasmine (and our current at home Disney theme).

DAY 5 – Heritage Day

Friday’s heritage day meant Craig dug out the Douglas kilts, reminding me the German side of their DNA would not be as cute of an outfit. I will definitely have to find some cute beer maidens in the future, which shouldn’t be a tough sell. And he really wasn’t wrong! They wore those kilts the entire school day and were thrilled that Craig had stopped at Target and sized up their black ballet flats to match. I especially like Harper kept to her style with sparkly tights.

Overall all three had fun with the choices throughout the week; so much so that they now want to wear five different outfits a day and go through all the new size six clothing, since it’s exciting and new!

Winter, Dance and Those Wild Children

So far 2023 started off without anything too significant or exciting happening. Lots of winter, snow, working hours and wild children. The kittens continue to grow and change each day, and it’s prompting a lot of old memories for this mom on life “back in the day” with three rambunctious babies. That day was only a few years ago, but it feels like a whole lifetime with how much things have changed!

For example, the girls’ unique personalities became evident even before they were speaking, and each had a slightly different attitude on things throughout development, and it’s still true today. Harper refused to roll over, adamantly indicating that was a skill not worthy of her time, and yet she was the first of the three to walk, with Reagan right behind her. The similarities are pretty funny in the kittens, because one kitten slowly started walking forward, with the second observing closely, and the third less interested at first. Within an hour, the first was walking, the second was mimicking the first at a slower pace, and the following day number three gained the skill and joined the club. In our case, Harper was the first to take her steps forward unassisted, with Reagan carefully watching and learning immediately after, and then Emerie not long after that.

When it comes to containment, you might remember the full “cage” that spanned our entire living room for quite a long time, from crawling to climbing to walking and until escaping. And the baby gates, which blocked off each level of the house and the loft. One kitten (named Wallace) was the first to figure out how to escape out of totes and boxes if he used a sibling as a step stool. The girls did this exact thing, figuring out how to boost one another out of their fenced in play area and into freedom, before mom and dad fully baby proofed the rest of the house and blocked off the stairs. Persistence is key!

Back in the day – caged off

Personalities are also similar. One kitten is the “wild child” of the three, has a need for speed, was the first to take steps, and always instigates the troublemaking with the siblings. Doesn’t that sound like one Miss Harper? Another kitten (named Wesley although it might be Winston now?) is far more timid than his brother, but will pay close attention to the activities at hand, holding out the longest before participating. He’s a sweet soul. Does that sound like Miss Reagan, especially when she was smaller and more shy? The smallest kitten (Winnifred, i.e. Winnie Rose- because the girls insisted she had to have a middle name!), is also shy, needs one of her eyes scrubbed off occasionally so it’s not shut with goobers (i.e. eye issues), her siblings gang up on her a bit because they are bigger than her, and she loves to cuddle and be rescued from the chaos. Sounds like Miss Emerie to me!

It is also funny to watch Molly and her obvious annoyance and frustration at her three littles running in three directions. I greatly understand her sentiments and still live in that today, although nothing like it was two years ago. She will take naps up high on her climber, where she can keep an eye on the crowd, knowing they can’t reach her!

For the most part the girls are pretty aware of the kittens wandering the house, and if not there is my constant “don’t step on the kitten!” reminders. I’ve only caught them a couple times with compromised kittens. The first time all three were downstairs in the bathroom, with a paper shoebox full of water in the sink, trying to give Winnie a bath. As you would guess, she was not impressed; and luckily I caught them before she was fully submerged. The second time all the kids were jumping on Grandma Sue’s bed (I.e. the guest room bed) with two very terrified kittens trying not to die. No kittens were harmed in either incident!

On the non-kitten front- you may all be shocked to learn the love for the song Shake It Off has finally depleted. In fact, I now get demands to NOT play it, after several years of constant replaying more than any one person wants to hear it. We definitely had some really cute memories (and videos) of the littles shaking their bald heads and tiny butts to it. Uncle William is now educating everyone on other songs by the songstress and pushing us into a new era of music. Different music videos are also quite the hit; of course they don’t follow the intricate meanings behind the scripts and scenes, but they all excitedly love her outfits, shoes, and sparkling wonders. Some of the most exciting parts are the funniest things, such as her dress changing from white into red and her fancy shoe choices!

A new session of dance started last weekend. Since age three’s dance class was so very miserable for us parents, with the tantrums, not listening, and times dragging all three out kicking and screaming in front of throngs of disbelieving singleton parents, we held off for a full year before trying again, and this time with a new tactic: dividing them up. This is the first time we’ve tried this method for any activity, although we talked about it when transitioning into the four year old daycare class, and ended up keeping them together, which has worked out so far. In efforts to maintain some parental sanity, Emerie and Reagan are in gymnastics at 11:15 on Saturdays while Harper starts dance class at 11:30, with the younger group until she turns five in March. The parent area is in between the two rooms, so we can see both sides easily and provide stern looks through the window when they act out.

Last year Harper did the best by far, in terms of listening and behavior and actual participation,while Emerie and Reagan fed off each other and missed half the classes due to needed intervention to minimize disruptions. All three strongly desired to climb all the mats and swing on the equipment when everyone else was listening and out on the dance floor. It was a disaster and the most money I’ve probably ever spent to be so miserable!

The first week of round two went much better. There was discussion on who was in gymnastics and who was in dance, and of course major disagreement with our plan, but once class started, it went well! Emerie is definitely meant to tumble and climb on things, and it greatly impresses me when she runs across the balance beam, knowing she has a a bifocal and weaker eye sight than her peers. Reagan also seemed to enjoy the class, only having one moment of the pure pouty face, which I did not help with by taking photos and saying I sent them to Grandma Sue. Harper, across the hall, had a wonderful first class and didn’t need any intervention. She wore her princess heels as her tap shoes, and seemed to really enjoy herself. The roughest part of the whole activity was when Reagan and Emerie were done and waiting for Harper’s class to wrap up. Reagan threw down to go into the room to “watch” her sister, and managed to throw a fit in front of everyone when she didn’t get her way.

Every day in between the two classes the girls asked what day it was and what day dance and gymnastics falls on. What’s funny is how they define the days of the week at this point in their lives:

  • Sunday – means no school and some fun activity with cousins or the boys
  • Monday – ugh school. I’m tiiiiiired!
  • Tuesday – no one ever asks about this day
  • Wednesday – this is school pizza day
  • Thursday – no one ever asks about this day or “is it the weekend yet?”
  • Friday – chocolate milk and show-and-tell day at school!
  • Saturday – the weekend and now dance day

Week two went well also, and I’m hoping the trend will continue. The gymnastics teacher told me after class that she split Reagan and Emerie into separate groups for their breakout activities after she heard one encouraging the other not listen. Emerie started the class out a bit feisty and not wanting to be there, but pretty quickly started having fun. She’s great at tumbling and always pops up with a big smile. Reagan constantly comes over to ensure our eyes are glued to her body as she participates. She proudly flipped over one of the bars (assisted) and after a few tries could almost do it by herself. Harper happily tapped around in her new tap shoes and black sheer sleeved leotard. It cracked me up she was in black from head to toe- black leotard, black tights, black ballet slippers, and a black sheer skirt. Oh and don’t forget the black scrunchie, accessories!

Speaking of accessories, the last week or so Harper is constantly wearing her Mirabel glasses. They have no glass so they don’t get smudged and dirty; she seems to think she looks like Emerie in them. The funniest part is that I constantly call her Emerie when looking out the of the corner of my eye, even tho she doesn’t have green glasses!

I swear the last few days must have a full moon, because the crazy cabin fever from the kids is ROUGH. They’ve impressively trashed the house several times, drowned the downstairs bathroom with toilet water (and who knows what else), worn a dozen outfits a day, gone through clothing drawers and closets they’ve never opened before and dumping things out, and been wildly crazy with the back talking, fighting and not listening. Guys- we are so tired. I’m not sure if this shift can be attributed to the dead of winter, an impending development shift or sickness, my working longer hours than normal at work, or something else, but they are wild. New name calling popped up as well; Reagan’s insult of choice is now you spit-head. That, and you-toilet-water-poop-spit. I’m pretty sure she’s not going for “shit head”, since I have no idea where she would have heard that from (yeah yeah but really we don’t say that), so I believe she really means spit. And reminds us spit is gross, so she thinks it’s quite the insult. Such fun.

This month’s theme songs are from the live action Aladdin film, where Disney added a new song by Jasmine that the girls adore called Speechless. It’s girl empowerment and she takes down her enemies in song and the girls think it’s just amazing. It’s a pretty song in my opinion too! Every drive includes it and all three love singing along. Harper has her own lyrics to the melody and it’s hilarious, with SPEECHLEEEEESS three times louder at the end of each relevant line. They also like the songs by the genie guy and when Aladdin and Jasmine are running (first seen). It’s really nice to be able to watch another live action movie besides Maleficent, which is much darker! And little do they know one of their birthday presents is fancy Jasmine dresses that I bought during after Christmas sales. You ain’t never had a friend like meeee!

I can’t believe we are almost a month into the new year, but here we are. Kittens are growing everyday and so are my little ladies. While I look forward to spring just around the corner (quite optimistically I might add), I’m also excited for them to celebrate my birthday this year and Valentine’s Day. After that they’ll be turning half a decade, which I am NOT ready for.

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.

Back to School Big Girls

I am way behind on providing updates on our current every day lives and I fully blame the crazy work deadlines that the last month have held for the job I’m covering. So let’s go backwards a little, to the end of August, when I started writing this blog right after the girls’ shift to the pre-K classroom at school.

We started out the school year in typical fashion- the first week meant the stomach flu for all three kiddos, each about a day apart, and an ear infection for Harper. On Friday Emerie made it a whole 20 minutes at school before getting the phone call that she was throwing up again. While the puking derailed our plans to visit the fair later that day, the decent weather the following day ultimately worked out for a better overall visit. And I’m happy to say that both parents managed to avoid the stomach flu, which was greatly appreciated!

After sitting in the eternal, never moving line of cars waiting to park at the fair, we opted to bring the rolling wagon with us and stop at a few of the easy booths right inside the door. The girls sat on top of the big, stuffed moose and took a photo with it, munched on some fancy donuts on a stick, and didn’t immediately run off into the abyss of people. We went to the rides pretty early into our visit, presuming the excitement might make grumpy preschoolers appear before we were ready to be done for the day.

I wasn’t sure what rides everyone would like to go on, since Reagan and Emerie are often timid on a lot of things, while Harper usually sticks to her wild side and the great need for speed. The first ride of the day was a roller coaster, because why not go big to start. We hadn’t walked over to the younger kid rights at that point, and just went for it. Craig and I both went on with them; side note- I definitely forgot how hard it is to fit my knees behind a kid roller coaster seat! Emerie insistently opted to ride behind me and all by herself, while Harper and Reagan each plopped down with an adult. All three shrieked in excitement and actually loved it; even Miss Independent Em. But I will say, the second roller coaster did not meet that same sentiment for Reagan, who hid in Papa Cliff’s lap for all the loops and refused to go on any more coasters for the rest of the day. The favorite rides for the day turned out to be the airplane spinning rides and the construction truck driving; all went multiple times. We finished out all the rides with the big slide in the sky, and then did everyone really wants to do at the fair…EAT. So much food, and in usual fashion the girls wanted french fries. I enjoyed a delicious turkey leg with Grandma Sue, since the girls wouldn’t touch it. Surprisingly enough, they all liked William’s crab fritters and wanted more of that!

The favorite purchase of the day for me was the girls getting Alaska Chick hoodies in their colors (which are huge and put away for this winter). If you asked them what their favorite thing was, I imagine everyone would respond the super cool butterfly wings they wore the rest of the visit. They attached to their shoulders and wrists and resulted in three, happy girls running through the crowd as butterflies. Did I mention this made them so much easier to spot as well? And of course, adorable. I’m happy to say the day sits in the good memories and successful activities side of my brain, and I’m glad we made the effort to go.

We finished out the busy weekend by going berry picking in Whittier, which is now going to be an annual family event, or so I hope. Anchorage weather was very crummy this year; once we trekked through the tunnel and into Whittier, the sun was out and the weather just gorgeous. We spent the afternoon picking blueberries and playing along the water, the kids heaping and hollering about the dead fish in the water. It turned out to be a great day.

It’s like a postcard! Beautiful view.

Later in the month we went on a family hike to Thunderbird Falls, which is maaaaaybe a mile total, and ends on an overlook to the waterfall. Reagan and Harper took to it much better than their sister, who kept asking when we were going to turn back and go home, insisted on holding an adult’s hand pretty much the entire length of the trip. In fact, she seemed quite nervous to explore and walk through the mud or up or down the hills, but some of this is likely attributed to her post surgery eye situation. We climbed down to the water on the way back and all the kids enjoyed throwing sticks and rocks into the water and trying to climb up and explore steep hills. It was another unusually beautiful day, but we had to leave Anchorage to see the actual sunlight.

Another fall favorite activity, something we’ve missed since the girls were 18 months old, is the annual Trick or Treat in the Heat event. The past two years canceled due to COVID, meaning this year’s event was met with excitement and a ton of people, and on a decent weather day! I stashed a few new costumes in the closet in anticipation of an outdoor event that wasn’t freezing cold and luckily this year only required long sleeves and pants underneath- I don’t think I heard one complaint about being cold. Mind you, there were about five million complaints of being tired, feet hurting, wanting to eat a snack or piece of candy, but not for being cold.

The fighting was minimal on who wore which costume, and just like last year, everyone switched out on colors (for the most part). Harper was Tinkerbell, including fancy wings, a headband and a butterfly wand; Reagan was a flamingo, which included an adorable flamingo head hat and polka dots; and Emerie was…any guesses?? Of course, Emerie opted to be Elsa for the third year in a row. A new style of dress, but still Elsa (thanks Costco!).

We did a LOT of walking that evening, and eventually made it home with bags of candy and picked up some pizza to sit down and eat. Excluding the whininess, I think it went pretty well, but next year we should definitely bring the wagon to avoid the overly tired, woah-is-me attitudes that were shared the second half of the evening. Luckily neighborhood trick-or-treat is not quite so extensive, and the dark usually helps push the kiddos to wanting to head back home.


After a little over a month of new pre-kindergarden school activities and crafts, I already see incredible improvement in the girls coloring and writing skills. In fact, Reagan has already written her own name, without tracing any letters, and it proudly displays on the wall at school that shows the classroom lettering crafts. All three really enjoy tracing books now and do a great job following the lettering. They also constantly ask for white paper, meaning paper with nothing to color, so they can expand their ideas without any distractions. Needless to say, we go through a lot of paper. The other day Reagan looked at me and said, “do I look like a crazy maniac?! No! I draw within the lines!” when I asked her about her coloring. Silly girl. We’ve also seen the first little people drawings from Reagan, which I am SO excited about. They are all head and legs and it’s adorably cute- now she is starting to tell you which people they are and draw scenery around them. We definitely have an artist in the family! Harper continues to draw rainbows on everything and Emerie is more willing to sit and color now, than in previous months.

Many discussions now center around, what letter does this word start with? What letter does THIS word start with? And you pretty much have to explain every letter start in the English alphabet. And we are only on letter “e” at school so far! All three know what their names start with, what Craig and my name starts with- Reagan keeps asking me why both our names start with an “r”. Such questions. They are also very defensive about sharing “their” letter with others, and seem to think they own it, similar to how they act with their pink, purple and teal color associations. For letter “e” show and tell, Emerie informed me her sisters didn’t need to attend the day, since it was her letter and her day.

Each day brings a new randomly taught skill. One Friday they came home and quoted me the entire pledge of allegiance, all three of them! They informed us afterwards that they do it at school a lot; it’s cute to see them repeat words that have absolutely no meaning to them yet. Other days they are questioning which side is right and which is left, and can now pick up the correct foot or arm if you ask.

In addition to letters and writing, basic math is just around the corner. Many car rides home from school involve how many fingers is this and then this? What is this hand and this hand…is it ten? These types of questions are the very foundation of math and I can’t believe it’s already starting. They seem to pick it up pretty quickly too, as you talk through the answers.

One morning I caved into the requests and let everyone use the glass markers to create intricate and wild creations on the backdoor. Reagan drew the first people I have seen her attempt and they are completely adorable, with the big heads and bodies and tiny legs and arms. The wild hair seems to indicate that maybe they are drawing Grandma Sue, but that has not been confirmed to date. Harper continues to enjoy making dozens of rainbows on everything she draws. This also reminds me she had a little too much creativity when one of our mountain art designs from the wall was set down on a table and within reach. I fully planned to blame one of the visiting boys for the writing on it, until I discovered the red letter “H” across the middle…and I don’t think she can deny that one and get away with it…

One night after school we took the girls to get fancy nails. In normal color fashion, all three selected shades of their colors (after talking Harper out of the sparkle one that wouldn’t show very well) and proceeded to entertain much of the salon as their hands and feet were beautified. Harper was last to go and did a great job waiting patiently, while Reagan and Emerie could barely contain themselves sitting for their turn and wiggled all over the place. Emerie continues to be the wiggle worm of the three for these types of activities, and hilariously laughed when they filed her toe nails, as if it was the most hilarious thing in the world. Harper sat like a statue for her turn, watching the beautification process with appreciation. It’s fun to start doing these types of things now, as long as you bring lots of snacks and don’t wait too long to go.

And to round out our busy lives and much overdue update, is Harper’s latest life quote, with the words… this is difficult! Everything is difficult! It’s difficult! And there you have it folks, an accurate, one phrase depiction of current life events in the Douglas household. Good thing they are so adorably cute… here is one of my favorite photos from this fall, captured by yours truly on an afternoon excursion (ahem photo op) to the park by our house.

Ch(ea)rs to You!

We decided this week wasn’t busy enough so after daycare pick up today, we trekked over to the mall and went to get everyone’s ears pierced.

Background, the last few weeks everyone has been very vocal about my earrings, asking when they can have big girl earrings and be like mom. Reagan adamantly decides what I should wear most mornings, including my fancy beaded ones on our hike over the weekend. We talked a bit earlier in the week about a “tiny owie and then it’s over” type piercing, but didn’t go any further than that.

As usual, Craig was much more averse to tackling it while I hesitated and would have waited until they were older (I’m less fun), thinking that Emerie wouldn’t remotely do it and while Reagan thought she wanted to, she might chicken out when it came down to it.

The girls enthusiastically perused the store, checking out all the glitter, nail polish, jewelry cases and everything in between. Claire’s is literally the perfect place for the pink, purple and teal life theme we live; add little girl stuff, and they were in heaven.

They wanted to look like Emie!

Harper chose pink studs, of course, without taking much time to consider other options. Emerie picked multi-colored flowers, and Reagan chose the “teal flower” (she corrected me when I said blue) studs. In birth order, Harper trudged forward into the chair, absolutely confident in her choice to go first. That’s pretty common for her; little did she know it would be a pinch.

Needless to say, the other two watched in horror as she burst into tears after the first one. The employee doing it was so very nice and spent a bunch of time warming her up to it, making sure the impending holes were centered in the exact right spot, and explaining all the steps. Harper didn’t put up much of a fight for the second ear, although she ricochet off it like a bat out of hell and with some tears. A promised lollipop and look in the mirror stopped the tears and she was fine from them on. Thank goodness the girl was fast!

The event went downhill from there. Reagan was out of there at this point, claiming to be shopping around the store and avoiding the scary chair. She also found a wall of panda stuff, her happy place. Craig spent the next few minutes convincing Emerie, until her first ear was done. Waterworks, rage, demands for us to take it out. She yelled for me across the store, then yelled she wanted Grandma Sue. It took at least 20 minutes to convince her to hold still and get the second ear done, and a lot of snuggles afterwards and the purchase of a plush unicorn that she adopted through her tears. That one was rough.

At this point Reagan knew that didn’t look fun and wanted no part in it, and began asking for clip-on earrings and not her fancy teal ones. After some discussion, she was still not onboard, but at least Harper was back to happy and Emerie’s waterworks had stopped. I took the two off to celebrate their big-girl status with an ice cream, also giving Reagan a chance with less chaos for Craig to convince her it wouldn’t be so bad. It’s amazing how claims of pain and suffering vanish when ice cream AND sprinkles becomes an option. Harper and Reagan both picked the sherbert swirl with a load of rainbow sprinkles and waited for the sisters. Luckily we were across the mall at this point, as I assume the rage fire that is my youngest child was likely bubbling to the surface. Ultimately she ran toward us without any tears, excited for her turn at ice cream and to show us her pretty ears. So yes, in truth, we survived the entire event. Ice cream was enjoyed, dinner barely occurred later, and everyone is nearly asleep in their beds as I wrap up the evening’s adventure. Hopefully sleep will come quick and ears will stay clean until they are all healed up. I see more jewelry shopping in our future; that and I may need to start hiding some of my dangles, because I know of three little girls that want to try them on already.

Post evening torture photo. Emerie was over it and reading her book.

Ch(ea)rs! ❤