Comprehension

The shut command has been in our house for quite a while, but now they understand that objects can shut AND open, cabinets can shut AND open, doors can shut AND open and speak accordingly. The other day Emerie told me to unlock the baby gate for her! No idea when she learned that word. They also seem to understand when something is broken, whether that is a glass drinking glass they got off the counter and threw or a toy that has a part that is broken. They will give these broken objects kisses to make them better and its adorable.

They understand what owies are and are starting to say “sowwie” when they hurt you or each other. Often the one that didn’t cause the injury will volunteer the apology for their sister and repeat it to the one that is crying. Sometimes they will give you or sister a kiss to make it all better or say “hug!” and reach out and hug the injured party. It’s sweet because they assume that makes it all better and then go about their previous activity.

Vocabulary words are growing exponentially and it’s enjoyable to see the development. For example, baba (bottle) was a very common word around here for a long time and has now morphed into specifics, including mik, juice, waer and this week, coffee. They now point at our morning cups and the pot on the counter and let us know there is coffee in them with a coffeeeeeee, and remind us it is hot.

They know plate, spoon, fork (I won’t spell how this is pronounced haha), and cup, as well as the table and chairs they sit at. After dinner they understand the distinction between the bath and the shower, running into the correct bathroom (their bathroom has the soaker tub while ours has the enclosed shower) and yelling shower! Or bath time!

Other vocabulary expansions pertain to objects as opposed to actions. Everyone understands multiple shoe types and will go get the correct one to wear, whether it is boots, tennis shoes (they call those shoes) or sandals (sandalllls). They will grab Mom and Dad’s boots and deliver them upon request and distinguish between rain jacket, coat, and shirt. Right now we are working on lid versus hat and hood. They all love hats and wore their winter ones in the house for a while. When we are out and about, they understand their hood is on their hoodies and will pull them up when it’s cold or windy.

Another new concept is saying people’s names…they know so many more people, whether that is in person, through walls around the neighborhood, or through lots of FaceTime calls, and comprehend who they are. The top ones, of course, are mommy, daddy, nanny and papa; sometimes they say these back to back with a “nanny momma daddy” (or in other variations) and can repeat them very quickly! And of course variations of each others’ names: Harpa, Emmi and Ray Ray, especially when mad or wanting to share a snack! Other name nouns in the everyday vocabulary are Koda (dog), uncle (this one is repeated quite often and refers to Uncle Will), auntie for best friend Janelle, grandma, Pricey (nanny’s hubby) and, of course, mermaid, which sounds crystal clear when they want one of the dolls.

On the animal front, we scream for birds in flight and at anything monkey related, moo for cows and quack for ducks and chickens. The favored stuffed animals are their bears from my baby shower and their puppies. After meeting a chicken in real life, they would not remotely repeat the word but were willing to feed them grass through their cage.

Another big step this week was our slow shift to booster seats at the “adult table,” I.e. the dining set we’ve ignores for two years and used as a storage area. The boosters make them look so grown up and the couple meals have mostly been successes. The plan is to transition over to them and sell the wonderful triplet table. It was a game changer but now they push back on getting in it and the close proximity causes fighting and a lot of screaming. Our dining set only fits four, so clearly another upgrade for that is on the horizon too. But seriously, how cute are they…

Another new word, bug, was on repeat for a few minutes after Emerie has her first bee (or horse fly…not sure) sting on her thigh last weekend. She handled it like a pro, even when all red and presumably itchy, and kept pointing at her leg and saying bug. Luckily they haven’t figured out how to say mosquito yet…which will be adorable… Harper has polka dots all over her face and legs from park time and the other two a few spots as well. We played with a couple beetles in the yard and discovered the existence of worms after a rainfall. Reagan picked it right up and put it back on the dirt, while Emerie really wanted to smash the little guy and Harper was not about to hold it in her hand. It’s fun to see how different everyone’s reactions are to slimy, wiggly things outside. No fear!

As the girls continue to spout out more words and phrases, we will be over here enjoying the hot, sunny weather…in the toddler pool, with adorable swimsuits…and their bog boots. Because no mom was the response to no shoes required for the pool, so they slopped all that water all over the deck and the floor until I convinced them barefoot would be fun. Ah, the #momlife!

All of the Glamor

You know what’s hard? Parenting. Raising nice, obedient, intellectual children in a high pace, technological and diverse everyday environment. Making sure they are healthy, safe, and comforted each and every day, that they get enough attention and one-on-one time, and grow and thrive.

The past week has been more challenging than our normal triplet life and not something that is depicted on my usual cute and happy social media posts. Which brings me to a point of irritation for my week: social media. It is great to sharing your life and updating multiple people simultaneously and be able to look back on prior years’ activities, but it glamorizes so many things that realistically aren’t. For example, Facebook and Instagram posts that show smiling babies, cuddled up with one another, with clean houses in the backdrop and parents nicely dressed, with perfect hair, clothes and makeup…everyone is smiling.

This is more realistic!

Can I call BS on this for a moment?! Not that those moments don’t exist, but they are not the everyday norm, whether you have one kid or three or seventeen! In fact, I really do understand the effort it takes to get a cute photo of three toddlers together, with no one blurry or screaming or looking away, and it usually involves me as a sweating mess by the time they are all camera ready and cooperative.

Don’t get me wrong, I post more happy and uplifting things on my accounts than any of our hardships, since the happy memories are easier to carry in the long run and especially in hindsight. But sometimes I want to see the messy photos from people- because we are all going through things, especially now. I want to see the struggles and how they are overcome! That’s far more valuable to me than a bunch of perfect, unrealistic (but very cute!) photos. We should want to remember the treacherous and highly active life we are experiencing; someday we will look back on it proudly…because we made it through! Is that so wrong?

Raising children, let alone multiples, is not glamorous or for the weak of heart. It requires a ton of energy, patience, dedication and sacrificing hobbies, sleep, socializing and often your sanity to get through each day. It’s survival mode, with one task following the next all day long and sometimes no time to enjoy the good moments. It can be very lonely, with not enough time in the day to say hello how are you, even by text, to other people who don’t generally reach out to you to say it.

Grumpy Harper

Now I wouldn’t trade my life as it stands today, but I wouldn’t mind it being a tad easier from time to time and like any parent, sometimes need some support. It can be frustrating to see other’s “perfect” lives, or at least the ones they want to show, on display. Now I definitely have my moments and tend to provide others with my “highlight reel”, but who really wants to see what the chaos is really like? Anyone? Besides me?

My day to day optimism is running a bit low these days, and while I don’t agree that talking about difficulties is the same as complaining about it, I venture to say this is what raising three toddlers really looks like.

Someone is always upset…it’s rare to have three happy at once although it does happen occasionally (and I try to be camera ready for it!). Typically they rotate on the fits. Recently Harper, who was inconsolable the entire weekend and cried for about three days straight, is slowly starting to improve in mood. Crying, whining, more crying and a lot of wanting the opposite parent who is holding her, about 100% of the time.

We checked her ears, any potential new teeth, looked her over head to toe and asked her about any owies, and are now just guessing she is simply anxious or in a major developmental growth spurt and trying to figure out how to manage it. We initially thought it was 1) a fear of airplanes flying overhead, 2) loud noises like airplanes flying overhead, 3) the wind hitting her face/hair, and the current guess is 4) anxiety of parents out of sight or a fear of the dark.

A not-perfect photo that depicts my day perfectly.

Mid last week she started with running in the house, crying for some unknown reason and not wanting to be outside, to insisting on attention 1000% of the time or continuing the total meltdown, to refusing to stay in her crib and immediately climbing out unless you were within eyesight. Prior to last Friday, she had never climbed out of her crib or attempted to, even after seeing Emerie and Reagan do it, and enjoyed playing outside without any issues. The normal nap time routine meant setting Emerie and Harper in their cribs, turning out the light with the sound machine on, putting Reagan down in the guest room bed, and crossing your fingers they all blessed you with a full, two hour nap. Fast forward to this week- we are surviving nap time with Nanny Chris laying down and settling Reagan in the guest room and me taking my “lunch break” and sitting in their room until they both fall asleep. Harper will emotionally instruct me to “sit” on the sofa in the nursery, and then immediately falls asleep, knowing I am sitting there. She then continues to wake up hysterical and occasionally we can coax her back down, but not most of the time. Emerie, my sleeper, will chats herself to sleep and mostly nap through Harper’s outcries. The double adult method is not preferred, to say the least, but we haven’t been able to resolve her stresses.

The mood disruption also means once of us must sit in their room at night, until all are completely asleep, because you can’t get up and sneak out after an exhausted Harper falls asleep, since the other two sense your movement and want to go with you. The past two nights I’ve spent two-plus hours past 2 AM, sitting and reminding them I am nearby so they’ll go back to sleep in their own beds. Sufficive to say, sleep patterns are not going great in the Douglas household right now, in addition to upset babies during the day and our usual busy routine.

As we navigate through another unknown of toddler hood, and pray the other two don’t step into it with Harper, toddler beds are now on order (unfortunately) and we are slightly scrambling to determine what other baby proofing needs to occur. Closet doors need to be purchased, painted and installed, more baby gates to block off other not babyproofed rooms, decisions on how to rearrange nursery cameras out of reach, those types of details that must be solved while still handling one upset and needy toddler AND her two sisters; all during a global pandemic that almost completely limits any support from outside our household.

So yes, even writing this made me tired, and it isn’t exactly joyous and uplifting; but hey, this is real life. Saying it’s hard is okay, because life isn’t easy or perfect and parenting three can be chaotic. I would not agree if you told me that my life was chaos- in fact people have told me that before and I semi-take offense to it. Why? Because my life is routine, routine, routine. It is very regimented. The minor (and major) interruptions are what we have to get through, because it is just a phase and we will get through it. We just might be a bit more tired during it…

So please…take a nice nap for me on this long holiday weekend, and send some extra patience our way. I think we are going to need it.

Have to end on a cute photo at least- Emerie, Reagan, Harper

Springtime Fun

The past few weeks have just been business as usual. Craig heads off to work and I pull out the laptop for the day. The girls enjoy their weekdays with the nanny while we work, and we try to come up with fun and exciting new activities to fill all the other moments in between.

Spring is finally here and its presence greatly impacts our day-to-day- in a good way. Hours are filled with playing outside, exploring, climbing in the raspberry patch, digging out rocks and dropping them everywhere, pulling each other in the wagon, “flying” on the teeter totter airplane, and playing on the toy explosion that is now the backyard. There are even moments that the adult can sit down in a lawn recliner…not long moments, but they are there!

Rocks are now in EVERYTHING. Everywhere I turn I find a rock. Could be a big rock, could be a small rock. Could be in the pocket of my jacket or my jeans, in the washer and dryer, under my foot as I step on it barefoot in the living room, or in the mouth of my toddler as they’re polishing one off with their tongue. We are definitely in the rock obsession stage; playing outside mostly consists of shoveling them from one place to another and littering the yard with tiny piles of gravel. I’m pretty sure we will need to refill the base underneath the shed or the hot tub before long! Maybe one day one of them will be an expert dirt worker like their cousins or grandpas! For now, we get to experience the world of tiny little pebbles all over the place and hope that they don’t eat too many of them.

The rock pit

I’ve been jotting down cute or funny things the girls do each day instead of making an effort to come up with larger blog topics. Everyone has their own personality quirks and they are shining more brightly as the days pass. It’s interesting to see how they shift since infancy- for example, we always joked that Emerie was “the diva” as a baby (and she was!), but now that mood has shifted into Harper, who now gives us a little more of an emotional roller coaster some days while Emerie remains more relaxed and independent. Other traits that vanished after a while are back- such as Reagan and her tiny baby smiles, even in the NICU, are now back and in full force, especially if you ask her to say “cheese!” She will give you a big, toothy grin.

My little mimickers now hold doors and baby gates open for me, waiting until I walk through to close them while ushering a few “mommas” my direction. Emerie will insist I pass her before shutting the door and even lectures me when I forget to lock the front door before a walk! Yes, they still slam the door on each other and have epic fights over who should control the back door, but at least they are starting to grow some kind of manners.

Reagan discovered a chore she now does for Craig…it involves harvesting all the leaves off plants and delivering them. Our poor vine plant looks so sad without leaves on half of it and is now relocated higher and out of reach.

The toddler arguing is in full force, and by that, I mean arguing with the parents. When pear slices are provided as an after dinner treat, they insist they are apples and fully disagree when you correct them. At least they eat them!

We’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that we can’t do everything we want on a day-to-day basis because our children outnumber us; we have learned we cannot let them walk out the front door into the stroller or toward the car yet. The other day this resulted in Harper and Reagan both taking off different directions away from us; Craig followed Harper and I caught up with Reagan before she hit the street. Harper ended up with her first skinned knee and side of her for head as she completely bit it on the neighbors concrete driveway. She took the fall better than I expected and only cried for a few minutes and was then fine. She still points out her “owie” on occasion. It may be the first big scrape but it definitely won’t be the last.

A few days later Harper dropped a metal toy on her foot and sliced it open. We didn’t even notice until the blood was dripping and required a bandaid! While Reagan has done a good job staying away from the upsetting injuries and has the normal bumps and bruises, Emerie has a badly smashed pinkie nail that is completely blue and likely to fall off any day. She tripped over a toy and smashed it against her plastic picnic basket. Poor baby. She also instigated a bite on Reagan’s forearm that is worthy of a photo and caused some major consternation in the moment.

What Emerie’s teeth look like on Reagan…

The only improvement on the injury side of toddlerhood is that they can now tell you where it hurts and point; if they smack you in the face with something you also might get a kiss or a “sowwie” out of them.

In addition to that, the girls try to help out one another a little more. Now yes, they are still beating each other with toys, trying to smother a sibling during a diaper change, and constantly finding ways to irritate each other, but they also have nice moments. When someone falls down, like when Harper or Emerie tripped on a root in the woods, Reagan would stop and pull them into a standing position by their arm. Occasionally one will give the other a kiss when upset, and once or twice I even spotted a hug. The handholding is still a new concept but coming along ADORABLY. Emerie favors it the most and Reagan thinks it’s funny. Harper is still not a fan and would rather be out running in the lead of the group.

They also enjoy chasing each other in the yard and the house and pulling on their hat strings or a piece of ribbon and going back and forth, back and forth. This activity can easily last 30 minutes and provide quite the cardio workout when you participate!

We tried eating at the kitchen table for breakfast once last weekend and it went far better than expected. We’ve had an issue since the girls have been small of keeping them from climbing on the dining table (or anything really), meaning our chairs are always flipped upside down on the table out of reach, end tables are in the garage, and furniture is rearranged to diminish all the “get downs!” we are always yelling. This past weekend we tried leaving dining chairs on the floor and each time a toddler climbed into one, made sure they were sitting on their butt and instructed them chairs are for sitting. I thought this was going to be an epic battle to the death but really they did great and seem to want to sit like big girls like we do. Maybe they’ve seen us do it enough to follow suit. We don’t have booster seats and need to purchase them; instead we are using the portable boosters we take to the park and to restaurants to eat. We also don’t have a dining room table that seats more than four, which is an issue when you have three babies and two adults.

Sitting like big girls

Other random points of interest from the past few weeks…the sight of birds sprouts joy and enthusiasm and a lot of shrieking and pointing. This is also the case for passing airplanes, except for Harper, who now has her first major fear of something and goes running into the house (crying) at the loud sound overhead. We will be working on that because this is an airplane friendly household, in a city that has constant air traffic overhead.

The girls are learning their ABC and 123s quite well for their age. Emerie quoted A through F to me yesterday and then hummed more of the song, Reagan can sing the entire twinkle twinkle little star song in her own little language, and everyone says random blurts of the alphabet or numbers throughout the day. They actually do it better for Nanny Chris than for us! We are also learning the different sounds animals make and the girls are expanding their vocabulary to more than just the basic farm and household animals. For some reason everyone is latched onto monkeys right now and completely obsessed with them. I need to find a couple books that directly relate so that we can continue that enthusiasm.

All in all, bring on summer! As I’m writing this, bright and early, another beautiful day is on its way. As the girls would say, “sunshine!!

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!

Interests and Personalities

It’s that time of year ago, to celebrate another birthday. I can hardly believe it! In honor of year two, I am breaking out the girls separately to highlight that while they are sisters and triplets, they are also individuals with different interests and personalities too!

Birthday girls in their birthday dresses!

Due to the eventful societal issues right now, two year checkups were canceled so we measured heights and weights ourselves. In my head the girls were already 30 pounds and I was way off! While I look forward to turning the car seats forward facing this year, we are definitely not ready to trigger that yet.

At two, the girls constantly call to each other and it’s very cute to see. Emerie is the chattiest and consistently talks to Harpa and Ray-gi; Harper says Emmi and Ray Ray; and Reagan says Harpa and Emmi. Emerie also calls herself Emmi (emphasis on the “i”) when she explains something happening to her. The girls also say Momma (me), Daddy (Craig), Papa (Lon and Cliff), Nanny (Chris), and we are still working on Grandma…and not to be forgotten…Koda and Kalli (dogs) are consistently spoken to and about. They are not on a first name basis with the cats yet.

We are amidst the terrible twos and have been for several months now. While the scale of tantrums is less than I would have guessed, everyone has their moments. The loving moments trade back and forth with the hitting, biting, crying, and toy stealing…and timeouts. The toddler grumpiness will be interesting over the next year, and I’ve yet to capture a full-on, triple temper tantrum but rest assured, I am prepared to catch that on video!

In the midst of that, small tasks allow the girls to be more helpful. Everyone throws their laundry downstairs at bedtime, sometimes help clean up toys, and will put their boots and coats away when asked. If directed, they will bring a toy or juice over to their sister as well as a binkie for comfort.

Harper

Height: 35.5″ tall

Weight: 27.8 pounds

Harper Anne is two!

Harper is a social butterfly and quite a sweetheart. She gives amazing hugs. But, she is also what I would call a “bulldozer;” once she puts her mind to something, you better go with it or move out of the way. This goes for her sisters as well, they can be collateral damage when she is on a mission. Like her dad, she is either still or moving one hundred miles per hour… something we learned when she started walking and immediately started running. I certainly consider her the sprinter of the household.

She is our best sleeper and a grump when she misses a nap or has an interrupted night of sleep. If Emerie or Reagan abruptly awakes her in the middle of the night, it is very difficult to coax her back to sleep in her crib. If they don’t wake her up, she sleeps fine. She wakes up in the morning happy and ready to start the day, but usually grumpy after nap time because someone woke her up before she was ready.

She is not a fan of snuggling under a blanket, but loves to wear them around the house, curled around her head and shoulders. She absolutely refuses to have one over her feet to go to sleep. She loves to pretend drive the toddler cars that are currently in the dining room and will sit there and spin the wheel and giggle.

By this age I figured everyone would have a bit of realistic “fear” in them from the possibility of getting hurt. Harper? Not a chance. She’s a daredevil and freely trust falls off things, expecting you to catch her, climbs as high as she can for the view, and dives off things just to try it. While she doesn’t like to be cold and outside on frigid days, but she enjoys the excitement of sled rides and when we swing her around on it. She also likes to help shovel.

She is by far the chillest baby of the three (unless her hair is getting done), even from infancy, and she still loves watching and interacting with animals. It seems to be quite the heartbreak when Nanny Chris goes home each day, as she sadly called out Nanny to us for a good five minutes before we distract her with something else! Two of her front teeth are chipped (and did not enjoy the dentist), she likes salty over sweet, and she loves an occasional snack of dog food, that happens more often than I care to admit.

Emerie

Height: 34.5″ tall

Weight: 25.2 pounds

Emerie Faye is two!

Emerie is our little peanut and the smallest of the three. She doesn’t let that stop her and can definitely hold her own with her sisters. She enjoys discovering how things work, building blocks, and playing with the little people dollhouses. She runs around the house with a purse filled with all kinds of goodies or a dolly, yelling “buh-bye!” Any small box or container becomes hours of entertainment, whether it is filled with snow, an ice cube, snacks, or random specs of dirt.

She is the main talker (maybe I should say the most demanding) of the three and mimics words like a pro. She then teaches them to her sisters; even relatively large words, such as caterpillar, broccoli, french fries, and so on. Her most common words are shut, no, and Daddy and while she doesn’t yet say colors, she seems to believe the color pink is called “Harpa.” She is also a daredevil and climbs on anything and everything. She can do a somersault and enjoys running away from you and standing on her head, just so you can’t change her clothes.

Her latest obsession is Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and the song must be played first thing each day…and repeated…and repeated. She has smooth dance moves and enjoys solo and group dancing. After three months (Christmas present from Shelly!), dancing with the singing monkey is still as fun as ever and she will tote that animal all over the house.

All of her front teeth are intact (for the moment!). She is a good sport at doctor appointments, even when she’s visited so many. One of her favorite places is outside, hot or cold, and she would stay and play for hours if we’d let her (and didn’t have two others!). After a sled ride she generally melts down when forced back inside. This would be easier if she would wear her gloves, but so far she doesn’t mind being outside with tiny, frozen fingers.

She doesn’t mind getting her hair done and getting “pretty.” She likes to check out Mom’s jewelry and will tell me it’s pretty with a big smile. Lastly, she is the only one of the three that actively helps clean up the house- she will put toys back into the bins and close them, even before any prompting from an adult.

Reagan

Height: 35.5″ tall (identical to Harper)

Weight: 27.8 pounds (identical to Harper)

Reagan Jean is two!

Reagan remains the shyest of the three and is the binkie baby. Not only does she constantly yell “binkie” at you, but she often has one in each hand and one in her mouth. Her love of binkies reaches to her sisters and she is more than willing to share one when a sister is upset. Little does she know this phase of her life is nearing an end, when the binkies will be out of sight and hopefully out of mind… that might be a rough week. She is a daredevil in some ways, but also willing to hang back and see what Harper and Emerie do first.

Since infancy, she always loved to dance and definitely has rhythm from her Dad (thank goodness). She often grabs a blanket and binkie and sits on the couch with you for a snuggle session. At bedtime, she must have a blanket on before turning off the light and she will remind you to do it. Of course, of the three, Reagan requires the least amount of sleep and she knows it! She fights nap time and bedtime the most and ends up in our room to settle more often than the other two. On the other hand, iff we are in the car, she is always the first one asleep and will sleep like a champ.

Taking after her Dad, she LOVES sugar and sweets and is adamant we share anything we are eating that relates to dessert. Her front, right tooth is nearly chipped in half from a fall in the dining room a couple months back; although she didn’t mind the dentist nearly as much as Harper did. If you want to check her ears, she is much less thrilled. Teeth? They seem okay. And she continues to climb like a monkey, so fingers crossed for her other tooth…

While cleaning up toys is not a constant practice with her, she does love to run around the room with the toy vacuums and pretend to clean the floor and rugs. I think she will be the kid to vacuum the house once she’s bigger, as the real vacuum is quite intriguing. She greatly enjoys bath time and standing at the faucet and playing, but will run from you when you try to brush her hair afterwards. Luckily, with a small bribery of chocolate chips, she doesn’t fight getting her hair done.

Reagan is the most advanced in terms of potty training- she’s been telling us her “business” for a few months now, although sitting on the potty chair is more of a game than a practicality. A dirty diaper must be changed immediately or the yelling will continue. She will tell you and then walk up the stairs and point to where you should go to fix the issue. She was also the first to figure out clothing removal: shoes, socks, pants, shirts, and now her diaper. She will not wear her pajamas at bedtime unless we put her in a full sleeper and safety pin the zipper until sleep sack time. In the car, she is the first to remove her shoes and often trades boots with whoever is sitting next to her so they are mismatched.


Favorites

While many foods and activities are the same for all three, if you really look at it, some traits are different. Here are some of the highlights between the three, in order of Harper / Emerie / Reagan.

Favorite Food: green beans, broccoli and corn, cheese, sausage, applesauce and white rice

Favorite Snack: fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, apples and peanut butter

Favorite Toy: pink riding airplane / singing monkey or any container / mini vacuum

Favorite Song: Tay Tay’s (Taylor Swift) Shake It Off, Baby Shark, and This Little Light of Mine

Favorite TV Show/Movie: Llama Llama (if you can count 30 seconds of watching TV as a favorite…they love and dance to the theme song every time though!), music from Moana, Frozen and the entire Trolls movie soundtrack

Favorite Sport: soccer or sprinting (she’s our runner) / soccer (she likes to kick the ball) / basketball or baseball (she has quite the arm)

Favorite Songs: Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Baby Shark, all the songs from the Trolls movie, and Pharrell William’s Happy

Favorite Word: buh-bye / shut or no / binkie

Current Obsession: nursery sound machine and nightlight!


It was quite the year, and to quote myself from last year, I look forward to seeing what new things the girls comprehend and learn in 2020. I’m also genuinely excited for spring to get here already (and summer), so we can play outside without taking fifteen minutes to get everyone dressed, enjoy the sun, and go on more outdoorsy adventures than the past two years, even if we have to practice “social distancing.”