Word Explosion

To say the least, last week was quite a week. Between Father’s Day on Sunday, our wedding anniversary on Tuesday, Emerie’s surgery Wednesday, and Craig heading out of town for the following two days, I can say I’m tired! In addition to just being really busy with those events, it also marks a year since we lost Chris, causing emotions to be on a constant high and thoughts to be scattered and broken.

Hanging out with Auntie while Daddy was out of town.

In the midst of our emotional roller coaster week, we preoccupied ourselves with the girls…which is not very difficult to do, since they are busy busy busy and that leaves little down time to process any feelings. I also count my blessings that Aunt Janelle was willing and able to come hang out with us while Craig was off adventuring. Thank you friend!!

We started word phrasing this week (in English, not triplet talk), with the girls constantly saying new things back at you as you speak with them or direct them to do things. For example, one afternoon Harper started yelling soccer ball, with attitude, making it come out more like SOCKa ball, and running around the house throwing the mini pink soccer ball. I’m uncertain when we graduated to using adjectives with our nouns, but needless to say I enjoy seeing their minds as work as they showcase their new vocabulary.

Here’s a cute example of Harper and her new word; turn up your sound!

Several other house favorites this week are phone and loud; by that I really mean looouuuuudddd, in the word and the sound. The girls continue to compete in their screaming contests, usually instigated by Emerie and much to the dismay of their Dad, with Harper and Reagan matching her voice and they all disintegrate into giggles. If a large jet flies overhead, they announce the airplane, point, and then remind you it’s loud. I mean they aren’t wrong…

It is likely that we will never go anywhere and forget our cell phones. While we keep the kid/phone interaction to a minimal (both because they don’t need to play with them at this age AND we only have 2 phones and 3 toddlers), they obviously see us talk, text and take photos on them. With tools such as Face-time, we make an effort to constantly talk “face to face” with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. In fact, we get daily requests for phone calls. Since her surgery, Emerie has nightly asked to talk to Papa Cliff, Harper and Reagan have given us a few grandma requests.

Anytime we leave one out within reach, someone is grabbing it and making one of two choices. Either they come running straight to us, incessantly hollering phone until we accept it; or the house becomes very quiet as they find a place to hide and play with it, bringing their sisters along for the fun. If a phone is out on the table, generally unused and just sitting there, anytime one stands up to grab something there is a PA announcement from the buckled-in toddler team, ensuring all parties in the house are aware- the. phone. is. on. the. table. MOM-phone!!! This announcement also occurs with coffee cups left out; and to their credit, that’s a great reminder to drink some more coffee BECAUSE OF THEM.

Other word explosions this week include the addition of small phrases and descriptive words. If we continue to excel this quickly, I swear everyone will be saying sentences by the end of the month. Emerie and Reagan repeated soccer ball after Harper’s introduction of it, and now everyone zooms around the living room with a soccer/bouncy ball, yelling it to each other. The other day, Reagan instructed me to shut the door, both to the back deck and later when she was helping me load laundry in the washer. On neighborhood walks in the afternoon, as we approach our weekly walking buddies’ house, Emerie exclaimed Jessie’s house as we walked up to it; now all three announce it about a block away. Sorry to everyone else who lives there…because it’s Jessie’s house now.

The light bulb recently clicked on regarding television. As you know, we’ve played a lot of YouTube channel music throughout their lives, including the beloved Shake It Off, princess medleys, old Disney songs, the kid Cocomelon and Dave and Ava medleys, a good amount of pop music like Pharrell’s Happy, and now Lola the Cow on repeat. The girls stop and dance to the music, since they were in jumpers at about nine months, but never last more than half a song before they are off doing something else. In the past two weeks they are starting to comment on things they recognize on the television and it’s peaking interest to pay attention to it. This especially applies to animals such as cows, ducks, monkeys (we did an Animal Planet lunch the other day), llamas (or a demand to watch them), and airplanes; and now they tell us about the animals on TV.

Remember back in the day, when the number one obsession in this house was staring at the ceiling fan, first motionless and then rotating? The girls have found a new love I’ve eluded to on a couple occasions, but let’s be clear. We went from a love of ceiling fans to a love of trash and trashcans. I’m not sure if Craig and I started this by instructing the girls to throw their dirty diapers away in the kitchen, or if the term “ucky” was thrown around enough to start it. They LOVE pointing out ucky dog poop in the yard, pointing to bird or dog poop on walks or at the park, and adamantly demand we open the garbage disposal if they find a speck of trash on the ground. Our zoo visits and walks are really just tours of trash cans, with excited screams from the strollers once they are in sight. If they had to pick between seeing the live polar bear at the zoo and the trashcan 20 feet away…well, I’ll let you guess which they choose. They also play with the trashcan in their bedroom; luckily the kitchen one is locked and not openable, although they frequently run in there and turn the compactor on, just for the heck of it.

Cutting the grass

A few new mannerisms and imitations are now expressed. For example, Reagan just started nodding her head up-and-down when you ask her a question that doesn’t immediately insight a “no” response. She also snorts when she laughs and it’s SO CUTE. All three are starting to draw out their “nooooos”, especially at bedtime when all I want is them to calm down and go to bed! They also continue to mimic adults and our daily chores, such as laundry and cutting the grass. Harper may be afraid of the lawn mower, but she certainly likes to simultaneously cut the grass when Craig does! In fact, the last two times the grass was cut, two of the three were pushing some kind of toy lawnmower at the same time. They were “helping!”

All three discovered jewelry is pretty fun, although Emerie likes to dress up the most by far. I ordered a few sensory bracelets, partly because they were cute and partly because they were the only non-bead ones I could find in case they break. Emerie wears hers everyday, rotating colors and usually demanding a blue and Harpa (pink) one. Reagan likes to wear them occasionally and Harper generally just shares hers with Em. I ordered a few kid necklaces to try out next week; we will see how that goes.


Last weekend we ate breakfast out for the first time since the pandemic induced the quarantine. The girls were impressively well behaved and the owners were thrilled to see them walk into the restaurant (as opposed to stroller or being carried), all the way from the car to the booth and back! What progress we’ve made!! We aren’t super parking lot friendly yet but are trying to slowly make progress so that the girls can walk places and we don’t have to cart the huge stroller. So far, the only sometimes respond to direction and today was a good day.

Harper wasn’t really in the mood to eat breakfast unless it was off of Craig’s plate; Emerie and Reagan chowed down on sausage and morsels of my food. They would only eat the bananas if they were dipped in the melting butter from atop the pancakes. It was a nice change to get out of the house and eat, not have to clear off the table and set up chairs, and no dishes!

After the holiday I have the week off to give the nanny a nice break! Fingers crossed everyone is in decent moods and that the weather stays this beautiful. The original plan was to attempt potty training during this time, but we’ve decided to push that off a little longer until they are a little more matured. Either way, it is right around the corner!

Chillin’

❤ ❤ ❤

You are Loved

It’s taken me a while to find the words I wanted to explain my thoughts and it ultimately boils down to a very simplistic idea. I have a daily reminder to myself, through the crying, fits, mischievous behavior and fighting, reminding me that “you will never be more loved that you are right now.”

This idea is pretty profound, right?? It’s also really true. Your toddlers are teetering on independence, learning boundaries while staying in the comfort and knowledge that Mom and Dad are nearby and will protect them and keep them safe. As they grow older and mature, that love will change and reshape; but for now it really is unconditional!

you will never be more loved that you are right now

Unknown

It certainly makes me think. Think about how hard it is to raise a kiddo, let alone more than one, in a busy society filled with uncertainty and pressure. Think about the different, difficult stages that seem to be on repeat, think how to process them AND get through them while still trying to enjoy the days. Think about the sleepless nights and crazy busy days.

Snack time

They go to you for injuries, comfort, to snuggle or show you a rock they’ve found, as well as all other daily wants and needs. There’s no question in their mind that you are the person able to fulfill them and they never doubt your ability to. You are the person they have meltdowns with, because they know you will fix it and make it better, and the person to share an abundance of emotion, good and bad, as those unrecognizable feelings rise to the surface and bubble over.

Reminding yourself that your kiddos have an unrequited and abundant love for you helps improve state of mind! At least it does for me. One must remember to enjoy all these different parts of parenthood, the easy parts as well as the detrimental ones, because the future teenage meltdowns will not result in easy forgiveness and a snuggle! I have to enjoy the constant demand for attention, the “mom! mom! mom!”, because it won’t always be this way and they won’t always be vying for my unlimited attention. Enjoy it. Embrace it.

Growing up happens really quickly, and I don’t think it is something you realize until you witness your kiddos age before your eyes. This is on my mind this month, as we’ve made some daily changes that only occur as the girls grow and mature from babies to toddlers to pre-school age.

For example, the beloved triplet table is now collecting dust in the garage. The past month or two the girls have fought us on sitting in it, regardless of the fact that they still fit in it, and the past six months we’ve left the middle seat empty and separated one out in a high chair due to the fighting, hair pulling and food stealing that occurs.

They’ve taken to the adult table really well, and by that I am referring to the eating part. Less food is thrown on the floor (in general) than at the triple table and they usually humor us and sit a little longer. They also like to climb up and buckle themselves in for meals and the occasional puzzle. You can definitely tell they try to mimic us and be “grownup.”

But don’t let that convince you they are behaved grownups; because, well, someday they will learn to sit at the table and not stand and dance on top of it. After two weeks, if you walk out of the room for five second, you return to everyone standing on it and trying to play with the TV, the remote, or anything they usually can’t reach. Many tears and timeouts continue to occur from this.

Another furniture change was getting rid of the baby slide I found at a garage sale early last summer when they were just starting to walk. It was probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent in my life and was used constantly for months! It used to be a big slide with little girls playing on it; now it’s a little slide with big girls playing on it! It started on the back deck, shifted to the family and living room for the winter, and now off to a new toddler to enjoy!

This past week we’ve let the minions run free at a few new spots, including two walks where they lollygagged down the trail freely and did surprisingly well. They picked flowers, collected rocks, shrieked at the mud puddles, and ran around ON THE TRAIL. I know, I can’t believe it either. Part of that is due to the extra hands that walked with us and partly due to the vegetation on either side being about their height.

Emerie walked most of the way holding my hand (her insistence, not mine!), accepting flowers handed to her by Harper and Reagan and putting rocks in my pockets. Harper ran up the trail and then back to us on a continual loop, screaming at birds and claiming to see piles of poop. Reagan collected flowers and shifted between the front of the group and holding our hands.

In case you are wondering why everyone is in hooded sweatshirts for a walk in the middle of June…I can confidently tell you the mosquitoes are out in force this year and while they like all three girls, they LOVE Harper. You can see that obvious love from the bites on her face. To keep that minimized (even with bug spray), we try to keep them covered when in the woods.

Another first for the girls was a trip to the zoo. It was a beautiful sunny day, with minimal mosquitoes joining us, and turned out to be a very nice morning of fun. Once again we let them out of the wagon after a while and they loved it, although we went from a tour of Alaskan animals to a tour of the trash cans at the zoo. There was a great deal of running and exploring and total meltdowns when we loaded up to leave. Who can blame them…the zoo is pretty fun!

We learned that visiting the zoo is doable with three, mobile toddlers…IF you bring extra hands to corral them the right direction. I’m not sure it would have worked out with just Craig and I. The girls adored that our friend Kimber “Kimmie!” pulled around the wagon and joined us on the trek as well as another fellow toddler friend. They constantly demanded her muscles to pull them, refused snacks from anyone but her, and all wanted to hold her hand. It was very cute.

Throughout the two hour trek, we were continually reminded that all large animals are moose! with a shriek of great enthusiasm. This included the coyotes, bears, musk oxen and alpacas. Harper especially disliked the musk ox and leaned as far the opposite way as she could as we rolled by. Emerie and Reagan weren’t even phased. Every especially liked the big kitties that looked at the girls like they were a potential snack and, of course, all of the different birds (eagles, owls, birds, etc.). The polar bear impressed them less than I was expecting; instead they much preferred ooooing over the coffee mug in the wagon than looking at the massive bear on the other side of the glass. We will get there…

Run run RUN!

We will certainly go visit the zoo again and hopefully the petting zoo part will be reopened soon because they will love it. Give us a shout if you want to go sometime and we’d love to join…as long as there are extra hands coming with us.

Once again, I am thankful that summer is here! I am thankful and appreciative of the tiny toddlers that brighten up my life and make it oh so interesting, even when they are driving me up a wall, and constantly reminding myself to enjoy this period of my life, enjoy the snuggles and the big smiles and the excited reactions to new experiences.

Hang in there, fellow parents. I’m still living in the denial that the next age is more pleasant than this one….just go with it…. ❤

First family trip to the zoo

Books and Water Fun, but not Together

While some of our toddler friends are now using full sentences and it mildly blows my mind, the girls are using multiple words relating to things but not quite stringing verbs yet. That doesn’t mean they don’t increasingly comprehend things, and new words pop up everyday.

In fact, all three are now singing the ABC song all the way through, and naming off the letters up to “K”. One will often start the song with a few letters, and the next will pick up where they stop. They seem to prefer the alphabet far more than the numeric system. Major credit goes to Nanny Chris here, whose been singing them the song for months now and it’s slowly and unknowingly seeping into their brains and out their mouths!

At the end of each weekday, I almost always have this conversation with Emerie:

(nanny walks out the door to her truck)

E: Nanny?

Me: Yeah, nanny is going home.

E: Buh-bye?

Me: Yeah, you will see her tomorrow!

E: Pricey?

Me. That’s right, she is going home to see Price (her husband).

E: Price… Nigh-night?

Me: Yes, she’s going home to see Price and go to sleep. You guys make her run around all day

E: Buh-bye (a little sadder)

I feel as if this interaction almost qualifies as sentences, or at least a fully comprehended conversation between myself and my two year old.

At the dinner table the other night we did a word quiz and surprisingly, they pay way more attention to your words than I even realize. I pointed at things all over the room and they knew all of them, such as TV, clock, fridge, window, outside, curtain, plate…and the list goes on. They are getting really good at knowing their foods, and will ask for mango, broccoli, avocado, or noodle! Any day now they will be stringing some verbs along with those nouns, and for now I will count my blessings that they haven’t learned the word “why” yet. Not sure how we will survive that one times three.


This past weekend the warm weather allowed us to break out the mini pool and toddler sprinkler. To date the girls haven’t experienced the frigid, cold Alaska water that we all grew up running through and swimming in. So far this summer and last we filled up everything with warm water from the sink or bathtub and lugged it outside. This especially works well on cold days, when warm water in the water table allows the girls to play with it but not have freezing little fingers and toes.

First sprinkler!

Interest was peaked when the sprinkler toy began to fill with water and shoot upwards, but they were unimpressed at the temperature and ran away, shrieking cold! After a few minutes and lower water pressure (so it wasn’t spraying above their heads), they entertained the idea of playing with it. Harper was the least excited to be cold and mostly stayed at the warm pool. Emerie and Reagan tackled the adventure eventually and stood in it after a bit. It was so cute though and in no time they will all be running through it like crazy kids, just like we did growing up.

And yes, you better believe they are all wearing princess crowns and water shoes for their water experience. Weirdly enough, three crowns came in the box with the sprinkler.

Kid BFF Paris and Mom BFF Janelle joined us for the fun and beautiful weather. Throughout the play session, Paris kept randomly dumping water over Emerie’s head and she made such angry faces in response, without a sound or cry. Not sure why Emerie was the main target for the day, but her reactions were priceless. Paris also managed to fling it at me as well, and a lot on herself! All in good fun and the entertainment lasted almost two hours.

Two things I want to note about visits from Aunt (Auntie!) Janelle and Paris. One, the girls swarm to her and Mom becomes a form of chopped liver. Personally I think this is fantastic, because the hundreds of hand!! demands are all directed at her, requiring hand holding down the slide, when jumping off the bottom step or the picnic table (safety first people), or for running around the yard. It might get a little difficult when all three insist on a hand immediately; and well, she only has two arms after all.

Secondly, it appears the mean streak is stretching out from simply torturing each other when tired and grumpy to trying to torture Paris. All three are picking up on how to push her buttons, much like an older/younger sibling relationship, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a little hilarious (if it wasn’t quite so mean). We are still working on not throwing toys at each other, and Paris realizes the threat of a toy lifted over a head probably means it’s coming for her face, and she reacts accordingly (I mean who can blame her?!). Well, now the girls, and by that I mean mostly Harper and Reagan, menacingly hold up a toy and will chase her with it, just to be upsetting and get a reaction. We are working on that one and some timeouts are in order as a result…because like it or not, they are going to grow up liking each other. And Paris shouldn’t have to wear a face mask or helmet at our house to keep herself safe…


Big girls!

I am excited to report we are finally entering the book stage of toddler hood. Both Craig and I like to read and considered it a hobby prior to kids. I grew up reading the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Angelina Ballerina and Madeline, and am excited to raise my girls on them as well. I may or may not already have a large set of Nancy Drew books in a box for a few years from now… While we are obviously not to that level of reading yet, but it is a goal to get the girls interested in books so they will not only thrive at it when older, but enjoy it as well. This is a beautiful state to live in, where you can sit at your window and read a book, enjoying a beautiful view of the mountains and outdoors. I have a lot of memories doing this at the cabin growing up and hope to pass a similar experience down to my kiddos (might also need to find a cabin- not the point…).

Books in the Douglas household in the past two years have been used for many things but none of them for their actual intention. They’ve been paperweights, weapons, chew toys, and table stoppers, not readers! Until very recently, the girls wouldn’t even sit through three pages of a book, generally because one would steal it from you and run away, or smack her sister with it and induce crying, or get bored and wander off. The only successful story is at bedtime, with everyone crib captured, and even then they coached you through it the entire time or scream until you get to the monkey page.

Pre-dinner book time

I recently ordered a few cute books relating to hot topics in the house, specifically monkeys, ducks and puppies, and they are a hit. We are implementing book time at the dinner table while they are strapped into the boosters and we prep their plates, and for a few briefs moments they will flip through them and exclaim monkey! Or quack!

The other night everyone sat with me on the couch and we read an entire book about excavators and work trucks. An ENTIRE BOOK. It only took 27 months to get there…I’m excited and look forward to the many times we can cuddle up and enjoy a good book.


Other random updates so far this month? Emerie now has four bottom molars…no idea when the last two came in. Reagan and Harper are still working on theirs and Reagan’s chipped front tooth is still sensitive.

Harper has tread marks on the side of her face from falling off playground equipment and catching her face on the rope climber. She is also still resisting sleeping in her bed in the early morning. She is starting to love her baby dolls.

Reagan has two skinned knees, which reminded us to put band-aids in the diaper bag from now on. She handled it pretty well though! She still takes the longest to settle at night, but is sleeping great overnight. She is not afraid to pick up bugs and get dirty!

Emerie has made it through the past few weeks without injury, but will constantly remind you of her pinkie finger owie. At some point the nail will fall off. She is still sleeping like a CHAMP. She likes to carry around bags or purses or pots of things and show them to you.

Everyone likes to spend the days outside…including the Nanny!

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!

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!!