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!!

Egging Us On

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harper singing

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

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

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

Easter Day x 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunker Down: Week 2

How can those adorable faces be so mischievous?!

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

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

Saying her words!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding more ways to enjoy magnets!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pink Purple Teal

A new phase is on its way and it is color related.

The other night, for the first time ever, Emerie color associated all on her own. Because we often dress the girls in their colors, although we do so less often than we used to, it was just a matter of time until they started to picked up on it. While we don’t stress learning their colors too much (although we tried at Christmas and too soon), most days center around pink/purple/teal in regards to their outfits.

Tiny color coordinating
Pink / Purple / Teal

In case you can’t remember, Harper is pink, Emerie is purple, Reagan is teal. Each theme color means a set of clothing that matches those colors, or triple matching outfits I’ve found that include all three and are great for causing confusion when friends come over (small perk) or we go out to an event. The older they get, the more we dress them in matching outfits; far more than during infancy, probably due to the fact that Craig and I can easily tell them apart now through sounds, facial expressions, and actions. Their plump, little baby faces were much less distinguishable!

My mind is blank on how we originally decided who received what color when they were in the NICU. What I do remember is how helpful the color coordinating was for people who didn’t see them daily as well as for the overtired parents. Looking back at pictures of the first year, I’m not completely sure who is who other than through labels or colors.

Getting Emerie ready after bath time earlier this week, I had three footie pajamas laying next to the diaper changer. As I put her lotion on, she picked up the pink striped one, looked at me and said “Harpa;” I held up the teal with sheep one and she said “Ray Ray.” Holding up the pink and purple one with flowers, intended for her, the response was again “Harpa” and she pushed it away from her. So she ended up with wearing a whale themed one as she refused the partial pink one on her!

The next night I asked Harper the same questions after her bath. She looked at me as I held up the teal themed one and said “Daddy” (lol). When I held up the pink one she did say “Harpa”, but would not respond for the purple one. I fully support Craig wearing 2T footie pajamas to bed; after all, he is in a house of all girls!

Lastly, Reagan provided no participation in my questionnaire. As I held each outfit up, she just stared at me and tried to escape. The light switch at the other end of the dresser means she can play with the lights and turn the ceiling fan on and off. That was definitely a much higher priority in her playbook.

Everyone still does a bottle at bedtime (a habit we are hoping to break soon). Routine is much easier now than last year. One of us says “bottle time” while the other finishes prepping them; they all run downstairs and lay down on the couch cushion, against the pillows that are propped to limit jumping injuries. They often holler a few “babas!” at us until each is hand delivered. Sometimes they will down a whole bottle in one setting, sometimes it takes a good hour of play and bottles.

I’ve been letting them make random decisions lately, hopefully making my little toddlers feel empowered on some of the tiny stuff, like choosing which of the three bottles they want to drink, or which spoon they want with dinner, or which Bog boots to wear when we run an errand. One night this week I attempted to hand Reagan a purple rimmed bottle and she refused it, insisting she had to have the white capped one (since no bottles are teal). This is her first time avoiding the pink or purple one, and later in the evening it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

This is a brief look into what I believe is just around the corner on our toddler development roadmap. I’ve heard other triplet parents who color associated saying all kinds of wild, new things are on the way as they continue to mature, such as:

  • their kids will only wear their specific color and no one else’s
  • their kids become super possessive and don’t like their siblings to wear their colors
  • toys in those colors become more of a battleground when sharing
  • their kiddos grow up and hate the color they were given and want nothing to do with it
  • a combination of each kid acting one of these ways (seems like the hardest one to me)

Luckily I doubt we will stick to their colors forever, simply because they are easily recognizable to us at this point…you know…most of the time…

So…more multiple fun to look forward to.


One more lovely new issue that’s really taken off this week- the anti-clothing movement. The cold outdoor temperatures do not help, with our house feeling warm in comparison; but our main level, with vaulted ceilings, is still a little chilly to run around without clothes on.

Reagan, as the ringleader, now inspires her sisters to remove their shirts and pants on a frequent basis. How are we solving this? Well, everyone is wearing short sleeves in February, because long sleeves get pulled off at some point during the day and involves so much effort and time-outing to fix. We are also back to onesie shirts that are now snapped over the pants like leotards. Thank goodness the girls are skinny and have some time before they outgrow 24 month bodysuits or we’d be in trouble! Bigger sizes don’t make them and I’m not dressing them in swimsuits all day long.

We tried out overalls and they were unimpressed…I will try to tackle this one again this weekend because they would be so adorable in them. Ultimately I can’t blame the soft clothing preference, such as the jeggings, leggings, and stretchy tights they’ve worn most of their life, to the corduroy and jean type material. It’s much less comfortable! We also tried putting big-girl underwear over their pants. Hilarious…yes. Successful…somewhat! Plan to go out in public dressed this way? Not quite… Throw an 80s themed toddler party? Maybe.

The typical two-piece pajamas are on hold for a bit and we are back to one-piece footy pajamas and one-piece sleepers with feet free. Harper and Emerie don’t try to pull theirs off, but Reagan will easily unsnap the snap within two minutes, unzip the rest, and be running around entirely free to tackle the next step in her plan, diaper removal. This is currently solved by safety pinning the two sides of the zipper together, creating a less than thrilled toddler.

So for now, we’ll be over here hall monitoring the clothing situation until they LISTEN and leave them on. And who knows, maybe their clothing colors will be a mute point this summer…you know…IF NO ONE WILL WEAR THEIR CLOTHES.

#tripletlife

Triplet Talk

I started a blog on the girls’ “triplet talk” over a year ago. The thought of future sneaky conversations, ones that us parents can’t interpret, is something we’ve looked forward to since before the words started to flow.

Let’s back up a little, shall we?

NINE MONTHS: A few months prior to their first birthday, around Christmas time, no one was speaking more than the normal, nine-month old baby gibberish, with an occasional momma, dadda, or nom nom nom when eating some delicious food (mostly Reagan on that one). Everyone made sure that the parents were equally prioritized throughout the new words, with one saying momma first, one saying dadda, and one saying both! Very considerate to level the playing field for us. Even at this age everyone interacted non-verbally quite consistently, using their motions and eyes to tell each other things. Sometimes a simple look would draw a smile out of a sibling.

As you can see in the photo of my bald babies, the binkie stealing was an early interaction. This continues to this day but with a lot more emotion!

By the end of their first December, the very basic triplet talk began to emerge. Here’s a cute moment between Harper (left) and Reagan (right) and some baby food! The sit up chairs that we used before the triple table and highchairs definitely helped spur some conversations, especially because we shifted them around the room constantly and made them face each other sometimes too. They look so very tiny and immobile back then…

ELEVEN MONTHS: Fast forward about two months…here is another cute interaction, this time between Harper and Emerie. I’m sure discussion centered around why Harper was free of the baby prison and Emerie and Reagan remained in containment. In real time at 22 months, this discussion is WAY louder. If one is outside the play area (for whatever reason that isn’t usually escape), then the other two are certainly hollering and announcing how unfair it is that they aren’t free as well. This consists of a lot of yelling and uninterpreted sounds until someone gets a parents’ attention or the baby gate is shifted to allow free play in the room.

Conversations continued as we rounded out their first year of life. At this age enthusiastic noises sound like baby dolphins having a nice conversation. Plus, look how cute they were!!

Adorable right?!

ONE YEAR: At the end of March of 2018, around their first birthday, we noticed the first crib time baby giggles, usually between all three and often after bath time or right before bedtime. One example below, shows everyone pulling themselves up on the rails of the crib and interacting with one another. They look so short here, as they now stand much taller! There are also sooo many more teeth marks on those poor railings.

Reagan and Harper

Another activity that helped draw out more interactions was the fabric playhouse. They enjoyed crawling through the side door and playing peekaboo with one another or anyone that would sit in the house and jump out at them. Sister time really started, as you can see here! While it consists mostly of giggles, laughs, and happy noises, the eye contact displayed who was “talking” to who. Words would show up later. After this picture Harper tried to chew on Reagan’s forehead, which ended the sweet encounter and the happy sounds.

Emerie and Reagan having a moment:

At this age peekaboo was the single, greatest game ever created. They endeavored to play it with each other independently as well as with mom and dad. While no one fully understood the concept of sharing yet, they definitely peeked at each other and giggled, sometimes with a blanket or a burp cloth, a pair of pants from the floor, or anything cloth related that they can get their hands on or steal from their sister.

FIFTEEN MONTHS: By summertime the girls were much more communicative. This is likely attributed to improved mobility as well as better social cues from one another. As soon as they were off and running (in addition to walking), they would play with each other and zoom across the house, across the deck, even the backyard; hollering and giggling with one another and the pets! This became an hourly occurrence.

No secretive toddler language had emerged at this point, but everyone was well aware of one another and each other’s cues. They also knew their sisters’ names at this point, and while they didn’t verbally say them, everyone knew who the parents were talking to with their usage. After not too long Harper would say her own name, “Harpa“, and eventually “Emi” and “Ray.” It was a number of months before everyone began using their names, although “sissa” wasn’t too far away.

EIGHTEEN MONTHS: By the midway mark to age two, word were minimal words between them with lots of mimicking and learning of new sounds individually. By the 18 month pediatric checkup, we were already at about ten words each, but not really ones they speak to each other. This is about the first time we heard “sissa” for sister, instead of using their names. It’s rarely said but sooo cute.

The doll strollers became quite the hit, once Emerie taught her sisters how to sit in them and attempt to buckle in (which they could do themselves after a while), they then chauffeured one other around the living room and kitchen, colliding with everything in their paths, including each other. The toddler cars brought out the same thing.

TWENTY MONTHS: At this point in their development, the girls harnessed onto specific things and then harped on them for days. This started with the dog door, as you know, and expanded out to the “shut” from Emerie to anything left open (gates, doors, cabinets, nightlights!). The girls began to collaborate on these types of issues, running synchronized to something that was left open and then all hollering for Mom or Dad to fix it…immediately. This prompted the first sets of teamwork, kids coordinating together versus everything! And yes, that is mildly terrifying because they aren’t too far away from figuring out their numbers are higher than their parents. Craig and I will have to step up our “zone defense” once that concept is established, because “man-to-man” doesn’t work when there are three!

Pushing each other…

TWENTY-TWO MONTHS: Zoom to present day- new conversational habits are emerging this month that are both cute and entertaining. Each kiddo seems to have a different one too:

  • Emerie: We all know about the shut instructions Emerie provides to everyone and taught her sisters (I should probably write SHUT in all caps-she’s very confident about it.) Another one Emerie does daily is “me me me“. This is specific to anytime Harper or Reagan takes something from her…a toy, a binkie, a wash cloth, all of it. The volume will increase with her rage on the stolen item. If her binkie is plucked from her mouth then it is said over and over again until one of two things happen: her sister brings it back and gives it to her (occasionally) or we convince her to go find something else and divert her attention.
  • Harper: Harper is the first to really comprehend help and stopping someone from helping her when she thinks she can do it unassisted. The other day she put her hand on mine and said “no, stop” when I attempted to buckle her in the highchair. She knew she could figure it out; it was the first time she confidently told me no, knowing she could do it herself. And she did. Such a big girl!
  • Reagan: my favorite word quirk from Reagan relates to sweets (figures, like father like daughter!). She will insistently repeat “ein, ein, ein” until she depletes your resistance and you share your treat (often ice cream or frozen yogurt, but sometimes even broccoli or green beans!). She’s very insistent and will get in your face to make sure you are paying attention.

Here is a cute display of everyone admitting their love for Tay Tay (Taylor Swift), and shaking their hips and butts when I ask if they want to listen to their favorite song. The best part is they responded in sync, after we were talking about what music to play on YouTube. They will all dance at the same time, but rarely dance together; hold hands, anything like that. I’m sure we have a few more months before that will emerge and I can’t wait!

Because the girls now get into everything, whether or not you think they can reach, we are trying to set up a few more verbal boundaries with better instruction. Earlier this month they learned “hot” and “cold”, relating this to a number of things. It’s cold when you get out of the bathtub, it’s cold outside; or some of their food is hot, the stove is HOT, things like that. They know the stove burners are hot, but this doesn’t always stop them from touching things they shouldn’t. When reminded, they usually point to the stove knobs and say hot. If someone touches one of the knobs, someone else will shriek “hot!” and tattle on them.

They tell each other commands: Emerie is the queen of the shut command. This reaches from her sisters to all people in the room. Surprisingly, right now Emerie repeats the most words back to you no matter how complicated or long; I thought it would be Harper! Harper more often spouts some gibberish to you about her day or some pain that her sister inflicted on her, which is very cute even though you have no clue what is coming out of her mouth. Reagan likes to tell you when she wants something and is pretty clear at expressing her thoughts. She’s also adamant about bottle time and will let you know if you need to move a little faster.

Shutting the door on Daddy

They also tattle on the parents. If you leave a glass out on the ledge in the family room, whoever sees it first will holler to everyone else that it is there. If the dog door is unlocked, they run over and grab the door and either try to close it themselves or insist you do it immediately! In a way this is actually helpful- when you forget to close a baby gate or block off the stairs, someone will point it out to you instead of running amuck.

Emerie giving instruction for sissa to “sit”

While many days are filled with fighting, biting and crying from all parties, we are also seeing them share a little more. Binkie stealing is more common than prior months, but now I also see them give an extra binkie to someone who is upset, or because they ask for it in their own way. They will bring toys to each other sometimes; other times they take one and run. Typical siblings, I guess.

Lastly, verbally saying names is now more prominent. I’ve now heard everyone say each (Harpa, Emi, and Ray). Sometimes it is to each other and more often it’s a multiple repeat until that sister pays attention. We also asked them things like, “where is Harper?!” and they will turn and point to her, saying “Harpa“. They are also mastering the dogs names, “Kayi” and “Koa“, although they almost always defer to saying Kalli for both dogs. The cats remain nameless as “kitty.”

With two right around the corner, we are starting the “twin (triplet?) talk.” I know one of these days it will explode with a ton of new words. For now, it’s fun to see them express their feelings toward one another as well as the occasional kisses, head pats, and snuggles.