Word Woes

The latest trend in the Douglas household is the use of “adult words” or inappropriately used potty phrases. Any of you that have the pleasure of knowing my other half are certainly not surprised by this thought or any other atypical phrasing that comes out of everyday conversations when you’d least expect it.

Does anyone believe these adorable faces say such terrible things?

It turns out that what we both believed was a genius way to handle profanity with toddlers may actually be backfiring. In other words (pun intended!) the continued use of certain four letter words that are essential in everyday life when raising toddlers, while lessened from prior years, still fly out of our mouths more than they probably should. For a while I was monitoring such things a lot better (with much effort), but ultimately age three pummeled me with such force that such things re-emerged with a hurricane force (does that depict it well enough?!). With the girls hearing such explicits, we constantly reminded them the words are only for adults, hence the that’s an adult word, you can’t say that word conversations we’ve maintained the past few months, which much success and minimal toddler repeats.

Previous to this genius, albeit backfiring, plan, the girls would drop the “f bomb” occasionally at age two (mostly Harper) and we couldn’t help but hide our chuckles. The correct usage of it taught us not only were they listening and paying attention to their parents, but that they are picking up verbiage and sentence structure incredibly well. This clearly covers more than bad words! One can’t help but appreciate using it as an adjective and then later as a verb, correctly, from the mouth of an unknowing tot.

Yes, we nipped that as quickly as we could…but I can still chuckle at the thought of Harper yelling mom, open the f$&king door! at me a time or two. That one definitely came from the “slam-the-door/gate-on-everyone’s-face-as-much-as-you-can-to-drive-the-adults-INSANE” phase. Gives me a stress headache just thinking about it.

The girls threw an unapproved rule book change at me when they started retorting any bad words from my mouth with that’s a daddy word, not a mommy word. You can’t say that, only daddy. I’m not sure what super level sneakiness Craig did to pull that sh$t off, but it’s now a rule. Writing that I even hear in my mind…mom you can’t say that. Just taking away ALL my fun. Craig doesn’t seem to have an issue with this change.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the instructional “we can say it but you can’t” concept was going amazing until recently. I believe this change resulted from two things: 1) the implementation of constant tattling, and 2) the recognition that saying it provokes a response from either a parent or a sibling or both!

A 3-year-old is basically a walking, talking middle finger.

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The cycle typically goes something like this:

Emerie: you’re a freakin’ poopoo. (to anyone in general or no one at all!)

Oh did I not mention the potty mouth words such as poopoo and peepee are apparently harder to break than the profanities? Yes, THAT, and any adult that remotely uses those out of the proper context in the ear range of my toddlers is going to hear more profanities heading their way from my mouth!! Anyway…

Harper: no, you’re a poopoo!!

And the argument goes back and forth until number three chimes in.

Reagan: Mom! Dad! Emerie said f$&king poopoo! MOM! Emerie said f$&king!! She said poopoo!! Moooom!

And repeat this about ten million times. Also include the times that Emerie did not, in fact, say those words, and yet here comes the tattletale, repeating them herself until you provide a response.

This wouldn’t be such an issue if ages were spanned out or we were just talking about one disruptive toddler. The girls have this magnetic super power that feeds off each other, in pretty much everything good or bad, and once it loads up, stopping it is practically impossible. One outlier from this occurred in the past few days, when Harper had a great attitude all weekend, listened at dance class and was most obedient on our last outdoor excursion, not feeding off the grumpy, push-mom-to-the-limits sisters’ attitudes. One can dream it will improve with age.

I sincerely hope the use of such wording is more centered at home then out at school, but I know the sister jabs and name calling of poo and pee reach far out into our activities and down times, with minimal success at shutting it down thus far. We’ve disciplined, given rewards for good behavior, flaunted rewards when one obeys and the others don’t, had continuous conversations about when it’s okay so talk about poop, and continue to stress the adult word concept, which is understood but not entirely accepted now.

And so, here I am, writing this fantastic blog on the woes of parenthood and my clan of three year olds and their potty mouths.

Pray for us ❤

Life Impacts

Our family is extremely fortunate that to date we haven’t fully felt the affects of the worldwide pandemic. Luckily Craig and I both have essential jobs, since crime and airports don’t stop for viruses, and our hand washing lifestyle was already a must with premie kiddos in the house the past two years.

The daycare notified us a week ago that their facility was closing down through the end of November, meaning a two week period without childcare or any relief from the busy and nonstop kiddo life, all while trying to continue working full time and remaining sane! I’m trying to have a good attitude, but let’s be realistic here. It’s going to be a hard and long month. Especially during a year when no family is traveling for the holidays. It will be our first Thanksgiving with the girls without any grandparents present to cook!

Day ONE

Team meeting at the breakfast table

The girls were up early, even though I managed to convince two of them to stay in bed until at least 7:30 by letting them play with their crib stuffed animals while I checked emails on the nursery couch. They were ready to take on their Monday, which would have been so much better if they could head off to daycare for some fun.

Craig and I were both able to switch off and handle some morning meetings and work calls while Nanny and Pricey visited for a few hours to help us out! The girls played with play dough, strummed the guitar, destroyed the house with their toys, and had all kinds of fun. The day was going okay until nap time, when all three refused participation and would NOT settle down…all three! What a way to kick off the week and not in a good way. Poor Harper wanted to drift off to sleep so badly, but Emerie and Reagan prevented her from doing so by singing, yelling, throwing toys and jumping on their beds until we finally gave up and got them back up.

Getting out of the house!

No nap is the perfect way to kick off two weeks of crazy toddlers that aim to drive their parents insane. Yes, I am complaining, but before you judge me on the grumpiness, remember I have three moody, over reactive busy bodies taking over my house, fighting with each other and over everything, and pushing boundaries at every moment. At some point a break is necessary, especially after a fourteen hour day…

That morning I managed to check a few emails at the kitchen table while the girls corralled around and munched on pancakes. Once I caught Reagan sipping coffee out of MY coffee cup with her hand, which was a good indication of how the rest of the day would go. Later I handed Harper a plastic up to play with, instead of with my coffee cup, and she scolded me with a there’s no coffee in it, Momma. Long day indeed.

We opted to walk over to the school and go sledding after the nap fiasco, hoping to get some fresh air and survive the afternoon with tired girls. It went pretty well and they enjoyed the bigger sledding hill with one of their daycare friends; afterwards we played on the very frozen playground equipment until the sun set from the sky. Overall, they were good sports for most of the evening, although as I finished writing this Craig is sitting in their room, trying to calm them down after waking up an hour into their night and NOT wanting to settle at all.

Day TWO

By the grace of God, the children slept in until 8:15 this morning (probably overtired from Monday!). It has been several weeks since we’ve had such luck, allowing me to get some much needed work done with a quiet and cozy environment.

Nanny Chris and Pricey came over again to keep the sanity in check, as well as one of their school buddies who is also missing her daycare friends! Lots of coffee was sipped (chugged?), minor tantrums occurred…you know, the usual….but this time they napped!! Hallelujah! We went sledding in the late afternoon, well after the sun went down and until our faces were frozen. All in all, a much improved day!

Day THREE

Another day sleeping in, except no one spent the entire night in their bed. It’s a creative process to climb out of bed and not wake a shifty toddler that has half a mind to get up with you bright and early. It’s a juggle of turning the sound machine up, pulling blankets over said kiddo and a pillow to the side so they don’t fall off, and tiptoeing quieter than a mouse out the door, shutting it behind you silently so the pets don’t push it open and wake them up, then looking at the baby cam and praying they didn’t hear you!

Craig and I rotated work hours for the day, watching the girls for an hour or two and then trading off to answer a call. It’s actually pretty nice, since by the time you start feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the toddler attitude then it’s time to switch off and switch activities up!

I managed to cook an actual meal for dinner- fajitas; the prior two days were Costco prepped meals (which we love!). We did a lot of coloring with the girls and open playtime and the 7 degree weather didn’t stop Craig from taking them on a park date to burn some energy. Overall the day went pretty well in triplet standards.

Day FOUR

Everyone decided to be up at the crack of dawn today, but after two good sleep-in mornings, that wasn’t altogether surprising. Craig made breakfast and dressed everyone for the day while I handled a couple calls and then we switched and I whisked them off for another sledding adventure. This time the girls were heading down the hill solo in the little round sleds and head first on their bellies on the bigger ones. Emerie was taken out by one of the older boys, doing a full body flip into the air and (luckily) landing on his back, breaking her fall. She was not a happy camper on that one and demanded an apology! Harper was happy to go down the hill on her butt, without a sled, until she figured out how fun it was to go faster. Reagan is a sledding pro now and will even bring the sled back up herself while her sisters expect you to come help them up.

I came downstairs to this while the girls were napping and cracked up. A near accurate depiction of them sleeping, minus the fact they don’t cuddle together. We require them to leave the bigger dolls downstairs each day because they would be noisy and take up a lot of crib space, so everyone puts theirs in a doll bed, gives them a blanket and then a gentle kiss. It’s very sweet. Emerie tries to give Harper’s doll a kiss all the time and she doesn’t like that, but it’s still cute. We were gifted several American Girls dolls by one of my coworkers and while I know they won’t care for them like if they were older, they all really like to carry them around, put them down for naps and snuggle with them on the couch, so why not?!

This also brings up the point of stuffed animals in their beds. Reagan now insists she has to bring MANY animals to bed with her every nap and night time, including her teal dragon, green lambie, black AND tie-dye teddy bears, Stella her Cabbage Patch doll, and her brown puppy. It’s a battle to get any of them away from her and she now sleeps in a pile of them. We’ve more or less given up taking them about because she will lay in the dark and ask for them a hundred times. At least she is able to sleep with them either way! Harper doesn’t have this issue nearly as much, but likes to have her Cabbage Patch doll Cici, her pink teddy bear she’s had since birth, and her pink monkey. Emerie also has a regimented demand for animals, with her beloved monkey and Cabbage Patch doll Sadi at the top in priority (they now follow her everywhere), followed by her purple/pink sloth, a tiny, black teddy bear, and whatever other animal she finds that day. For a week or so she was holding a mini, purple rubber ducky in her hand all night. She even woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night, full on screaming ducky!! and trying to find it in the dark. Good times.

After nap we ran several errands to get out of the house and showed off some of the Christmas lights around town. The girls later told us all the different colors they saw; I’m very hopeful people light up their houses this year so we can tour around and enjoy them from a nice, heated car. We have a few more to put up once it gets a bit warmer outside.

Day FIVE

The final day of the workweek started off well, with everyone sleeping in a bit. Emerie lost her mind at about midnight, waking up Reagan as a result, so they are each in a bedroom and Harper later joined Craig since he has the space of a king sized bed. While we don’t love the co-sleeping (Craig less than I do…but I can sleep anywhere), we also manage to get WAY more sleep when we pull an angry baby out of their bed and into ours, whoever it may be. They are pretty good at going right back to sleep unless they aren’t feeling well, knowing that they got exactly what they wanted…for us to bring them in our room. They inform us in the morning now that they sleep in Daddy’s bed or sleep in Mommy’s bed (guestroom bed). At some point we will have to put in the time and effort to resettle them in their own room but honestly, at this point with it the middle of winter, dark outside, both of us working from home full time and without daycare, I will take sleep any way I can get it, even if that means a battle later down the line.

The morning went pretty well and I loaded the girls up and headed to a park by Nanny’s house so she and the hubs could join us for some sledding! We had Taco Bell nachos for lunch with some yogurt, a good nap, and played in the circle behind our house before dinner.

Craig made a piping hot vat of chicken noodle soup and for once the girls chowed down on it! Reagan was all about the peas and celery and pretty much ate all of mine, Emerie chomped on all the noodles and some celery, and Harper preferred the dark meat chicken and broth. It all worked out; past experience with soup hasn’t gone nearly as well. The girls liked chicken broth when they were little; we used to put a little warm broth in a bottle and let them sip it when they had colds, so hopefully we are growing some soup loving toddlers.

Day SIX

After the usual morning routine we headed off to a new sledding hill on the west side of town. The girls were acting rough, pushing each other down deliberately and treating their friends unkindly, so we loaded back in the car a few minutes early and headed home to prepare for our lunchtime mini winter photo session. Surprisingly the girls were very well behaved for those fifteen minutes, even while cold in the 20 degree and windy weather with just sweaters, tights and boots on, and I am SO excited to see them!! I always love snowy professional photos, but haven’t tried them with the girls being so young and less than amenable to the chill.

After the outdoor excursion we came in and bundled everyone up in their frozen princess,

hooded blankets and read a book until they warmed up. We had another good nap and managed to play inside for the remainder of the day without too much fighting. We broke out the special color markers (ones that only color specific types of paper and are amazing!) and Harper fully colored her whole sheet, Emerie colored a few baby sharks and Reagan adamantly begged for Tyler and Uncle to see it her creation. It was pretty cute.

All in all, a decent day!

Day SEVEN

We rounded out our first week of family time with a pancake breakfast, strong coffee, and some vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting at the sledding park in honor of Craig’s birthday. The fogged rolled in and over the sunlight toward the end of our outdoor excursion and the sight was beautiful. The warmer, 30 degree weather was a nice change and you could tell the girls were happier about it. Although the weekend grumpiness was still there, they went up and down the sledding hill more than a dozen times without assistance. Emerie ended up with the bloody nose and lip at one point and needed a break, Harper required a little coaxing to go down on a sled (and then remembered her need for speed) and Reagan was happy to play with Sage on the slides and swings for a while.

In the afternoon the neighborhood moose were out to the girls delight, walking down the street from our house. We did multiple drive bys in the car so the girls could see them from both sides of the car and they hollered, screamed and talked to those poor baby moose, whose ears very much listened to the conversation.

Unfortunately no plans for daycare this week or any back up family that’s local meant Craig didn’t get much of a relaxing day off for his birthday, but we did order a nice dinner and he managed a solid nap while they napped!

Happy to have one week down! And as I was reminded at the park this morning, this is a good time to be thankful to spend more time with your family, that is something COVID has given all of us. Yes, it’s hard, stressful, and sometimes makes you want to pull your hair out, but we only get this age once, and we have to choose to enjoy it. The expanded vocabulary, the emotional fits, the questions and demands, and the snuggles and kisses.

Here’s to Thanksgiving week! We have so much to be thankful for.

October Memories

I’m continuing to really enjoy the random, silly things that the girls surprise us with each day. You just never know exactly what it will entail; I think that is part of the fun. Something crazy or hilarious is always right around the corner, you just have to take the time to appreciate and remember it, or in my case, write it down before my brain erases that it ever happened. Other small maturities help make our daily lives a bit easier and are most appreciated. For example, Craig and I walked our normal 1.5 mile loop around the house last night, but instead of keeping the girls in the strollers the entire time, we let them walk the wooded portion and look for sticks and pine cones. Over the summer freedom to walk was only prompted if friends walked with us and outnumbered them (imagine herding cats to walk on a trail- that is a similar…); this was the first time we did it solo and they did AMAZING. At the end of the trail Harper and Emerie voluntarily climbed back into their seats and puled the blanket up; we have a little more work with Miss Reagan, who tried to outrun Daddy and didn’t want to sit back down. This sounds like a small step forward but really, this improvement is soooo nice.

Here are some of the random happenings in the Douglets household as we wrap up our fall season and head (excitedly) into wintertime.

2.5 Year Update

Toddler Conversations

The children are starting to become conversationalists on a number of new topics, emotions and opinions. The leader of the communication pack (at this moment) is Harper, who is growing increasingly good at stringing together full sentences and phrases and throwing adjectives in with it! She commonly states things like I want to go potty, Mom, I want to wash my hands, or my current favorite regarding her sisters, saying she touched me Mom. Mom she touched me! Mooooommmm. She will repeat that sentence over and over until you acknowledge her complaint. Emerie is part of the politeness police, ensuring she says please and (more often) thank you, or responding with no thank you to anything she doesn’t want. She likes to randomly whisper to us that someone farted, usually followed up with a farted like daddy (which is hilarious!!). What beautiful memories. Her constant response of yeah is now replaced with an affirming yes when you ask her something. She is also the one that reminds her sisters to bring the forgotten teddyor stuffed animal downstairs, and will adamantly DEMAND they take it or she will insist on bringing it herself. While Reagan may not be as much of a conversationalist as either of her sisters, she is definitely a singer and randomly breaks out into song throughout the day. This rule does not apply upon request; if you ask her to sing she might do a bar but then goes quiet; it has to be on her terms! She is also exceptional at telling us when she needs to potty and has those bodily functions down! The other day she also asked if she could do something for two more minutes– it cracks me up she is now negotiating with the adults in her life, which I know is only going to happen more and more as time goes on. She will also tell you who her boyfriend is if you ask, but I’ll leave that new for her to tell you.

We are working on the trading concept now- when Emerie’s precious monkey is taken by Reagan, she can trade another stuffed animal to get it back without a full on sibling disagreement and often without adult intervention. It doesn’t always work, but it is a noticeable change that they somewhat understand the concept and apply it when they want something in their sister’s possession. Progress. They also encourage each other to cleanup (Emerie usually instigates but Harper and Ray are starting to do it more), singing the song the entire time. We are making GREAT progress in this area.

Craig drops the girls off at daycare each morning, as it is on his way to work and I’m still working from home. After loading in the car seats, Emerie always requests a goodbye kiss; the other two recently picked up on the idea and now ask for it as well. We seem to load them the same each morning, with Craig taking Harper out first and putting her in the middle seat while I keep coats on the other two, then he puts Em in the seat behind him (it’s easier to patch her eye on this side when he arrives at the school), and I load Reagan up on “her side.” Reagan receives her kiss as she comments that they are going to school to see Madi and Dina (Diana, both their teachers) and I have to go around and plant one on Emerie or she gets demanding. She will then remind me to climb up and give one to Harper.

We went out to dinner at Red Robin the other night (just the five of us!). My more observant children excitedly shrieked through the restaurant at the “monkey” (actually the robin) standing in the restaurant lobby (we didn’t argue semantics here) and the carousel horse mounted across the room by another table, who they decided was Max from Tangled because he was white with a fancy saddle. Throughout dinner all three kept pointing at the “monkey” and telling us he was wearing shoes. Monkey shoes! Monkey shoes off? No shoes, monkey. It was pretty hilarious to hear this in between french fry munching and apple juice sipping. They also randomly re-noticed Max’s presence and shrieked that information out to all the tables on our side of the restaurant.

And the last gem on the new, toddler conversations in our house- Auntie Megan, who we play with constantly because the girls adore her boys, taught the girls about some new body parts that differ from theirs. This happened out of a diaper change, because every toddler in the house must participate in them and provide their inputs; she explained that boys have a penis and girls have a “gina”. Well, if you must know, this is a very hot topic in our household now that is randomly brought up day-to-day. One of those random times happened to be while we were at Fred Meyer last weekend and to my dismay (and delight, not sure?), all three were chanting daddy-penis, mommy-penis, rather loudly I might add, across the store. I could see the smiles and chuckles of passer-bys through their masks, as we headed for the checkout line at a bit faster pace! At some point they might accept that mommy does not have that equipment, similarly neither do they, but apparently that is not for my age two beauties. Silver lining of that shopping trip…we made it through the whole shopping experience without any diapers on or accidents!

Coloring

The girls bring home random “art displays” a couple of days each week from school. Since they are in two different classes, they don’t always come home with the same thing or on the same days. I noticed the other day that all three happened to color the same sheet; it made me chuckle how different they all look. See for yourself:

They all ask to color more often now, with Reagan seemingly the most lately, followed by Emerie and Harper. And yet, with that methodology and looking at the pages above, you would think Harper would be asking the most, as she was definitely the most dedicated to coloring that animal and this is not the first time. It’s interesting to see the differences between the three; after all, they are all individuals!

Also, if you wanted to know, Harper is going through the color black phase, just like I apparently did as a toddler. She wants black bows in her hair, the black crayon; she keeps asking for black! When given the choice of silverware color at dinner, she always asks for the blue one (occasionally her pink color), but I am certain if I had a black option she would pick it. Emerie likes her purple more so than anything else and doesn’t like the others to wear her coats and hats; Reagan often wants to take the purple from Emerie! I’m pretty sure purple is her favorite color at this snapshot in time, although she also likes green and orange colored jellybeans.

New Friends

As we continue subliminal binky weaning, which are now confined to the bedroom for sleep activities now, I feel as though I’ve been “stuffing” stuffed animals down their throats (see what I did there?) as a replacement. We are making great strides in this area, and the girls are allowed to take one animal of their choosing to daycare each day, mostly for snuggle time during their nap. Their preference varies each day for Harper and Reagan; Emerie brings the same one every time. For a couple of months this meant the stuffed pink bear for Harper and the white one for Reagan that I received at my work baby shower. The third animal was a soft elephant- not the one Emerie wanted because she wanted a bear like her sisters. This led to buying three new teddy bears that were a combination of pink/purple/teal, which lasted a little while, but the girls never loved on them as much as their original bears. Emerie then latched onto a pink “beany boo” piggie with big, purple eyes, so much that we had to buy a second one because Harper was quite insistent a pink pig should be hers. Fast forward a few more weeks and Emerie discovered her newest and most treasured companion, the purple tie-dye “beany boo” monkey. Monkey goes everywhere with her and has replaced any stuffed pig or teddy bear in her heart. It helps her flush the toilet, eat dinner, sit in the car, snuggle at bedtime and do all the other playtime toddler activities. I am currently trying to find two other similar, small stuffed animals to keep the other two from stealing her precious playmate.

Monkey goes everywhere with Em, including the potty!

Other preferred companions consist of the pig and chicken from Moana, a few soft, black teddy bears from Cousin Gabe, a stuffed sloth, and new Cabbage Patch dolls, whose names are CiCi, Stella, and Sadi according to their labels. It’s adorable to hear the girls yell where is Cici!? hi Cici. Sadi in time-out. Stella, no. They are working on potty training the dolls. I will often turn around to all three instructing their “kiddos” on the potty chairs in the living room, which sometimes results in cleaning them in the washer…

Reagan likes to snuggle with all of Emerie’s purple animals and has a very demanding regiment each night that often ends in toddler rage if she can’t get it exactly how she wants. It usually ends with a blanket wrapped fully around her body and over her head like a hood; then she HAS to either sit on the couch with Craig or I or sit at Craig’s feet on the floor. Harper is happy snuggling under a blanket with me and watching whatever movie is on, while Emerie rotates between her parents on who she feels like snuggling with that night. Everyone munches on apple pieces and explains whatever we are watching. It is by far the girls’ calmest moment of the day and one of my favorite parts.

Toddler Adventures

Another memorable moment from this month- Emerie managed to lock herself in the upstairs bathroom as I was putting the other two in their cribs for bed. We learned in this moment that neither of us know how to pick this type of lock; after about five minutes of a stressed out and crying two year old on the other side of the door, she managed to flip the lock back herself. Thank God!! A little YouTubing by Craig and now we know how to unlock it. Even more than a week later, Harper and Reagan still comment that Emi locked the door, Emi pushed the “button”, and so on. Apparently it was quite memorable for them too.

Harper’s latest thing is sipping juice or taking a bite of food and then spitting it back out onto the table. Then, in true toddler style, she will sip that juice off the table and repeat the process. Have I mentioned lately that toddlers are gross?

We went swimming for the first time since March’s quarantine and took the girls for their first visit to H2Oasis. Going right at opening meant we had the place to ourselves, which was great. We discovered that Emerie is our main water baby now (it was Reagan when they were little in the bath), so much so she even floated the river on her own (with arm floaties on) without us holding onto her. Harper was holding onto an adult for dear life and Reagan was happy to sit in the inter-tube and collect the rubber duckies. they were all a bit hesitant to go down the small water slides unless sitting on your lap but all enjoyed walking around the shallow areas. We also made 200+ trips to the bathroom throughout the two hour visit, because they HAD to pee in the regular potty and not in their swim diapers. Overall it was a great visit that resulted in some happy toddlers; we will have to go again.

Pumpkin Carving

One night Nanny came over for dinner, playtime and some pumpkin carving. Reagan received a little one-on-one time while we took the other two for their flu shots (she already had hers). Extremely excited toddlers shrieked as much as the dog at her arrival and were mostly cooperative for the pumpkin crafting. We gave them markers to “draw” faces on their mini pumpkins, which really meant slightly marking the pumpkins and majorly drawing on themselves. It came off…eventually.

We put up a few fall decorations this year, which was more than I can say for the last two years. Craig put the Halloween pillowcases on and Reagan was quite impressed, telling us new pillows over and over for a couple of days. I believe the orange lights hung on the fireplace finally prompted the learning of the color orange, which is not a key color in this house so they’ve ignored it to date. Now Harper and Reagan always seem to want the orange jellybean when given a choice of color.

All in all, the pumpkins turned out pretty cute and the girls willingly participated in a photo on the porch. Most of that credit can be given to Craig and Nanny for their knife skills.

Dentist Take Over

We had our first triple dentist visit, figuring it would be more time efficient to take all three simultaneously than by individual appointments. We opted to take the double stroller in and carry kid number three; this way two were strapped in and accounted for while the third had teeth checked. We let them run on the way out of the office and they were more than excited for that.

The car ride over consisted of discussion about showing our teeth to the dentist, smiling and opening your mouth wide, but that wasn’t enough for them to cooperate and do that at the appointment. Emerie went first, figuring she would be cooperative because she’s a pro at her eye doctor visits. Unfortunately, she was not having it and screamed and fought it every moment. Her turn was very quick! Second up was Reagan, who remained chill and let him look in her mouth AND brush her teeth and everything. This is a pretty typical doctor visit attitude for her, unless you are messing with her ears. Harper went last, since she is typically the most anti-doctor (and goes to the doctor the least so that’s good) and because she hated the last dentist visit after chipping two teeth. Surprisingly she did great and smiled and let him brush her teeth without too much attitude. Kudos to the Libby Group for surviving a triplet appointment with minimal meltdowns from the children or adults!

We are looking forward to our last fall adventure for this year, Halloween, and jumping into the holiday season. While I already want to put Christmas lights up, rest assured I will at least hold out until Thanksgiving!

Upside Down

Snack time

Well as you can imagine has been quite a busy past two weeks. What I alluded to on my last blog was a change from normal, daily routine to Craig and I working full-time while juggling childcare ourselves and trying to figure out how to go forward; this occurring without any notice or ability to plan ahead accordingly. I imagine this is exactly how many families felt in March, with daycare closures with no notice due to the COVID-19 virus spread. Our daily life didn’t change that much from that shift because of our set up, but is changing now. Props to all of you parents, because I still feel like a stressed out, scrambling mess and it’s been almost two weeks. Two hard weeks.

Craig and I are both working from home and alternating who has the kids throughout the day so that we can make meetings, answer emails and complete workdays. Getting early morning hours in before the girls wake up, working through nap times and into the evenings allow us to get a lot done; but as you can imagine, makes for very long days, both mentally and physically. Longer than our normal long days, the ones we’ve had for the last two years. Oh, did I mention we also have three toddlers in the house? Yeah, that too.

Park time with Mom; exploring new playgrounds

I ventured to the park completely solo one morning last week. That marks the first time going completely by myself and not meeting anyone right away; surprisingly the girls actually did pretty well. They played in the area that I started them at and let me change a diaper without the other two running away. Everybody even played nicely. Now this is not the normal park adventure, usually Harper is running away from me with a big, defiant smile on her face and bringing her sisters along for the ride. This particular adventure alleviated some of my concern taking them by myself somewhere (that is not fully closed off or contained) and surviving. They wore their backpacks that have lovely, little handles at the top and I left the leashes inside, just in case I needed to break them out. But I never did!

There isn’t much time to blog about recent, random things happening in our household, but I have managed to record a few. For example, Reagan slammed Harper’s hand in the back door one afternoon. When I said to go say sorry to your sister because she’s crying with a hurt hand, Reagan tried to blame it on the door. That is funny now but I’m sure in the future it will get old, really fast. If someone bonks on the table, which happens often, another will go over and pat the table and say not nice! We had our first smashed drywall event in the dining room (surely won’t be the last one!), this one from Harper accidentally pushing a chair off the table onto Reagan and hitting the wall. She was definitely trying to climb up and pushed it over with her head and back. That resulted in three screaming toddlers but luckily no injuries.

The girls now repeat ready, set, go to each other and say bless you after a sneeze (occasionally). They also announce burbs and farts to anyone who might make those sounds. We are still working on thank you, but they will say please if they really want something; clearly they understand its meaning.

It feels like half my time in a day involves looking for the third of any object, whether that is a sippy cup, a third stuffed animal that someone insists they HAVE to have now that they like them, or a third set of shoes so we can go outside. Either way, I’m always looking for the third of something. I can’t imagine this will get better anytime soon!

We are finally latched on to stuffed animals- Harper has a pink plush bear and Reagan the same in white. Much to Emerie’s dismay, we received them from my original baby shower and do not have a third. She occasionally loves on her plush elephant- this week we pulled out a big from the out-of-sight stuffed animal bin and she has really taken to carrying it around, feeding it and snuggling with it in her crib. The next step will be to remove the binkies at nap and bedtime, with the hopes the animals will provide enough comfort to replace them. I also order THREE of the same bear and plan to seamlessly (and sneakily) swap the current stuffies out and hope they don’t notice. We will see.

Personality traits are on the rise.

The past week Emerie is on a mean streak, which isn’t her normal, and is quite grumpy. In addition to being unkind to her sisters (frequently in the afternoon), she has started making little whining noises when she doesn’t want to do something, we’ve had one day with no nap (almost two) and she managed to hide her main glasses somewhere in the house, not yet to be found! In fact, we’ve regressed a bit on the glasses wearing and are once again taping them to her face. This is more because she dislikes the pair she has to wear until we find the other ones. The only real improvement this week is her asking to take her patch off before hiding in a corner and doing it anyway. This is a big step and we are trying to reward accordingly for asking permission first. Other notable cute things are her requests to color and pretend time with her animals.

BFF time at the park. Loooove this photo!

Reagan is on a very emotional streak and quite a bear some days. She wakes up grumpy, is immediately missing patience and frustrated very easily, and wants attention allllll the time. It is making being at home constantly more difficult than usual for sure when one of three is attached at the hip. But on the other hand, she is napping well and talking up a storm!

Harper is still on her anxiety streak, freaking out in her crib when she wakes up and wanting to be close to Mom and Dad. About half of every night involves me sleeping next to her in the guestroom, with Craig settling Reagan if she is disturbed by her sister and Emerie sleeping through like a pro. She’s still waking up early but does so much better when Craig is working downstairs; not sure why but she will sleep past eight when he’s home! She is also talking up a storm and adding new verbs every day.

Please reach out if you’d like to do a park date! That is our sanity during the mid-morning chaos, a way to let the house be quiet for a little while for the working adult, and a safe way to get out of the house while social distancing and still enjoy some adventures.

Little Mimickers

The #toddlerlife is becoming increasingly interesting in the Douglas household. Everyday produces new words, groupings and phrases as well as explicit commands. New comprehended actions are instructed to you, to siblings, the pets, and immobile objects like the table and door. Mimicking of actions and words increases all the time and they are clearly keeping an eye on all activities throughout the day. And with all that, we are starting to see our little people grow up. SO. FAST.

Dinner time with the fam.

I’ve been writing notes to myself of the funny and cute, random things that scream toddler. Here are a few of the silly mimics to look back on when they are older. For example:

  • Sibling spankings – the girls now try to discipline one another, Reagan most of all. She will provide her sister with a light pat on their butt if they continue to do something as Craig or I are telling them no and asking if they’d like a spanking. It’s almost become a game and they will chase one another around the room and yell “spank!” with a giggle.
  • Picture taking – In true modern fashion, they will pick up objects and pretend they are cell phones. This consists of small conversations held to their ears and as of this week, holding it sideways and yelling “cheese!” as they try to take your picture. They get frustrated when Koda does not smile based off their demands. It is ironic that they understand how to talk on the phone with your ear and mouth, since they rarely witness us do anything but text or FaceTime; AND that they don’t seem to understand the concept of an actual camera. If I hold the fancy camera up for a picture, they don’t look or smile or comprehend what it is most of the time, even more so when they were tinier.
  • Books – the other day Harper took it upon herself to read the night-night book to her half awake sisters, as we started the morning. She sat on the toy ottoman with the book in her lap and essentially sang twinkle twinkle little star (sounds like inkle inkle ittle star and is super cute) while holding up the bedtime star book.
  • The dreaded diaper – Butt smelling is the latest and greatest thing. Someone will say they are poopy and one of the adults will ask, are you sure, do you stink? And another clean-butted baby will go take a whiff of the butt in question. It’s pretty hilarious. They will also hold their butt up to you to check and try to assist on the changes. It’s very considerate.
  • Trashcan – We’ve progressed to the point that the girls now open the kitchen trash compactor using the foot pedal; something they’ve witnessed us do constantly, especially after diaper changes. Not going to lie, it is somewhat nice that they can hand delivery the stinky diapers to the trash for me, saving me a trip into the kitchen (sometimes three trips).

Verb comprehension is through the roof in the past month. We are now told bite it! or do it! or hold it! (that one is a Harper favorite) all the time. They want a bite of anything we are eating, even if it is the same thing on their untouched dinner plate; they want to buckle their own car seat (a process that takes ETERNITY when you have to comply with all three of them), and we are often instructed to hold something like leftover snacks or dolls. For the record, my masterminded mom-ness (is that a thing?) for the car seat buckling is to allow them to mess with the chest harness buckle while I quickly buckle the lower portion. For the moment, that suffices as they are “doing it” themselves. My downfall of the week is the lastest phrase of kill it! which I did not intend to teach them. In my defense, the MASSIVE polka dotted spider on my back porch had me toddler-demanding Craig to kill it. So that’s just great.

They also say shit! When they drop things…but I choose to blame that one mostly on Craig.

Harper’s latest word explosion consists of enunciating her words, saying things like “ride-IN” or “Ko-DAH” or my favorite, Rea-GAN. One day she just stopped saying Ray Ray and now refers to her sister by her full name. It’s so cute. Emerie continues to call her Ray Ray. They call each other’s names when something of interest requires immediate attention, meaning there are a lot of Harper!! Emmi!! Reagan!! exclamations during walks and outdoor adventures. It typically includes excited pointing and a lot of yelling.

The girls, especially Emerie, now recognize enough of the neighborhood through the car windows to ask if we are going home as we pull onto our street. When we leave the house, everyone says bye-bye house! They recognize our friends and 17-houses-away neighbor’s house and comment anytime we pass it in the car. Other notable neighborhood objects consist of the wind fans in people’s front yards, the lawn mowers (called momos in this house) parked in yards and driveways, and the ever popular trash or garbage cans. The girls will ask about Koda as we head home from somewhere. If we eat out somewhere or have a picnic snack at the park, they look for the dog to give their scraps too. Yes, we are working on that one and they are working on getting her to smile when they tell her cheeeese! with their pretend camera phone.

The baby timeout chair, aka the high chair we used in addition to the triple table, is now retired to the garage for resale. We are continuing to implement time-outs and this is not so simply with three at once. Surprisingly, they will mostly stay in the corner you put them in for punishment, and half the time it is Harper. The next door neighbor asked us the other day which one is always in trouble, is it Harper? I find it hilarious they pick up on that from our day-to-day, because she is definitely the one in the hair pulling, biting stage. Emerie’s biting habits are letting up now and in general Reagan responds to verbal discipline far more than her siblings do. It is interesting to see how they all respond differently to punishment, as I predicted they would (just because that is harder!). They also asked us who is the one that seems more upset than the other two…which Craig and I both responded with Reagan! She is currently living her best two-year-old life, which means acting typical for her age according to the nanny, while the other two are on better behavior (I guess?).

We made it through our first real movie with the girls over a few evenings this week, watching (in short chunks) Tangled and then Moana. I think they all sat for five minutes or so and watched intently, then one or two got up to play while number three snuggled and talked about it. And switch and repeat. While encouraging screen watching isn’t exactly what I want to do as a parent, I am realistic enough to know having them enjoy some television time occasionally is not a bad thing and is really nice!! The funniest part of watching Tangled is the girls’ new obsession with pan!! and yes, I am referring to the frying pan that our princess uses to beat up her tower intruder and other bad guys along the way. Now we get requests for the pan! movie. Hopefully they don’t take it to heart tooo much.