Summer Adventures

The past weekend was chocked full of toddler adventuring and getting out of the house. We find that getting the girls out and about drastically helps with the grumpiness side effect of daycare transition and keeps our sanity intact, so we made plans to do our first real road trip and drive down to the Seward Sealife Center.

As usual, I was super over packed for a half day trip. Part of this is to ensure we have everything needed for whatever comes up, the other part knows if an accident shuts down the highway on our way home (which frequently happens), then we need to have enough supplies to survive a night in a hotel. Thank goodness we didn’t end up testing how that would go, but you never know and preparation is key (I am a planner, after all…)! So in addition to the snacks, lunch food, drinks and extra clothes and coats, I had everyone’s cuddle blanket, stuffed animals, binkies hidden away, and the bedtime book. This clearly tells me we need to purchase a camper so we can adventure for whole weekends and not just half days. Then I won’t feel so over packed!

Everyone was up and ready to go by 7:45, with our fellow triplet road trippers meeting up for the drive down. We anticipated the girls would not sleep on the way down, so Craig sat in the third row and helped entertain them (ahem…keep them from fighting…), supplied a constant stream of snacks, and kept us from a two hour scream fest. I enjoyed my coffee and the beautiful scenery from the driver’s seat.

We arrived right on time for our sealife center reservations. The girls were released from the strollers pretty early on; eventually it was seven toddlers running amuck toward each exhibit, someone always trying to herd them in the right direction as they excitedly screamed about the animals. The sea lions were a hit, especially when they were up close and appeared soooo big. Everyone touched the starfish and managed to get their hoodies all wet. Everyone threw fits going back into the strollers. It was a very pleasant, albeit FAST, visit that we will have to do again soon.

The over energized toddlers released a vast amount of energy at the park down the path along the water. The weather was cool with bits of sun and wind, but overall very pleasant for a (almost) fall day in our great state. The park was amazing, with only two entrances, allowing the parents to breathe a little that they wouldn’t immediately run out to the water. Lunch went much smoother for our fellow triplet friends than for mine. We didn’t bring the food from the car so they were less than thrilled at the thought of sitting for a few more snacks instead of real food; they wanted to run around and go back to the playground.

All in all, it may have been a busy, stimulating day, but also a good one. It was really nice to get out of Anchorage for a few hours and I look forward to longer trips like this next summer. The girls napped the whole way home; Emerie was out before we left city limits and Harper and Reagan chatted a little and pretty much fell asleep mid-sentence.

To continue the weekend adventures, we went down to the Kincaid beach the following day. This includes walking down a massive paved trail until you break off toward the beach (and unfortunately walking back up it later), dragging strollers down a path not meant for them, and having to pull said gear back up that steep path at the end of the trek.

We succeeded at this with about twelves kiddos and only four strollers, lots of snacks and fun beach gear. The girls did GREAT. They didn’t explore more than 20′ away from us the whole time we were down there, they played with their shovels and buckets and walked around with the sand in their toes. Luckily the sun stayed out for most of it and it wasn’t too cold…Alaska beaches aren’t warm and we were ready for that.

The most exciting part of the morning was getting stuck on the beach side of the trail due to a mama and baby moose blocking our way. The girls kept pointing and yelling moose from the stroller. At least 20 people were held up by these creatures, who assumed we would patiently wait for them to have their lunch before we walked by. Other hikers went through the brush around them, something you cannot do with a double chariot and a ton of loud, little people. Eventually they moved far enough that we could walk quickly by and go up the huge hill that took us toward the car. It was another great morning, although it took a good hour into nap time for Emerie and Harper to drift off to sleep. This will definitely be a spot to do again; this time we will warn our friends to wear hiking shoes and bring better gear…which we did not do this time around (oops Megan!).

One of the most adventure packed weekends we’ve had in a while- in a good way- hopefully the rest of fall can proceed in a similar fashion.

First Day Jitters

It’s a little terrifying to give up control as a parent. What do I mean by control? So many things are controlled for our every day routine, something that has been incredibly detailed and stringent for the past two years, with pretty much every second planned out strategically ahead of time (and a lot of hoping for the best!). Control, as in what habits (or words/actions) your children will pick up because they’re only with you or people you’ve hand-picked to be a part of your lives. This may also be genetically from their DNA- yes, that part might be payback for Craig and I. Control, meaning knowledge of each detail of their daily lives, knowing they are completely safe from the craziness of the outside world, safely tucked away in your house, your safe place, the place you call home.

The past two years were controlled, spending the majority of time in this safe place.

It also means relinquishing control by placing your children in the hands of other people and having new experiences that you won’t be there to witness. This is a hard concept to deal with. Because we’ve been so blessed to have in home care, we have been involved in so much of the first times. In reality, it’s really not that different from me and Craig being at work and the girls being home with the nanny, but soon there will be more kids around we don’t yet know and less involvement in daily activities and experiences. Miss Chris was always great at sending pictures and videos and making us feel connected to the girls, even when we at the office. And the last four months with the COVID quarantine and working full time from home, while I was not directly with the girls every second of the day, I could still hear them downstairs or outside the window, laughing in the backyard and playing in the water, or chasing each other across the living room and giggling over a song. I still heard them screaming about the food they disliked, or when they settled down for a nap and chatted in their cribs, knowing from the other room that they are happy and snoozing away from a busy day.

The question is, is this life adjustment harder on the parents or on the kids?! We all know the truth of that answer; it’s harder on the parents and I daresay hardest on the moms. Whether your kid is three months old, two and a half years (like us), or headed off to the first day of kindergarten, separation anxiety is a thing, for both parents and kiddos! It’s hard to let go, change routine and take the next step. Am I ready for them to go to daycare? Not remotely. Did I want to put this off a lot longer? Yes. Do I think they can handle it and be okay? Yes. Do I think I can handle it and be okay? Yesss. I know the transition is tough, whether that is a quiet house for my workday or a few no-nap weeks for them to come home super grumpy and clingy. I am sure it will be quite the transition for them, exciting and scary, but also quite the transition for us as well as we step into this new phase of our lives. A phase with a little less control.

Snack when we got home.

We’ve done a lot of daycare prep the past few weeks. After touring the preschool and talking with several of the staff and toddler teachers, we shifted our daily routine a little bit. No major changes, just small incremental things that encouraged how they would be at school and wouldn’t cause further stress while we juggled everything. This included unbuckling the girls for breakfast and lunch, something we’ve done at all meals their whole lives, using the constrained time to finish food prep, cleanup, throw another load of laundry in or start the dishwasher, and run around and quickly do fifty random chores before they ransacked everything again. The toddler classrooms have kid sized tables and chairs and expect the kiddos to eat respectfully without buckling in. This is going okay at home so far, often the taking away of a full plate of food convinces them to sit back down. It definitely shortens meal times and doesn’t allow for us to sit and eat for long, but the change is going better than I expected it to right away.

We are also leaving the dining chairs on the floor now, instead of putting them back on top of the table. This is soooo much nicer on the parents, not having to constantly remember to put them back up, but still certainly results in climbing toddlers, standing on the table, smacking the television and playing with the remote and DVD player. I won’t call this a win yet; at some point each day someone is on the table (or multiple someones more often), but yesterday I only had to put them (all) in timeout once for climbing up and that is MAJOR progress. Hopefully we aren’t too far from this being a non-issue.

Another bigger change at daycare involves splitting them up. They don’t put three new toddlers together, regardless of sibling status, so we opted for Harper and Reagan to stay together and Emerie to be on her own. No, it’s not because the two team up against their smaller sister more often; it is because Emerie is great at independent play and likes to take the time to figure things out. We are hoping she will thrive from this. They will still be together for breakfast and recess each day, but not for some activities and nap time. I’m hoping once everyone settles in they can go back together, unless Emerie absolutely loves being on her own.

We joked on our walkthrough that daycare staff has until their third birthday to figure out who is who, because we will then dress them all completely alike and make them work for it. They thought that was pretty funny. Kidding not kidding…

We had to do physicals (and shots!) before their first day, and since we didn’t get an official two year height/weight update because COVID hit, here are your updated numbers for the munchkins!

29 Month Update

Harper

Harper Anne after her first day!

Height: 38.75” (99%) / Weight: 29 lb., 8 oz. (71%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else

Shoe Size: 8

Favorite Word: Pan! (meaning Tangled movie)

Favorite Food: dad’s Belgium waffle pancakes, bacon and blueberries

Favorite Song: Lola the Cow or Baby Shark

Favorite toy: she likes her pink bear or the singing bear

She is still ready to take the world on 100% of the time, is often the instigator for trouble making and encourages her sisters to join her, and is practically talking a mile a minute. She enjoys movies the most of the three and will sit and snuggle for 30+ minutes and watch one before bed time.

Emerie

Emerie at home after her first day!

Height: 37.75” (96%) / Weight: 27 lb., 4 oz. (47%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else but it’s a little big

Shoe Size: 7 / 8

Favorite Word: lullo (yellow)

Favorite Food: mango or blueberries

Favorite Song: Tay Tay’s Shake It Off and Twinkle Twinkle

Favorite toy: any type of container, her Piggy, and her toddler “cell phone”

Emerie is the curious thinker of the group and loves to color and play with puzzles. She loves holding your hand and insists upon it quite often, especially when jumping off things or going down most slides. She likes the Pan movie and Moana and randomly singing her ABCs.

Reagan

Reagan after her first day!

Height: 38.25” (98%) / Weight: 30 lb., 1 oz. (76%)

Clothing size: 2T onesies/dresses, 3T everything else

Shoes Size: 8

Favorite Word: no!

Favorite Food: broccoli or potato chips

Favorite Song: Baby Shark

Favorite toy: any binkie she can get her hands on, her white bear or toddler “cell phone”

Reagan is still the most timid of the three and a little more emotional. She’s shy in new places but then opens up and wants to share toys with friends. She enjoys holding your hand, sitting on your lap under a blanket and watching her sisters get into trouble. She also likes dancing to all music.

Right now no one is a fan of wearing pants, or their diapers if given the opportunity to remove them, and everyone is obsessed with the potty. The current favorite color is “yellowblue”. No, that is not green; it is yellow-blue. As true Alaskan babies, they are now okay playing in hose water or the sprinkle out back, even with the multiple cold! comments.

First Day

The first day went even better than expected! Craig and I were still reeling from several nights of actual sleep, which felt weird, with Harper sleeping back in her own bed and not having anxiety episodes that result in me sleeping next to her in the guest room.

We got up a few minutes early and ate a breakfast snack on the couch, I did everyone’s hair really quick and dressed up in cute, first day outfits that matched the beautiful summer day.

Craig and I took them over together at about 8 AM, expecting some tears as we handed them off. Due to COVID-19 rules, we are not allowed into the daycare and have to leave them at the front door, after temperature checks. While I am not a fan of this at all, especially since this is my first time handing them off to new people, I think down the line they will be fine. Harper didn’t even shed a tear, albeit she wasn’t excited, but stuck out her jaw and went with it. Emerie and Reagan? Bloody murder, screaming rage. Yes, as expected. We just walked to the car as they screamed inside.

The coordinator texted us later that they only cried for a few moments and then were okay. I’m sure it helped to have breakfast time together and a whole new set of toys and activities to entertain.

Believe it or not, everyone did some form of a nap, which greatly surprised me! I was expecting very overstimulated and sleepy toddlers by the end of the day, but apparently they were worn out enough to sleep a little. What a good sign! Emerie, who napped in a different room than her sisters, did great according to her teacher, waking up a little upset but quickly calming down with one-on-one time and a book.

We picked them up out on the playground, everyone happy and running around, no one exactly ready to get in the car and go home. The evening was a little grumpy but overall not as bad as expected.

Thank you everyone for the prayers for a calm week!

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.

Interests and Personalities

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

Birthday girls in their birthday dresses!

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

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

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

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

Harper

Height: 35.5″ tall

Weight: 27.8 pounds

Harper Anne is two!

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

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

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

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

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

Emerie

Height: 34.5″ tall

Weight: 25.2 pounds

Emerie Faye is two!

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

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

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

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

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

Reagan

Height: 35.5″ tall (identical to Harper)

Weight: 27.8 pounds (identical to Harper)

Reagan Jean is two!

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

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

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

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

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


Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Obsession: nursery sound machine and nightlight!


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

(S)now Excited for Winter!

Driving across town on Saturday, I excitedly imagined the girls finally getting their first real snow experience (they were too little last year). The snow was heavily falling at that point and covering the city in white. I spent the next two hours hanging out at a kid-free, cake decorating, girls time with Janelle; something very long overdue!

By the time I returned home, I was quite dismayed to see that South Anchorage was only producing rainfall and the snow flurries had disappeared. Even more disappointing, our front yard was not a freshly coated white but still a depressing, winter green.

First time in real snowsuits!

I have a love hate relationship with winter. Growing up I loved playing outside, going sledding, all of it. Into my teenage years, I really didn’t like to drive in it and was less appreciative of the conditions. But as an adult, I’m now at a place that I enjoy the blanket of white around my house; I enjoy the winter holidays and the fun that comes with it (although clear roads are nice). The holidays just don’t feel right without some snow. It makes our houses feel cozier, more festive even, and makes people that are less than thrilled about winter enjoy summer even more. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I can’t wait to get everyone together for a meal and enjoy the holiday with some winter activities.

Anyway, we waited until after dinner and into the typical Alaska darkness, but finally had enough snow on the back deck to suit up the girls and check it out first hand. This is the first time we’ve worn the snowsuits from Papa Cliff, mostly because due to the lack of actual winter weather; outside playtime only required fleece pants, coats, hats and boots.

I can already tell getting snowsuits and boots on three mobile toddlers will be an adventure for the whole season. Getting them off might be even harder, with cold fingers, wet boots and three girls that want to do it themselves. Since the dressing process is relatively similar to putting on a sleep sack, they cooperated pretty well to laying on their suit while we put each extremity in the right place. Emerie’s snowsuit is a bit big; she looked like a purple sumo wrestler waddling around (so we switched and she is now in the blue one) and Harper’s is a bit too long-we will need to find a smaller size for her this winter.

After a couple minutes outside, we opened the backdoor so everyone could wander back into the warm house. This was promptly ignored by everyone…so we stayed out a little longer. I’m not surprised at the enthusiasm; they are Alaskan babies after all and there is so much to see! We checked out the snow, made some snowballs, inspected the snow covered Christmas lights and watched them have an ice dance off.

In typical dad style, Craig tossed a few snowballs their way. I use the word tossed lightly…because he nailed Emerie right in the face. She did not appreciate that, but she didn’t cry either! Reagan tried to throw them back at him. Harper stayed safely away in the log cabin or castle.

First snow experience!

On Sunday we decided to hold on additional snow play and took the girls swimming, meeting up with some friends and checking out the local YMCA (at the mall!). The warm water pool was met with far more enthusiasm than the cold one we visited a few weeks back. This pool also has a massive locker room and a tiny room that we could easily contain our runners while we dressed and undressed. I am also thrilled to report that we finally completed a swimming even without any poop mishaps. Don’t judge, that is a milestone.

After a late, post swimming and lunch nap time, but before the sun completely set and depressed the outdoors back into the daily darkness, we suited everyone up and loaded into the sleds for an adventure around the block.

It always pays to be prepared. Practice sledding.

The girls all inspected the sleds beforehand, climbing in and out and pulling them around by the cords. I’m pretty excited that I found them for $5.00 each at the consignment sale last month, and while we will outgrow them pretty quickly, it will provide a ton of entertainment this winter!

The adventure was a success and both Craig and I were sweating by the time we returned to the house while the girls had cold hands and red noses. The neighborhood streets are pretty icy, but the more we more bumps the better according to the little ones. They chatted and giggled all the way around the block and lost their minds at the end when we took them out of the sleds to play in the backyard. We couldn’t convince anyone to wear their mittens, Reagan wouldn’t wear her hood so she was given a hat, and by the end of the loop Emerie was hood free as well. Everyone slid down a bit in the seats and we kept sitting them back up; I think the “gangster slouch” was pretty cute.

Ice running with the toddlers

As the sun started to set we played outside a bit longer. The girls ate their fill of snow and once the whining started we ventured back inside. I look forward to many more snow days like this, especially over the holidays, and hope we see a lot of snowfall this year (I’m being optimistic). At least the first couple days of snow were a success in the toddler playbook!


On a completely unrelated note and one for the memory book, potty training may be right away the corner, at least for one of the three! Reagan came over to me the other night, sat down on the couch cushion and tugged at the back of her diaper, saying “poopy.” First off, I didn’t know she knew that word; secondly that she would actually associate it to the action! Optimistically, we would love to start the potty training by their second birthday…realistically, I don’t know if they will be ready for it yet. But! Reagan is giving me hope it’s right around the bend.