The past summer was hot. Super hot for us Alaskans that dislike hot weather and humidity! Our August maintained the warmer than normal temperatures, but when September hit, it was almost like a switch was turned and things went back to typical fall weather (rain, 60s, etc.). This temperature change, while welcomed by me for sure but not by most, brought on the first cold of the fall/winter season, giving us three snotty babies for the first two weeks of September.
This didn’t completely ruin our fall time- we continued to play outside and bundle up, and had our first puddle splashing adventure. That was a hit! The girls also realize the boots light up and will pull them out of the bin and bring me one to put on them when we are playing inside. Yes, that is Harper you see trying to eat the street puddle water. A moment after these photos everyone made a break for it and took off down the street (monitored).
Last winter the girls survived three colds total, all that mostly involved stuffy/snotty noses and fevers for all three simultaneously; only Harper ever developed a cough, which was more “flemmy” than a deep, scary chest cough. I’m pretty sure Craig and I managed to keep another cold or two at bay from the girls throughout last winter, mostly by crazy hand washing and special efforts not to spread our germs. Now that the girls are a little older, colds seem way easier to struggle through. It’s still not great, but it’s not completely unbearable. I’m telling myself that delirious point, because it might have simply been a minor cold they handled better than normal…trying to stay optimistic here, folks.
Anyway, last weekend we had one night and following morning with a seriously grumpy Reagan, which is generally unlike her. By the time we made it to the doctor that afternoon, she had an ear infection and blown left ear drum. Poor babe. By evening the medicine kicked in and her mood significantly improved.
Over the last week Harper and Emerie started tugging at their ears a little and were grumpier than usual. While I don’t always assume it is an ear infection, I figured maybe getting over the cold prompted the ear issues. After another doctor visit, we determined Harper was in the clear and Emerie had a minor infection.
While I don’t like my babies to feel sick, the snuggles are pretty nice since they rarely sit still for any period of time when feeling good. We went to the park a couple of times, even with the rain, played outside all bundled up, and met up with some friends. Looming colds or ear infections are not going to stop the adventures hit year; hopefully they will be minimal and everyone will stay in good spirits when we can’t outrun them.
We discovered a lone, tennis ball at the park that turned in to quite the toddler adventure. Throw the ball…watch all the babies chase it…pick it up, they throw it toward you, and repeat. Lots of open space to burn energy, fill up on giggles, and have some good ‘ole entertainment. Next visit to that park, I am bringing a soccer ball! Enjoy.
We decided to do an impromptu airplane trip for the whole family, including the girls. As many of you know, Craig’s older brother Chris unexpectedly passed away last week. He is very dear to our hearts and adored by the girls. Bringing them down to Juneau for some family cuddles, playing, and general baby loving will hopefully bring a little cheer to the family during a very tough time.
The trip down was a little more chaotic than I was hoping for, so here are the logistics of traveling with three very mobile, fifteen month olds.
First, it is highly stressful. With it brought a lot of planning and anxiety, but somehow we managed and made it through!
First off, I bought some new toys and made three small play snd snack bags for the plane ride, figuring on the return flight we can simply swap who had what bag. These contain a variety of toddler friendly things: toys, finger snacks, teethers, rattles, etcetera. They worked pretty well for the duration of the flight and we even shared with a fellow toddler in the seat across from Craig, who was less than happy to be confined with her Dad to an airplane seat.
Logistically speaking, we had a one to one ratio of kid versus adult for our hour and a half flight to Juneau, with Grandma Anne providing extra hands on her first trip to Alaskan’s capital city. At the airport we checked three big suitcases and three car seat/bases, carried on a suitcase with supplies in case we needed it, and had the toy and snack bags for each kiddo. We also brought the Zoe triple stroller through the terminal and checked it at the gate right after the last round of diaper changes and splitting up the breastmilk into easily accessible bottles for takeoff.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big supporter of Alaska Airlines, having flown on it most of my life. I can say for this particular trip, they severely let us down and I was more than disappointed (and stressed). With a reservation error in their system saying Craig and I were children carrying lap children, it took over an hour for the agent to figure out how to process our seats so the boarding passes would even print. After fixing that error, then it said I had no seat at all! Luckily they were able to fix that eventually and the ticketing agent was doing her best to get us on that flight. Needless to say, we almost missed the flight entirely and boy was I fuming for a few minutes!
The tiny minions insisted on running around while reservations were fixed
Once reservations were fixed, we headed to the TSA line, knowing this was another necessary hurdle to board. We cut in front of quite a long line of people, and after a couple people the TSA agent let us through for the security check. One lady let us in front of her and her husband, obvious that she’d traveled with kids at some point in her life, and it was very nice of her.
Security took longer than it needed to. We had to unload each baby and carry them through while they wanded the stroller, went through our carry ons, and scanned every bottle of milk and article of snack food ONE BY ONE. I about passed out in a fit of rage at that one…but somehow made it through…
After all of that, and about four hours total getting ready, to the airport, checking in, and passing through security; we made it on the plane about 8 minutes before we backed out of the gate and were the last to board on a nearly full flight. My mom was about eight rows in front of me on the left side aisle while Craig was to my left and up one row with an empty middle seat! They gave me a middle seat (because why not, the day was going so well so far…); fortunately the young man sitting in the aisle voluntarily scooted over. I’m pretty sure I would have bursted into tears right there if he hadn’t done that and he could tell.
The flight was relatively uneventful. Thank goodness it was smooth; my anxiety could not have handled the usual Juneau bumps and I was so glad for minimal wind and mostly clear skies.
Harper fidgeted on my lap the entire flight but didn’t cry with any pressure changes and drank her bottles. She tore up a bunch of napkins and that provided quite the entertainment (sorry cleanup crew). Everything she held ended up on the floor or thrown at the passenger next to me while I attempted to protect his face from the baby snack slingshots. Being in a newer 737 meant she could play with the tray table, phone shelf, and airplane handouts. I finally got smart and clipped a teething necklace to the shelf where she could play but not throw it.
Did I wipe everything down beforehand like I insisted needed to be done? No. I really thought I would care enough to do that when I sat down (because airplane are full of soooo many germs) but to no avail. But we did make it on the plane, all babies and parents. Success.
Reagan made friends with the lady sitting in Craig’s row and I could see Emerie farther up with my mom, sitting with the lady in the window seat, completely happy.
What did I learn from this trip? That showing up early to the airport did not make the trip any smoother, and that we probably need to check in the day before (in person) so the airline can accommodate the three infants at once. I also learned traveling is possible, though not fun, with three mobile toddlers. Not sure if I’m willing to attempt Hawaii until they are a little bigger, but this was certainly educational.
Sitting on that airplane, breathing a sigh of relief that we made it on…in that moment I fully questioned if it was really worth all the effort to come down here. Disrupting our everyday routine, figuring out logistics and trying to keep babies happy, especially only six days post surgery for Emerie. As I sit here writing this, in a quiet house with sleeping babies and husband for hopefully a few more minutes, I can say that it was definitely worth the trouble and I’m glad we came down. Is this week hard and full of tough emotions? Yes, but it’s worth it and our little ones are proving to be very resilient, maybe even more than their parents.
Prayers for the family and that our return trip this weekend is a bit smoother!
While we continue through the current snotfest, the girls are quickly picking up new skills and traits. I would say the parents are as well…I’ve accepted the fact that I am constantly covered in snot and used as a human tissue (I should add that to my resume lol. I’m pretty I just wipe the snot on my pants and shirts now instead of getting up to grab another tissue every time a tiny tot’s nose drips.
A couple nights ago everyone slept ALL NIGHT in their cribs…for the first time in 2019!! In fact, I didn’t wake up once the whole night to a shriek or a cry and it was oddly refreshing.
Sadly, that success only lasted one night. We had three grumpy babies by 11:30 PM the next night, with Emerie ending up with Craig, Harper with me, and Reagan eventually settled down in her crib and went back to sleep, after quite a fight!
What I’ve found is lack of sleep is relatively survivable, as long as the first 2-3 hours in the night result in straight, uninterrupted sleep. Last night was one of those nights, where I slept solidly from about 9 PM to 11:30, and probably back to sleep with Miss Harper by about 1:30, and then getting up at the typical 4:30 AM wake up time. That first chunk of sleep really helps me stay awake for the day!
As we continue in the second week of the cold, the girls are off and on grumpy snot factories. Their most hated thing in life right now is the tissue, or anything that might go near those little noses. For the most part I believe we are out of the previous teething rage, so moods are improved from that. Everyone has four top teeth through the gums, and are much less slobbery. You will notice that the girls aren’t wearing their amber necklaces in pictures now; not because teething lulled a bit, but because they try to rip them off each other (not themselves tho) and cause a great deal of angst with each other. We may not be using them anymore, at least until they understand not to pull on them.
I hope you are enjoying the lovely photo of Reagan, proudly displaying her snotty nose before I brought the rage to wipe it off…
I realized this weekend that I passed the 13 month milestone without posting anything! Now that we are over a year, I’m not sure people still do monthly photos. But for your enjoyment, here is a nice photo of the girls in their matching Minnie Mouse pjs.
A few new cute things for you…such as Reagan dancing to a video. She is definitely the dancer of the group so far!
One of my coworkers gave me a play “puppy walker” and we tried it out with the girls earlier this week during Emerie’s therapy session. As predicted, the only one that figured out how to walk with it (figured it out a little too well) was Harper, who discovered how fun it was to push forward while she walked! Reagan and Emerie were more than happy to sit on it while we pushed it forward, but not walk behind it. Not sure I am quite ready for walkers yet…a few more months of crawling works for me!
Within two days the girls are all attempting to walk with it! Reagan is the least excited about it, and Harper is the wing leader. Emerie is really good at climbing into it and now is walking forward too.
Harper took four steps on Saturday, teetered and balanced herself, and took two more. No I did not get it on video, was way too in the moment for that. And after only two practice tries… a little TOO quick!
I predict by the end of May we will have walkers. Everyone’s coordination is improving so rapidly and they definitely watch and feed off each other as they learn new things. I cannot handle how mature Emerie looks in this photo!!
A few other fun new things include Harper raspberrying my leg (and thinking it was hilarious), Emerie gaining great coordination with moveable toys and doing things on her own, and Reagan is a speed crawler! Everyone enjoyed the gorgeous sun this weekend and we set up the new Regalo playpen. It’s light and useful at both the park and in the front yard as we start spring cleaning the garage. I also figured out it folds up perfectly to fit across the stroller bars so I can single handedly bring it with me somewhere and let the girls out to play.
This week our busy little bees have hit a few new…eeerrr……milestones?
Hearing Craig exclaim from the playpen, stop licking my belly button! And then a moment later seeing Reagan licking Craig’s leg hair. Such wonderful memories to share with the girls when they are older…
Reagan received her first swollen lip last week. It is undetermined if she was smacked in the face by a sister (likely) or if she bit it falling down on a toy. Either way, she wasn’t excited about it; but it hasn’t stopped her from climbing on things and testing out her boundaries.
Napping is finally improving, it only took about a year! The girls were never great nappers, starting when we defined specific nap times to now. They still need some daytime sleep to continue being happy and pleasant babies; some days it is very difficult while others are much smoother. We are down to one nap, having lost the second one at about 11 months and Reagan a little before that. It was too much of a battle to get them to go down for another relatively short nap, so we stopped trying and now focus on getting one good one. Typical naps are around an hour, but recently that is getting better at two or more. We try to be as physically active as possible throughout the morning so everyone is tired and ready to settle down. Once the girls are in their cribs, we give them about 10 minutes to settle down, whether they are screaming, giggling, or otherwise, before we will go back and intervene. Lately we haven’t had to go back in. When they were smaller, there was a great deal of pulling out the one keeping the other two awake…and that varied between all three.
The end of last week and the weekend schedule worked like a charm. The girls napped about two hours a day, ALL THREE OF THEM, each day. Major progress!! After going through more clothes, we tried on some “big girl pajamas” too! Don’t mind Reagan’s face in the picture…she was ready to eat, not smile for the camera.
Harper and Emerie had their follow up ear infection appointments on Friday. The office was running late and man…it is really difficult to entertain two one year olds in a tiny, boiling hot room for 40 minutes. Reagan stayed with Grandma, and napped the whole time, so at least we only had to entertain two!
The doctor told us the next few appointments are exceptionally difficult at this age. We are thinking we might split them up and take one at a time to make things less stressful. My other idea is to pack up and bring the pack-and-play with us. Then we can at least set them each down where they can play while we spend two hours there.
One other change in the Douglet household is no more tracker chart! As you know, I like to write things down, memories, silly antics, and definitely the daily schedule. We made it through three Triplet Time books (off Amazon) and once they were no longer available for purchase, I made my own customized Douglets version. We used this for a few more months, keeping up on the day-to-day eating habits, diapers, and funny things throughout the days.
After hitting the year mark, the tracker started to become more effort than help, unlike previous months. We relied on it greatly when the girls were smaller, as schedule was EVERYTHING, and without it we couldn’t remember who ate how much when, let alone get any sleep. It may seem like taking the time to write things down is unneeded effort, but when you are feeding three babies every three hours each day, your mind very quickly jumbles who had how much when. It will also be fun to look back at the first few months of life and see some of the funny notes. For example, there are definitely a few “Emerie peed in her hair!” notes (she’s going to kill me for that someday) or “no one slept in their cribs last night” type of things.
Another transition is away from the baby jumpers. I am sad to see them go; I could watch them giggle and laugh and bounce all day long. We are now to the point they just want to explore and play; and they see the jumpers as confinement. No one has tried to climb out of them yet, but if we continued to use them it would probably happen. Our living room looks so huge now…three jumpers take up a lot of space!
A lot of people dislike jumpers, saying they are bad for babies. Looking into this topic, they can be bad for development, but that is if you leave them in for long periods of time allll the time. Another complaint is it causes children to walk on their tiptoes. In my experience, both are non issues as long as you pay attention to your kids! Harper and Emerie didn’t do tiptoe very much, but Reagan did for a while. As soon as she became mobile, the tiptoes went away and she stands fine now. It’s all about moderation! I will miss those jumpers…
We took advantage of Grandma Sue’s visit and made a few more efforts to baby proof the house. Our tri-level house has extensive staircase area. The house was originally designed with a 7″ gap between the railings; big enough I can stick my head through, so a child can fully hang through it. We have a loft area at the top of the stairs in the living room and it is quite high up. Our cats have always liked they can easily escape the dogs by running through the openings, and the dogs used to sit up in the loft and hang their heads through the railing, surveying their surroundings or to take a nap.
This weekend we ruined those joys for our pets, but made our stairs kid safe. I would love to completely demolished the existing railing, but because…well triplets, we don’t have time for that and just added metal spindles, centered in the 7″ opening and now to municipal code! I believe it turned out really nice, and while we aren’t quite finished with the loft, the girls can go from the living room up to their bedroom (monitored) without fear of falling off the sides.
We are still working on food. The girls love to give Grandma Sue a hard time about her cooking, refusing to try things or eat them. Harper is really a stickler for refusing to enjoy her concoctions, Emerie and Reagan are more easily coaxed. They do, however, all like her chicken noodle soup, vegetables and all! Watching them slurp noodles is literally THE cutest thing.
Because the girls can be a bit picky, we still use baby food as well as whatever we are eating to make sure they get the calorie intake they need. They often refuse to eat the food plopped down in front of them on the table (Harper and Reagan more than Em) and are more willing to try it out if you eat a bit and feed them with your utensil. Silly babies.
They seem to be picky sometimes and other times starving little monkeys. Cheese puffs and yogurt melts are still the favorite; mango slices, green beans, crackers and vege-straws are a hit, and of course french fries are a great snack every once in a while, that’s in their genetics like their mother. They liked our homemade coleslaw the other day too, as long as it entered their mouths from my fork! They enjoy Cheerios if they are off someone else’s spoon. Apparently they aren’t as good as a hand to mouth snack (yet).
We are transitioning from bottle feeds to food intake pretty well. The girls get breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day in the triple table, with a bottle in the morning, afternoon, and right before bedtime. Everyone has three or more teeth coming through, which greatly minimized the amount of milk everyone drinks. For a few days I was bagging a bunch for later this year because they weren’t drinking it. Once the teeth popped through the gums, everyone started drinking their bottles better.
Spring is here (or at least it looks very promising!). The few recent walks feel warm and sunny and like the leaves should appear at any moment. We are excited for Easter next weekend and might do a few bunny photos and play dates. I can’t wait until it is warm enough to sit outside and play with the girls in the sun!
Last weekend was productive and fun. The weather was unusually gorgeous and warm for March in Alaska, and the sunlight very welcome. In fact, it’s so close to summer we broke out the kid popsicle molds. As you can see below, Harper was not a fan- Emerie gave it a try and Reagan ate hers and Harper’s!
We are prepping for a children clothing consignment sale in mid-April and spent a lot of time sorting through clothes in the garage. Getting fresh air was really nice and having extra hands made the prepping advance much more efficiently.
We are greatly blessed that so many wonderful people gifted clothes to the girls. As I sorted through boxes, I remember many instances when Emerie wore a tiny onesie, or Harper a cute romper, or Reagan an adorable hoodie; we’ve worn a TON of things. I’m glad I did the effort of dressing everyone each morning and getting those cute pictures taken and memories saved!
The playpen continues to grow with the girls. The living room is pretty tight with it, a feeding table, three jumpers, and our standard furniture!
The consignment sale funds a new triple stroller, called the Zoe. Get this (geek mom alert), it’s a triple stroller that is less than 20 pounds!! It comes in variety of cute colors, AND should fit in my car. The even crazier thing is, the website boasts three day shipping across the entire US. Those of us in Alaska know most manufacturers may promise this, but realistically that is impossibly fast for shipping here, let alone a large box like a stroller. But no! It arrived in three days!! Quite impressive if you ask me.
In another month or so we will take the plunge to rear facing car seats; the infant ones will no longer be big enough. Then Ee can break this bad boy in! The girls enjoyed the stroller boxes more than the actual stroller. They stayed entertained for a good while in them.
On the developmental front, the girls are continuing to hone new life skills. They are discovering that stairs are super fun (much to my dismay!). It is good development to let them try to climb (while closely monitored) and I was unprepared for how quick they’d get good at it. Reagan and Harper are overachievers and use their feet to climb, not their knees! So NOT ready for that.
Earlier this week Reagan discovered the tiny baby piano in the playpen (baby jail) is climbable, and like the toddler she is, had to test that theory out. It didn’t go so well for her and she slipped right off it. It is now toy timeout!
Some parental shrieking occurred the other night when we had a little bathtub incident. We fed the girls dinner in just diapers, bibs and socks, planning to bathe all the food off of them afterwards. One of them left a little surprise in the tub! That is the first time that’s happened…in a year!! Guess we made out like bandits on that parenting milestone, until now.
We are also working on the wave and clapping. Everyone mimics you when clapping, or will bang toys together in response and giggle. It’s pretty adorable when all three bang toys together and make their own version of toddler music. One of their birthday toys, a singing picnic basket, has food shapes that everyone loves to turn into music. At one point Harper’s hand was stuck in the basket, but other than that everyone enjoys it! Nanny Chris has been working on the wave for a few months now, to no success, and then this week we noticed everyone start the open handed wave sometime during the day. Not on command, and definitely not for saying goodbye, but progress!
We now have professional crawlers. The corrective therapy for Emerie is helping her crawl a little less “like Gollum,” as Craig says, and help her move quicker. Harper and Reagan now race across the room, often in opposite directions. We’ve taken to a nightly baby procession, with everyone crawling to the nursery before bedtime.
This current stage for Craig and I seems to be accepting bedtime uncertainty. In other words, we never know from one day to the next if the bedtime routine with go smoothly or be a total screaming disaster. Neither of us can figure out why the variety exists; some nights everything is fine, the girls eat a bottle and go down in their cribs in about 15 minutes. Other nights, like on Monday, consist of two hours of all three relentlessly screaming. In fact, two out of the past four nights no one slept in the nursery for a few hours.
The unpredictability is hard, especially when you can never anticipate if you will sleep over night or not. I recognize this is simply another parental right of passage, the loss of good and consistent sleep as well as a sense of control, since you can’t MAKE them sleep. We were extremely spoiled from about 2 months old until 9 months because they slept through the night, in their room, with only a few coddles needed here and there. I wouldn’t say we took that for granted, but we definitely miss it!!
Teething is a likely culprit for a lot of this, which contributed to the 9 month sleep disruption as well. The girls settled down a lot once the teeth fully arrived, and I’m holding onto the thought that nighttime will again readjust for the better once all teeth are in.