From Jumpers to Naps

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…

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img_0278Reagan 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.

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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.

Big girl pajamas!

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. img_0371It 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.img_0237

Reagan and Emerie briefly still to drink their bottles

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!

Miss Harper having a fun time on the walk.

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Time to Climb

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!

Throwback to a tiny and cute baby outfit!

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.

Ordered in aqua 🙂

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.

Who needs toys when there are boxes?!

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!!img_1176

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.