Monday, June 26, 2017


Well, I read a little blurb on writing today.  It recommended that if you're having trouble writing something, you just sit down and write for 20 minutes straight about another topic.  It helps get the writing flow going.  We'll see.  I figured the blog would benefit from this exercise and the triplets are the easiest writing topic for me!

I know everyone always says summer goes by so fast, but this year, it feels like the speed has been multiplied.  Of course we've been enjoying the pool.  Our little swimmers get braver with the pool everyday and are always experimenting with new things.  Ellie's been working on diving down to get dive sticks and other trinkets off the bottom of the pool.  Avery's been working on backstroke and smoother arms in her crawl, and Isaiah does a little bit of everything.  One day, he decided he was going to dive down to the deep end to retrieve a dive stick, and to our surprise, he did it!  He hasn't done it since.  Kids are funny.

As Mari mentioned in a previous post, I've been working a lot and not spending as much time as I'd like with the kids.  I also face a dilemma that I didn't know was a thing until I experienced it, but have since learned that it is the plague of parents who work a traditional schedule.  When the only time you see your kids is in the evening from dinner until bedtime, it's not very fun.  Kids are GRUMPY at this time.  Especially kids this age who sometimes don't take a nap.   Seeing cute pictures of their day and spending daytime with them on the weekends helps me remember that they are pretty great most of the time! :)

I should probably attempt to switch writing gears now, but here's a few pictures of our summer fun, and a video of Avery's backstroke at the end.

Avery experimenting with frisbee, light, & fountain

When you put the frisbee on top, it splashes Mommy!!

Little sword-fighter

Day to day life with threenagers

NOTE: Mari wrote this in February and it is now June.  I was needing a little inspiration this morning, so I was looking at the blog and saw this sitting in drafts.  It seems complete enough to me, so I'm publishing! -- Michelle

Ah, it's been months and months since I've actually sat down to blog.  I miss it!  When our kiddos were little babies we used to read other triplet blogs and they always fizzled out when the kids got older and I thought it was sad and didn't understand I do!  It seems impossible that life is busier these days than when they were infants, but in some ways it sure feels like it is!

In December it really felt like they were on the verge of dropping their nap, but then when we traveled for the holidays we got them in a nap routine to help them settle in and they got back in the habit I guess and have been back to napping fairly consistently again since then thankfully.  Most days it's still not easy to get all three to nap, but it happens more often then not and if only one (usually Ellie) doesn't nap, we typically enjoy a little one on one time.  We have been playing around a bit to find the "sweet spot" for naps because if they take a long nap bedtime is hard and they might not fall asleep until 8:30 or 9.  Right now it seems like if we wake them up after 45-60 minutes it works out the best, but waking them up, particularly Isaiah is hard! I sure am thankful for those 45 minutes of quiet in the middle of the day!  But instead of sitting down to put up a quick blog post I'm usually doing some frantic cleaning or prepping dinner.
napping with our little foster kitten Hamilton =)

me trying to wake the girls up from nap this week!
We had some fair warning from other triplet moms in our big Triplets Born in 2013 Facebook group that 3-3.5 was a rough time, with most of them starting to turn the corner around 3.5-4.  It is true...having three "threenagers" is tough stuff!  Emotions run very high these days and the sibling battles can get pretty intense.  We have been working on a family "problem solving plan" for the past 6-8 months to try to get them talking before battling it out, but it's a struggle!  Step 1 of the plan is to use their words with each other to solve the problem, step 2 is to get a grownup or someone to help mediate, and step 3, if the other two steps fail, is to resort to hitting, etc to take care of themselves (knowing that in theory, they should never need step 3).  We miss Step 2 a lot! =)  Knock on wood, but I think as we are nearing the 3.5 year mark, things do seem to be getting a little better as far as the physical conflicts, or at least it seems like the resurgence of biting has fizzled.  The extremes of emotions can be rather amusing, but only if, as the parent, you are in a place where you can detach a bit...otherwise, whew, they are exhausting!  We have been listening to a RIE parenting podcast called "unruffled," which focuses on acknowledging these big emotions while staying calm and confident and unruffled, which is a great goal, but man is it hard to do in the moment!
Ellie pouting about her too perfect Valentines Day
heart pancakes with strawberry syrup...because, you know
she didn't want strawberry syrup! ;)

We are certainly seeing another round of that strong need to be independent, which has it's pros and cons.  On the "pro" side of things, Isaiah has been wanting to wear underwear the majority of the time (this is also a con because he's still not consistent about initiating getting himself to the bathroom...but at least he has a pretty recognizable "potty dance" if we are paying attention).  The girls, particularly Avery, are really big on going to the bathroom "all by myself" particularly when we are out and about.  This backfired a few weeks ago when someone locked the stall door and then couldn't get it unlocked!  Michelle tried sending the other two under to get it, but I guess it was stuck so she ended up having to crawl under...EW!!!  Isaiah and Ellie have both been pretty independent lately with getting dressed.  Avery can do it herself too, but she would stay in PJs all day or be naked so she lacks the motivation! =)  For the past month Isaiah has been on a navy long sleeve kick and has just 2 or 3 long sleeve shirts that he wants to wear, with leggings of course.  So sometimes in the morning he will disappear for a good 15 minutes and then come out with sometimes rather interesting outfits on. =) Here's an example in case you missed it on Facebook!   Ellie reminds me of my sister Kate when she was little because she probably changes clothes a minimum of 3 times in a day.  I don't mind for the most part, but we are working on getting the clothes she is changing out of back in the closet/drawers.  Ellie was so disappointed with our selection of long sleeve dresses in December that one day I managed to convince her to try a sparkly grey tutu with a long sleeve xmas shirt by calling it her sparkly snow skirt...and boy oh boy did it work.  I think she wears her "sparkle skirt" at least 5 days a week now!  Avery still loves to cook and again really wants to be independent, which can be tricky!  But she is really a good little helper and can pretty reliably crack eggs, stir things on the stove, and of course sample anything and everything.  Of course this independent streak has it's downside when you are trying to get out the door with three three year olds who all want to put on their own shoes, climb in the car by themselves and do their own top car seat buckle!

I think the other thing making it harder for me to sit down and blog is that I've been working more lately. I'm seeing more early intervention kiddos, still doing a bit of work for the research project I was helping with at Penn State, and now helping with an early intervention parent coaching research project at FSU.  I am still trying to figure out the right balance with all of this and still safeguarding my time with the kiddos.  I know this semester has been tough for Michelle because she has been working more and still feeling behind so she feels like she's been missing out on time with the kids. Sometimes it feels like she's back in school and having to give up weekend time with us, which is a bummer for all of us. =(  Other than spending too much time working lately, for the most part Michelle seems to be generally enjoying her work so that is good.  Hopefully next year, when she doesn't have as much class prep work to do, she'll be able to find a little better work-life balance.  We have also been working on house projects since July and the list of things to do still feels pretty long!  But we have done a lot, cosmetically re-doing both bathrooms and the kitchen as well as painting the kids room and the main living area since we moved in.  Still need to work on our bedroom and the guest room.  My next big project is getting a wall mounted shelf/desk combo up on the guest room so that Michelle and I can work in there sometimes.

Well, I should probably wrap up here so I can get some breakfast going and take a shower before the kids wake up.  Today's blog post is courtesy of Isaiah waking up around 4:45 and me feeling too awake and deciding to just stay up.  I haven't done this in a long long time and I might pay for it later when my energy starts to flag, but these two hours of "me time" this morning have been lovely! =)

Friday, February 24, 2017

3 year old snapshot

These shirts say it all!
Perfect gift from a fellow triplet mama
Well, their birthday month has passed already so I thought I better get up early with Michelle and try to get a few thoughts captured while I have the chance.  So here's a quick "snapshot" of the kiddos as three year olds.

We just had their three year well check on Saturday and the doctor was very happy with how they are doing.  Both girls are now just over 37" and Isaiah is 36.5".  Ellie weighed in at 31.5lbs, Avery 30lbs, and Isaiah 29.5lbs.  Naturally they also "passed" all the questions and tasks the doctor asked of them (colors, jumping, how old they are, etc).  When asked what her favorite vegetable was Avery said mushrooms. =)  Bedtime continues to be a challenge, but I think part of the issue is that they are getting close to dropping naps, which is a major bummer for Mommy!  I do insist on some quiet time every day even if they aren't sleeping, but it's never as long as naptime used to be!  On the plus side, they have been sleeping until 7 again instead of getting up at 6.  We have also been having more night wakings lately, but they usually go back down pretty easily.

We have just been loving watching their natural curiosity and all the learning that they are doing despite not being in school.  They are all picking up numbers and counting and I love listening to them count to 20 (1-12 is pretty consistent usually followed by a string of various "teens" before hitting 20).  The other day Avery was counting and said "eleventeen, fourteen, fifteen, nineteen, twenty!" and Ellie chimes in with "No, you forgot eighteen!"  Just in the last few weeks they are really into learning about the sounds and letters that various names and words start with.  They've known our immediate family's "letters" for a while, but now they are working on extended family and friends' names like "H is for Hopey" and then someone will chime in "and Heather and Humphrey."

We closed up our pool this weekend, but I really need to put together a compilation movie of their incredible swimming skills.  Dr. Koeppel asked this weekend if we'd put them in swim lessons yet and was super impressed that our answer was no, but they can all swim across the entire pool. =)  They continue to try new things with their bodies too, jumping between their beds, trying to hang upside down on any bar/trapeze they see (including at the grocery store!), and Avery in particular has been wanting to get up and put on a yoga video like she sees us doing sometimes and has gotten pretty good at imitating the poses.

Their pretend play has just exploded in the last few months.  This time last year the only pretend play scheme they really had was playing restaurant and some simple baby play.  Now their pretend play runs the gamut from firefighters to princesses to dragons to doctor to dogs to who knows what!

swimmer girl!
If there's one thing to say about Avery at 3 is that she is a HUGE aminal lover, and no, that isn't a typo...that is how she currently says the word animal and it is about the cutest thing. =)  She is particularly obsessed with all types of babies (both animal and human) and talked non-stop about the kittens and baby bunnies she has been able to hold at a couple of local farms we have visited. There is a farm about 20 minutes from us that has open farm days at least once a month and Avery LOVES to go there to see all the animals and will hang out in the petting tent for as long as the other two are willing to hang at the farm. She is dog obsessed and can't see a dog and not get to pet it without a meltdown.  She particularly loves small dogs, probably because they all seem like babies to her.  It can be tricky when we are out at public events because either one of of is just following Avery around meeting ALL the dogs, or she will sometimes just take off and head over to a dog she sees, so we have to do a LOT of coaching about making sure she lets us know before heading off!  On the plus side, Avery has worked through a lot of social anxiety and will now walk up to every dog's owner and very politely ask "Can I please pet your dog?"  Avery is also the first one to walk up and introduce herself to kids and adults at parks.  If you ask Avery what she wants to be when she grows up she says "a doctor for babies, moms, and dogs!" Avery has probably been the most interested in the first letter sound learning the past couple of weeks and both Michelle and I have been astounded with how many she is starting to figure out on her own.  If we drag out the first sound a bit she can pretty consistently identify M, H, P, T, & L (and probably a couple more I'm not thinking of) the majority of the time.  And although I might wish to forget this, I can't talk about Avery at three without a quick mention about her "spirited child" non-stop limit testing behavior.  She is most definitely an experiential learner who will not take your word for it and HAS to find out for herself!

his trouble maker face
Isaiah's favorite pastimes right now sword fighting & torturing his sisters, especially Ellie, with some imagined form of violence (fire, spells, etc).  This from the little boy whose favorite color is still pink and who, at least 50% of the time still prefers to wear dresses and if not in a dress insists on wearing tight leggings.  We are struggling a bit with how to support his need to work through all this "rough play" without having to listen to Ellie squealing as the "victim" constantly.  Taking a wrestling break where we take him to the bedroom for some good horseplay or pillow fighting seems to help, but sometimes that isn't an option and then it's a struggle.  Not surprisingly, Isaiah wants to be a knight when he grows up! =)  This little boy is also our best snuggler and just loves to snuggle, particularly right after he wakes up in the morning or after nap.  The other day he said to Michelle "I just wanna snuggle you.  That's all I want!"  Isaiah is usually a little slower to approach people, but if the girls are feeling shy/anxious, he will usually be the one who responds to questions people ask.  At Michelle's office when one of her coworkers asked his name he said "Avery, Ellie, & Isaiah." =)  Isaiah enjoys seeing the geckos and little frogs we have been finding in the pool skimmer this summer.  He has gotten progressively braver and will sometimes hold them on his hand.  Isaiah seems to be a whip with numbers.  I haven't "tested" him, but I would guess that he can recognize maybe 50% of the numbers 1-10 and seems to be picking up the early math concepts quickly like simple addition and subtraction.  Isaiah also has an incredible imagination.  He can really get going on a pretend play scheme, often blending multiple different themes/stories, so much so that no one else can keep track of his ideas! This active imagination might have something to do with his occasional night terrors.  The other night he was screaming in the middle of the night, climbing up me when I went in to settle him, convinced that crocodiles were in his bed trying to eat him!  Poor guy!

The only kiddo who will still pose for pics
Ellie is still pretty obsessed with all things princess though her favorite princess has rotated a bit over the past few months.  She really wanted to be Tiana (princess & the frog) for Halloween, but she had a specific idea of what the dress should look like (long and full!) and the ones we could find online did not meet her specifications, so she settled for her old standard, Elsa.  Ellie will tell you she wants to be a princess when she grows up.  Ellie may be technically the youngest, and was baby C from the get go, but more and more she seems like the oldest.  She is the biggest and a lot of times she takes on the "leader" role amongst the trio.  Yesterday she and Avery were playing in the sprinkler and Ellie was reminding me of myself, clearly trying to direct Avery's play and saying things like "these are the rules" and "you have to do this, but only I can throw it." But on the flip side, all Isaiah has to do is look at her with his "mean face" and she melts into this weeping little victim.  All the kiddos love to look at videos on YouTube about things we have been talking about, but Ellie loves videos and TV shows the most I think.  She will often ask us to do her hair, but really it's just because she wants to watch a little video and that's been our routine since they were much younger.  Ellie is the first one to answer any question about shapes.  She also seems to be picking up the letter sounds quickly, but as has been her MO for a while now, she doesn't like to guess at them and tends to keep quiet until/unless she is sure.  Ellie's funny little quirk is that she usually adds an H to some E words like "hedward."  Thankfully she doesn't do that for her name! =)  Oh Ellie is so cute lately because she will just randomly offer up a slew of kisses. She's super empathic and if she notices I'm getting frustrated sometimes she'll just come up and give me a hug.  So sweet!  Every night at bedtime we have a "huggle" with each kiddo so they get a minute of one on one.  Every night Ellie says "what do you love about me?!"

These three continue to keep us on our toes, but we wouldn't have it any other way!  We just love seeing the incredible little people they are becoming!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

3 x 3

It's official, we now have three three year olds!  Happy birthday Isaiah, Avery & Ellie!  It's both hard to believe they're already three and also incredible that it was only three years ago that we were anxiously waiting to meet our Babies A, B & C!  We are all very lucky to have our good friends from PA visiting to help the kiddos celebrate their third birthday this weekend!  Heather takes great pics and I'm sure she will have more pics to share with us so I'll post more later, but here are a few birthday pics!
birthday breakfast with their best buds

birthday pancakes w/ whipped cream AND ice cream!

evil cheese
goofball birthday girl

princess Ellie in her new bday dress & tiara

Avery's new baby
Isaiah in his new firefighter costume
 After breakfast we took our friends up to the neighborhood park to burn off some of that sugar!

 Avery & Ellie refused to nap so the afternoon was a little tough, but Heather got them all painting while I finished the sandbox and Michelle made dinner...
 And then finally the sandbox was ready to be unveiled!

this kept all six kids entertained for quite a while...more pics soon!

Then we Facetimed with Grandma Rae & Grandpa Mark while opening gifts from them..
Then is was time for mac & cheese dinner (after cleaning up the sauce bomb from the kitchen floor!) followed by angel food cake with strawberries & whipped cream
more sugar!  cake time!

Since we moved to Florida we have been busy busy working on the house and getting settled so I haven't done any update posts and I want to capture a few things that Michelle and I want to remember about these three little people at age three (since we both know that unless we write them down, we will forget!) BUT I'm WAY too tired to do that tonight!  So I'll post more pics and try to write little "snapshots" of our kids at three sometime this week!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seattle Wedding Fun!

We are back in Seattle this weekend for our dear friends' wedding.  It's a great opportunity for us to come back and see all our friends!  And everyone had a part in the wedding so that was fun too.  The kiddos were part of a "kiddos parade" and all three were very excited to wear their "wedding dresses."  (Isaiah was not having the idea of wearing a bow tie and vest when his sisters were getting fancy dresses and sunflower crowns.)  Michelle was a bridesmaid and I did a reading so it was a full family affair!

It was fun to meet a few family members and friends who said "we feel like we know your kids because we read your blog."  It was good inspiration for me to try to get a couple of blog posts up after a long hiatus!

Anyway, here are some highlight pics from the wedding!

picture with the bride!

 sidewalk chalk and other activities for the kids was a brilliant plan!

only family pic!  the sunset decided to cooperate at the last minute!
 Of course, being near the water led to the inevitable dipping their toes in...which led to...
the greatest series of photos ever! =)  (can't wait to see if the official wedding photographer got any good shots of this!)

and then, of course, someone had to dive in the sand!

 which then led to this....

 then it was time for dancing...

and someone was sad that he didn't have his dress for dancing...

so Mommy improvised =)