The Cave Household During COVID-19

Greetings,

Life is certainly interesting in the Cave household during this shelter in place period as a result of COVID-19. Here’s a list of some of the key differences:

  • Streaming more content – even picked up a Disney+ subscription along the way and bumped up the network speed
  • Doing more laundry (and triplet households do a lot as is)
  • We are using a lot more soap. The kids really like to wash their hands. Luckily we dilute it to make it go far. But looking for handsoap when things started to fly off the shelves was an adventure when we were in stock up mode. One trip I ended up going to 5 different places and coming up empty. Got really familiar with Rocklin as a result though!
  • Using more water and electricity
  • The kids are eating more food – so the grocery bill has exploded as we are buying more food
  • Buying more items off of Amazon
  • We’re cooking 3 meals a day (plus whatever snacks they require) 7 days a week
  • We’re using the dishwasher a lot more – it already required a maintenance visit via the home warranty
  • The kids are at each other’s throats more
  • With school essentially a wash the rest of the academic year, we go through whatever the teacher e-mails us, but after that it can be challenging to keep them learning and occupied. The Chromebooks we got from the school are essentially paperweights. They require too much intervention by parents and at these kids’ age, they don’t hold their interest for very long
  • Believe it or not they go to bed earlier than usual…around 5:30-6:30pm. It’s a product of them playing so hard most of the day and eating earlier
  • They are stirring up three times more mischief than when they were in school
  • They get injured more, regularly alternating between out front (falling off bikes) or out back or the side of the house

I just completed 5 straight weeks working from home. I have commandeered Michaela’s room as my new home office until this is over.

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Yep that’s a TV. Go big or go home!

Emma’s once consistently immaculate room has given way to the force of 3 tornadoes routinely blowing through it to play as a group.

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I might make the girls share a room for a few years after this…
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The dining room table has been converted to a craft table. Wrapped in two coats of paper as they love bingo markers now…
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The Megabed has returned! It is stationed in the family room until further notice. In case they pass out there we can just leave them.
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My old office has been taken over and is featuring more and more of their toys. It was out in the open and I was exposed when I first started working from home, so I needed to migrate my teleworking operation to some place with a door. Now they’ve gotten good at making excuses to barge in…too cute.

Other than the chaos in the house and the frequent bouts with cabin fever, they are healthy and happy, which is really all that matters at the end of the day. The stimulus check arrived mid week via direct deposit, so that was a really nice infusion to prop up this massive operation.

I have picked up some hobbies before and after work. I have a passion for foreign languages, so I’m back to building my French vocabulary using DuoLingo in the mornings, and a little German as well. French is much easier for me having lived there in 2001.

I’ve also picked up going for bike rides every day. Now I’m not riding with a pelaton pack of cyclists but I do get out of the house for some exercise so let’s not get carried away!

And in the next week, we’ll probably get the OK to turn on the solar that was recently installed on the roof. That’ll help keep the electricity bill at bay. I’m also getting a 220 electrical outlet installed and bought a Level 2 charger so that I can charge my electric car faster when I’m driving again. 5 straight weeks teleworking has been a blessing in disguise. I had been averaging more than 1000 miles a month when I commuted into work, so not having to drive anywhere far consistently has brought the average mileage down. It’s a leased car with 12,000 annual miles and I was over that, so with another year or so to go I should not exceed the cap when it is time to turn the car in. It’s a nice car, though.

I’m looking forward to all of this craziness being behind us. It has really been an odd time. I do wonder what the new normal will be like for the country, communities, etc., though. Everyone has this look of panic on their faces – everyone is guarded and proceeds with caution like the nearest person to them is sick. It’s ridiculous but kind of to  be expected.

I look forward to seeing isles stocked with Clorox wipes, paper towels, toilet paper and whatever else is producing these regularly seen barren shelves again. I wonder how some businesses will recover, especially businesses that rely on capacity. I wonder how testing will be approached for illnesses of concern moving forward. Will people decide to stop trying to power through being sick if it is getting others sick in the process? Is reliable data/information the new world currency? Things that make you go hmmm….

Cheers,

M.

Drink of the Day: Quarantini

Greetings,

These are certainly interesting times. It’s been a minute since I’ve written, so I figured I would play catch up.

We’ve been hunkering down in the house for the past 3 weeks, with limited opportunities to go places for obvious COVID-19 reasons.

I’ve just completed 3 straight weeks of working from home. It would have been very risky for me to continue to keep going in to work having triplets that were born 10.5 weeks early with under-developed lungs. Contracting a cold is hard enough on them and they stay sick longer, so a respiratory disease of this nature would be very tough on them. Out of an abundance of caution, it made sense to not put them at risk unnecessarily.

3 days into it I took over my “oldest” daughter Michaela’s room as my new office. With triplets that have cabin fever, a door and the pictured headset are ESSENTIAL.

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I have very good internet connectivity, and once I’m on the network at work, I have multiple ways to stay productive. Access to multiple desktops, exactly as if I were physically in the office. Working from home has been interesting. It would be great if the kids were at school, but that wasn’t our reality as the school closed down for the rest of the academic school year despite hopes of having it reopen after spring break. With them around the house all day and generally confined to the backyard and driveway, it can get pretty noisy.

They don’t really understand (and why would they) what is really going on. They miss their teachers and classmates, and even their play dates. Their teachers apparently miss them, too. One left a nice note at our doorstep this week:

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Just goes to show you the impression they’ve left on folks in such a short time in school. They are definitely ready for kindergarten, and will switch over to their assigned school a short distance from the house. Rocklin is home for the foreseeable future, and most likely until I retire. The roots are taking hold!

We’re as prepared as we can be, given the circumstances. When I first saw how bad this was getting, I gave my wife direction to go grocery shopping in a big way before the madness commenced, and she stocked up. No expense was spared, and the overflow of necessities were stored in the garage away from prying hands. We also stocked up on the standard meds as they just come down with stuff no matter what in addition to it being allergy season:

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Yes, everyone has their own nose spray bottle!

Keeping the cabin fever at bay has been tough. They tend to feed off of one another so the house has looked like a war zone most days:

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We’ve had a minor cold make its way through each child, starting with Michaela, then moving to Emma (who came down with an ear infection requiring antibiotics as a result of it, and finally rounding off the ordeal with Christopher, who can’t seem to stay out of his sister’s faces.

Needless to say, as the pandemic worsened around us, Grandma stepped up to the plate and made nice masks for everyone.

Along the way, Emma lost her first tooth (she was the first to get teeth as well).

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There have been no shortage of cute moments to capture:

The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear when the playgrounds started to shut down:

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In conclusion, we are good on this end. We hope that everyone stays safe and sane as we collectively weather this storm on our way to a somewhat cloudy, but undoubtedly new normal.

On another note, if you’re looking for a great read, don’t forget my book!

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Cheers,

M.

Competition

Greetings,

The competition is fierce with the Cave Triplets. They compete for the following:

  • Their parents’ attention 🤭
  • TV time
  • A specific color Kindle Fire Kids tablet (note: the second pink one has been missing for the past 2 weeks 🤔)
  • Who gets to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s
  • Who ate their breakfast and dinner the fastest
  • Who can sing 🎤 the best (this is the girls)
  • Who can run the fastest
  • Who gets to go on a play date (lesson learned: a play date with triplets and one other kid is a nightmare and the adults are outnumbered, especially if one of the parents bows out and just drops their kid off! Haha!
  • Who can give Daddy the most drawings to take to work for display
  • Who is the tallest (always has and will be Christopher!)
  • Who can run 🏃‍♀️ 🏃‍♀️ the fastest 🏃 (Michaela by a long shot)
  • Who can write the most words (Michaela)
  • Who can spell the best (Michaela)
  • Who can count the highest (Michaela)
  • Who rides bikes the best (Christopher)
  • Who can talk the most (tie between Michaela and Emma 😂)
  • Who can speak the most articulate (Emma)
  • Who can accumulate the most stars ⭐️ for good behavior (Christopher the week of 3/2 😂)
  • Who is the most helpful (Christopher 🧹)

With the Cave Triplets, superlatives reign supreme 😊

Helping mommy out back
A thirst for learning
Still waiting for Emma’s first tooth to fall out
Too cute!

February Updates

February’s updates will be quick and dirty and mostly fun pictures of their adventures and exploits these past few weeks. Growing like weeks and they’ve learned a lot in school!

Barring another fluke injury out of Christopher, Emma will be the first to lose a tooth 🦷

2020

It’s another year in the books for the Cave Family. The kids continue to evolve at a rapid pace and we continue to try and keep up. Feels like treading water at times but maybe it’s because there are three of them.

Michaela

Michaela has been doing what she does best – leading the charge. She’s a bundle of energy and is really determined to figure things out. She really likes to practice what she learns in school. You can find her sounding each letter out early in the morning while she practices writing. She also likes to draw. She is very popular at school and is the resident chatterbox at home. Talks from the time she wakes up until she passes out for the evening.

Emma

Emma has been mixing it up more and more with her siblings. She likes to play pretend with Christopher and Michaela and loves to lecture them. We are deep in to the tattling phase right now. Emma loves to tell on the other two. They manage to work out the dynamics between the three of them. Emma and Christopher are in the same class at school and look out for each other. Emma takes advantage of Christopher’s kindness and has him do things for her at school. We found that out in the progress report for the teacher 🤭

Christopher

Christopher is a very thoughtful boy. He happily brings his sisters whatever he grabs, whether it be something from the kitchen or their girls’ toothbrushes when it is time to brush teeth. He likes to like things up in order and is detail oriented. His latest thing is that he is now afraid of the dark – typical 5 year old for you. He had his first play date with another boy from recently and he really enjoyed it – boys play different.

They miss school. They have been asking why it is taking so long to go back. Fortunately they return to school tomorrow after the holiday break.

Cheers,

M

November and December Updates

November was pretty busy.

They are enjoying school, making a lot of friends, and attending various birthday parties. The holiday season is upon us, and it is time for Christmas preparations. Our tree goes up right after Halloween, but that is usually because it is tough to find time otherwise.

The kids have been sick most of the month, but in between all of that I managed to get some cute pictures of them. They continue to blossom and get cuter and cuter by the day.

October Updates

The kids are settling into their school routine. I have had a few opportunities to take them to school and it is very cool to see Emma and Christopher, who are in the same class, say goodbye to us in the morning and meet up with their classmates. They are getting used to the routine and structure. They are learning a lot on school. Michaela can spell her name and sounds out each letter of the alphabet when tracing the letters. They have also quickly made a few networks of friends and routinely rattle off new names of friends each day. They are starting to go on after school play dates.

They also just turned FIVE years old! Can’t believe it has been 5 years already.

The requests for play dates after school is totally new for us. As is the mass blasts to the entire class or birthday party invites. Given that that Michaela is in a separate class, we have decided to not let them go to parties that only one child was invited to – that will have to happen eventually but not now. We can defer navigating the feelings of disappointment that are sure to follow until Kindergarten.

Emma has been making a lot of progress with words and can draw her name. She loves to learn.

The kids love their new neighborhood. They love going out and exploring and saying hi to new people. Catches everyone off guard!

M.

We’ve Been Busy!

To say we’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement. So many changes! For example:

School

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The kids have been enjoying school. Michaela is in her own class, the Honeybees, while Emma and Christoper are in the same Sea Turtles class. They enjoy (and we think prefer) the hot lunches.

We Moved
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We moved from Granite Bay to Rocklin. The move took 8.5 hours and 2 runs for the movers. The kids stayed at their grandparents’ for 3 days while we got situated. They got spoiled…haha! But that was the first time that they spent a night away from both their parents. The key was letting them fall asleep and not waking them up to collect them and take them home. Moving sucks. So much stuff and what seems like not enough time. Plus it was really hot the day we moved.

Book Launch

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My Book was released on August 27th and that has been a fun experience. The eBook launched on September 17th and is in being widely distributed. I am getting a lot of requests for author signed copies, which is wonderful. It will take some time for our story to get out there, but there is no book out there like it – all it will take is the right opportunity for the book to catch on and go viral. Who doesn’t like seeing cute kids on the cover?

Settling In

We had a lot of stuff having had at one point a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house, so it has been a process to scale down into a smaller home. We’ve sold some stuff that doesn’t quite fit or look right in this home, and have also re-introduced items that work better with this floor plan. As a result, it is really starting to feel like home.

The kids have their own bedrooms, and, miraculously, have been sleeping in them most of the night by themselves. Lately we are noticing that they are getting up and going to sleep with a sibling. Michaela has been leading the way in this arena, invading both Emma and Christopher’s space. Both have commented on it. It’s been going well though. Emma really likes having her own room she keeps it clean and doesn’t exactly like the others in her space. We’re working on helping her be more accommodating.

So, yeah, we’ve been a little busy!

M.