“May” the Force Be With Us

May has been a challenging month. There was a lot going on, with my brother’s birthday (May 9th) mine (May 11th), Mother’s Day and Angelique’s birthday (May 14th) all falling on this month. My father’s birthday falls on May 29th, and he would have been 74.

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A Happy Mother’s Day huge from Christopher to Mommy

The Kiddos

The kids have been keeping us busy. They sleep, the eat a ton, they grow, and grow, and grow some more. I’ve tried to get them out for bike rides and/or walks as much as I can, but they have still found plenty of opportunities to go crazy. Blame it on cabin fever, but as much as they love being outdoors, they are noticing that they have been unable to interact with other kids for quite some time now. It’s kind of weird. My kids love to say hi to folks, and it seems that a lot of parents have instructed their kids to say nothing back and run the other way. So now we’re not only seeing social defiance as people flood back into cities around the globe, but also anti-social distancing taking shape. Everyone is almost immediately skeptical of the other person and almost treats them like they’re infected. This new normal is going to be interesting!

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Up and back down the hill at the park…4 times in the heat!

They long for the day when “the world feels better”, as they like to say. Like me, they thrive on interactions with people, so this is starting to frustrate them being largely confined to their home.

They’ve all had a turn getting their first chiropractic adjustment, which has been great for them.

Grandma showed Michaela how to sew. They sure do love learning!

Kindergarten starts in August at the new school. It’s close enough to where if they cooperate in the morning, they can either walk or we can ride bikes to school with them – we’ll see. In TK, Christopher and Emma were in the same class. In Kindergarten, we were given a choice, and we decided to see how they do with each in their own class. Christopher does whatever his sisters tell him to, and Emma took advantage when they were in the same class, so we’re hoping that this helps them be even more independent of one another. We shall see how it goes.

Christopher was getting speech therapy at the other school before it was all closed down due to COVID, so we lost some momentum in that arena. However, I’ve partnered with my mother in law and we make Powerpoint presentations using our own voice and we have them all practice. I’ve made extra ones for him with words that he can improve on, and I expand upon it as I hear other words to add to the list. They love hearing familiar voices.

I tip my cap to all working parents trying to navigate this shelter in place order. Even with things opening back up, it is challenging as the days seem longer, and, at least in my household, the chaos seems magnified. I think I’ve got the new grey hairs to prove it 🙂

But there’s one constant no matter what: lots of LOVE

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Book sales have picked up in May and people are liking what they’re reading in the book. You can order your copy at http://tripleblessingbook.com

I’m still waiting for the first iPhone/iPad order to come in through the Apple Books app. It is a really fun experience reading the book on an iPad or iPhone through the books app. You can find it by searching for the words Triple Blessing Michael Cave. Be the first to order it through that path!

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:

teacher

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:

chaos

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.

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

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.

 

Moving

We have enjoyed living in our home in Granite Bay for the past 3 years. The kids were very little when we moved in March of 2016, and they’ve grown a lot the past 3 years. They have enjoyed the neighborhood – mostly friendly neighbors, a few kids, and a park within walking distance. It has also been nice being so close to the Kaiser hospital they were born at in Roseville, as well as its emergency room. The community is gated, close to shopping, and has been very safe. However, the owner of the home is ready to sell, so the time has come for us to find a place of our own to call home.

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Christopher and Gigi

We officially start our home search Sunday afternoon, but will likely be also checking out a few open houses on Saturday as well. There are so many homes on the market. Our list was quite long, so we’ve had to start trimming it. Schools are extremely important, which is causing us to take a really close look at homes in Rocklin. There’s also El Dorado Hills in play, as well as Roseville, Auburn and Carmichael. Auburn has this attractive gated lake community called Lake of the Pines. It is up in the foothills, but when we went there to visit everyone loved it. Need to do more in depth research into the school situation. We have a strong list of things we’re looking for in a home. Some things are must haves like an open floor plan and even 1 story believe or not, and others are nice to haves like pools and cul de sac.

In any case, this is a fun time for the family as there is so much to choose from. Packing hasn’t been fun as there are now boxes everywhere and efficient destroying machines hovering nearby at all times. The most interesting thing about all of the homes on the market is that they have been sitting there for weeks, and we’re starting to see a few price cuts along the way – perhaps there’s room to negotiate as a result. Rates are super low, too, so there’s that. The kids start transitional kindergarten in Granite Bay on August 14th, so it is likely that August will be a chaotic month full of change and transition. But eventually the dust will settle and life will get back to normal. Actually, maybe not – late September will be my book launch! I’m really excited about that, as it has been a pleasure seeing everything come together.

What else is new – the kids have been growing and continue to evolve. We had family from back east out in Lake Tahoe for a week, but unfortunately the kids had bad colds and were too sick to travel. One of the Kindle Fire tables got a cracked screen, so we got to take advantage of the worry-free warranty where you get a free replacement within the first 2 years. So it was interesting seeing the kids negotiate (or not) with each other to make 2 with only 2 tablets. We actually use the Amazon Echo dot’s timers to get them to share stuff.

Cr3w Pit Stop

The title is fitting. We’ve been going 200mph lately with these three and I figured I’d make a pit stop to provide updates.

We can start with Christopher, who is obsessed with all things Lightning McQueen. He’s got an impressive selection of Cars-themed underpants, and can usually be seen wearing something featuring either Lightning McQueen himself or Mater. He also usually likes to wind down in the evening watching one of the Cars movies.

Emma

Emma is our resident conversationalist, educating us on what she’s doing and thinking about every step of the way, lecturing her siblings about what’s right and wrong, asking if everyone is ok, and (still) trying to get everyone to do stuff for her. She’s the most reserved of the three, but also the most talkative as she has the clearest command of her impressive library of words. Complete sentences, emotion in her tone, cause/effect, ability to recall memories, you name it, she’s spewed it 😂. For example, if I leave in the morning for work without giving her a hug, kiss, high five, fist pump, and a repeat of any combination of the above, I hear about it first thing when I get home, and Angelique has to hear about it the whole day until I return.

Michaela

Where do I start with this little firecracker? Oh my word she’s going to be a handful as a teenage girl 🙄. She’s very strong willed and smart as a whip. She has “strategies”. She leads with trying to wear you down with nagging hoping you give in – quickly cycles through your typical toddler tactics 😂. With her siblings, she used to just take what she wanted with no pushback – now there is pushback in the form of arguments, fighting and attempts to distract and then take. I’ve seen her try and negotiate, sometimes successfully, and she’s had to adjust to not getting her way with her siblings. Sometimes her go to strategy is to hover like a gnat, chase and when none of that works, meltdown. This past week featured a meltdown over nighttime PJs, where Emma, not Michaela got to wear the Ariel shirt 👚. This resulted in Michaela on a time out outside for several minutes. She started throwing objects at the slider. It got louder and louder, which meant that she was finding things that were heavier and heavier, so I fetched her and we had a little talk 😂. Piece of work, she is.

General Stuff

Potty training was a relatively quick process, with them all being day trained. Very few accidents along the way. The worst of them were due to the occasional desire to not stop what they’re doing and go potty. This has mostly been Christopher. Still that’s all to be expected and we are very proud of them! They tell us that they have to go still and still would like us to escort them, but they are getting increasingly more independent in that area.

It’s quite funny to watch their banter back and forth over pee and poop. They actually talk about it with each other. They like to inspect each other’s efforts in the toilet and congratulate one another. They even go as far as to describe it. This morning Emma invited Christopher to come take a look and he said, “Wow, good job!”, and then flushed it for her. 🤷🏾‍♂️

We ventured to Jelly Belly recently

The result of this trip was that we needed to rethink road entertainment, as the bickering over which movie to watch on the long ride was out of control – nobody was happy! We ended up purchasing 3 kindle fire 🔥 kids edition tablets with headphones so they could each do their own thing. Best. Purchase. Ever. A few weeks in and they have figured them out. The girls both know how to unlock theirs, and Christopher has filled his up with Cars stuff and monster trucks. It has helped them improve their fine motor skills as well. They are also much better at problem solving. Michaela has somehow figured out to install her own apps. We haven’t put time limits on them yet but that will come one day I’m sure.

They all start pre-Kindergarten in the fall at something called Adventure Club in Roseville. We evaluated a few of the schools that had availability, made our selection, and enrolled them. It starts in September. They are all very well socialized already, and with as much as they apparently know already I’m sure they will be fine and will thrive with the new flavors of structure they will be exposed to. And Angelique will get a much needed breather for a few hours a day, Monday, Wednesday and Fridays! I commend Angelique for her efforts with the kids. Managing 3 demanding evolving toddlers is no joke and it’s tough to stay sane! Anyone interested in basking in the madness? 🙋🏾‍♂️

She’s befriended a few mothers with young tots in our little community here and is a mentor of sorts to one with a newborn. After all, Angelique’s been there, done that times three, so she’s got the experience and wisdom! Everyone has a different motherhood journey, but it’s nice to be able to pass along tips and offer support to someone just embarking on their own journey.

Identical twins and fraternal triplets in the same Jeep!

The more things change, the more things stay the same…

Thanksfor reading!M.

The Apple(s) 🍎 of my 👀 Eyes

Three different personalities means it is never a dull moment in this household. The best part of this is that it provides opportunities to try many different things. The worst part is that it could produce a lot of waste if you aren’t careful…haha! This is what makes the introductory photo so funny. Clearly someone loves apples (Michaela), while another wasn’t feeling it at the moment (Emma), while the other (Christopher) likely partook in the delectable treat at the behest of an older, bossy sibling (Michaela). Oh, a picture really does paint 1,000 words!

We can’t make this stuff up. I have been following another triplet mom’s blog for some time. That has served as my roadmap of what to expect as they get older. Her identical triplet boys just turned 7. Her latest blog was about how their personalities are all but settled in. I read the blog this morning and smiled. In one of her earlier blogs, she wrote about how one of the boys had thrown a potato 🥔 at the TV and broke it. I could see that happening with us, especially since Christopher likes to throw things randomly. One thing is guaranteed year after year with these three – entertainment!

I look forward to getting home from work to see how much they’ve learned while I was gone. Every day it is something new as they continue their rapid evolution into little people. Lately they’ve all become fixated on grasshoppers. There is a resident grasshopper that is missing a hind leg that hangs around the outside of the house. Sunday the grasshopper made its way to one of the screens in a nearby bedroom. They all got excited and screamed when they’d get close to it and talked amongst themselves about the grasshopper. They each refused to get close to the window to take a closer look without a buddy – it was so cute. For the next few days they have demanded that a grasshopper be drawn on the magna doodle. They think it is real, because Angelique asks them to touch it and they freak out. If she asks them to kiss it, they run and/or cry. Yesterday she decided to chase them around the house with the latest drawing. She’s a really good artist like her mom so I’m sure it looked life-like.

Michaela’s bossy disposition and hierarchy in the group of 3 is all but confirmed. On Monday, they each got to choose what movie to watch. Of course, Michaela got to pick first and she chose Anastasia (which once upon a time was on the list of girl names before they were born. She doesn’t look like a Stacey…although I would have loved to sing “Stacey’s mom has got it going on” all day…haha!). After the movie 🎥 🍿 played, Angelique asked Emma what movie she wanted to watch. Emma said Olaf (Frozen). Michaela quickly intervened, putting her arm around Emma, looking at her and saying “Emma, don’t you want to watch Anastasia?” (and in the same tone as Ana asked Elsa, “Do you wanna build a snowman?”) 🤪. Guess what was watched (again): Anastasia 🙂. Persistence, persuasion, charm and determination. And beauty…Oh my!

You’ll have to excuse me, Michaela has selected the DVD she wants to watch at 4:45am: The Secret Garden. Blah

More on the other two another time!

M.

We Can’t Keep Up! 🤷🏾‍♂️

The triplets are barreling towards their 3rd birthday on October 23rd. We can’t keep up with all the new things they are doing and saying. So here’s my best summary.

Michaela

She’s speaking in ‘completer’ sentences. She can use possessive (Mommy’s), a few prepositions (on, in, out), and obviously can give her two siblings clear directions (“Emma, put on the dress”, “Ferfer, get out!”). ABCs? No problem? Counting 1-10? Piece of cake. Colors, no problem. Shapes? Check, including Octagon, Cone, Sphere and Rectangle. Potty training is going well. She’ll for sure be the first one fully trained at some point before she’s 3 and a half I’m sure. She is up to about 5 or 6 wardrobe changes a day. She demands not only a kiss on the lips goodbye before I leave for work each morning, but now on the forehead as well. Plus, she rallies the cr3w to ensure that I give them kisses, too. Alrighty, then! Michaela was also the first to ride a bike (with training wheels) recently. She figures things out quickly.

Emma

Emma has great command of words. She can repeat pretty much whatever she hears verbatim, like a parrot. The alphabet and letters are no problem for her, although sometimes she gets a letter wrong now and then. She loves pointing out body parts: head, eyes, lips, mouth, ears, cheeks, chin, eyebrows, toes, shoulders, knees, and even belly button. She loves to jump long distances, and has no fear in that regard. She jumps off the couch often and into the arms of whatever adult is near. She’s got this heart that once was on a necklace that she carries around nearly 24 hours a day and even sleeps with. Not a pretty sight when it goes missing. She and Michaela have cryptic conversations. They seem to be negotiating. I’m not able to translate all of it 🙂

Christopher

Christopher is a rough and tumble boy. The first development evaluation report indicated he was a shy and timid boy. That’s actually true. He’s pretty shy until he warms up to folks, but once he does he is a bundle of energy and quite annoying, actually. He loves to growl, and it’s really annoying. He’s finally talking more, and is able to express himself better. You can usually find him with his troll pool toys (Princess Poppy was missing for weeks but magically reappeared last week), or with his toy cars, lining them up in a straight line in inconvenient locations around the house.

Age 2 wasn’t that terrible. It was 2 and a half when things got wild. They have tested our patience, and we’re sure they are just getting started. When they can really talk, we will see what mischief they concoct. We will be in survival mode until things calm down, which might be as soon as 5 or 6 years old…haha we’ll see.

In the meantime, enjoy some recent pics and videos from below.

M.

Other kids are drawn to our three. They share their stuff pretty good.
I certainly am tired of cleaning up these rocks!
Size 3 is no match for this big boy. He’s got a long torso!
As you can see, Michaela loves to lead the way!
Emma is not so interested yet. Hasn’t figured out peddling.
Michaela got the potty stuck on her head. It took 5 tries to get it off. She won’t be doing that again!
Emma stunned us with her beautiful hair straightened out. You could tell she liked the different look.
These two have their close moments…sometimes.
Michaela rocking a fitted sheet, butterfly wings and a black shirt holding them together as a fashion statement…in a princess dress.
No caption needed! Cute!
Cute and she knows it!
Christopher is the clown of the group. Can you tell?

Blessings of Mass Destruction

Take a long look at the above pictures. These three, working together, pulled down the curtain rod in the family room. We have the suspects apprehended, and in the second picture, you’ll see that they were all put on a time out because they were all caught red handed in the vicinity of the destruction zone. You can tell who the most guilty are by a.) their proximity to the scene of the crime and b.) their excitement. Michaela’s masterfully worded self-incriminating line: “Mommy! Broken!”.

When my wife Angelique sent the pictures to my mobile phone, my jaw dropped. It was only a matter of time before they brought it down. Fifty pound mollies are no match for the Cave Triplets! These three are extremely efficient at systematically breaking down perceived obstacles.

I don’t think the movie Tarzan was playing on DVD, but someone (or 2) heavier toddlers were hanging on the curtains like they were vines. It’s what toddlers do, and when these guys get going, look out!

I figured I’d share this as we close our their second year of life and gear up for them turning 3 next month. Now that they are talking more, they really are going to be a handful over the next 12 months. Who knows what else they will destroy over that 12 month period. I guess we’ll see.

🙂

M.

 

 

Independently Particular

Greetings,

The kids know what they want, when they want it and why. Now that they can better articulate what they want, it’s been a comical month are now their active little minds are forming becomes more apparent. Below are some examples mixed in with super cute photos.

Michaela

Fiercely independent. Fiercely Particular.

Will no longer let me help her undo her diaper when it’s time to sit on the potty or help her get on (unless it’s early in the morning and she not awake yet) or off. She pushes my hand away and says “No, I do it”.

Will devour an Uncrustable, but will still leave the outer portion, which already has no crust.

She likes to wear specific accessories with her many wardrobe changes throughout the day. Yes, that includes only certain shoes 👞🤷🏾‍♂️.

She prefers to drink the purple box of Costco apple grape juice. If available, no, it has to be the purple box, and she’s told me so a few time.

When she wants water, she say “Drink of water?” no, unless she asks specifically, she prefers it out of mommy’s big cup. Alrighty!

And let’s not forget, the milk must have the right amount of chocolate Ovaltine mixed in. If not, she will inspect in the light and give me back.

She likes to administer vitamins and medicine herself via the syringe.

When she and/or Emma are going potty and Christopher wanders in, she says “Privacy!” and he leaves. He’s just being nosy, as he’s not really too interested yet.

And in true girly girl fashion, she knows when she wants her finger nails and toe nails painted and which color.

Emma

Emma parades around most days with an enigmatic expression on her face. It’s like she knows something none of us no. We still catch her staring at us and then she will smile and those oddly space dimples high on her cheek will pop out. She is totally content doing her own thing away from the high energy play of Michaela and Christopher. That tends to be a moving danger zone – best to stay clear of that!

She likes her privacy, much like I did growing up. She also likes to hold on to small items. Her latest fascination is this little red plastic key. Now she asks for it specifically (“Where’s my key?”).

She likes, well loves, the new Amazon Echo. She is always wishing Alexa a good morning and asking her to tell a joke. She also likes for us to ask her to play the Trolls soundtrack so she can dance in the kitchen.

She loves vegetables such as green beans, black olives (sliced) and vanilla bean yogurt, which has to be in a bowl, apparently.

Emma can nod yes and no when she wants or doesn’t want something. Lots of nodding no lately to sitting on the potty. So we are in a bit of regression period with her. It happens after they are getting over being sick, and it’s not surprising. At least this cold only lasted a week.

Christopher

Cars. Cars. Cars. He is particular about his cars. He usually carries several around with him and lines them up and piles them in my lap as gift offerings. And he has a lot of them. Michaela has been known to grab one and chuck it behind the couch just to piss him off.

He also is into these troll water toys. He can usually be seen carrying Princess Poppy and Branch around. Guy Diamond is usually missing. I don’t know why he likes to lose that particular troll. He’s currently missing.

One day it is clear that I will be looking up to this little man as he will be tall. I will teach him the finer points of the game of basketball if he’s interested. He has a long torso. He’s got a swimmer’s build currently with the chub long gone. He might be left handed or ambidextrous like me. He’s been eating and throwing stuff with his left hand recently. I’m left handed but eat and write win my right. When I played baseball I threw with my left but batted right. Weird!

Anyway, on to the rest of the recent cute pics.

Lastly, none of them want help brushing their teeth.

The kids really enjoyed my mom’s visit. We all went to a real beach in Pacifica, their first beach experience. The drive is too long though. We will have to wait until they are older to venture that far again.

Hope you enjoyed the read!

M