In about one month, our trio will turn 4. Age 3 has been the year of the band-aid, with injuries galore across the board. The injuries are mostly cuts and scrapes. Falling while running and skinning a knee, slipping while trying to climb our lemon orange 🍊 tree 🌳 out back has resulted in scrapes, and a few miscellaneous spills have produced bumps and bruises. I’ve never worked in the private sector, but my health insurance over the course of my public sector career has been absolutely wonderful. It’s also nice that we live 5 minutes from the hospital.
Christopher is our resident injury magnet. Nearly 2 weeks ago we were at a restaurant and joking around that Christopher’s nickname should be “$50 co-pay” because he led way in ER visits requiring a $50 co-pay 2-0-0. Well he added to the total when we got home from the restaurant. Was following Michaela’s lead jumping off of a yoga ball and his momentum (he is 42 lbs and 20 of those pounds appear to be in his head) got the best of him and he stumbled and hit the area above his eye on the corner of a coffee table, busting it open. It didn’t require stitches, but the open gash bled a lot and I took him down the street to the ER. The nurses swooned over what a heartthrob Christopher was with his exotic blond curly hair – nice 👍🏽. Christopher leads 3-0-0. 🏆
Michaela got a nasty egg on the side of her face just below her temple after tripping and smacking the side of her face on the step at the local Chik Fil-A. She hit it hard as no amount of Arnica gel could prevent the resulting bruise from surfacing a few days later. Earlier this week while about to cross the street to go to school, she tripped and fell and hit her head, busting it open. This resulted in a band-aid.
Emma has a band-aid on her arm near her elbow. I asked her this morning what happened and she proceeded to summarize every detail. She told me hat it’s a cut, and that it’s small, and that it didn’t hurt, but mommy saw it and put a band-aid on it. Then she told me that Michaela cut her foot yesterday and has a band-aid on it, and that Christopher went to the hospital to get his band-aid. The summary went on and on – it was awesome!
If you’ve spent any amount of quality time around our kids, you’ve by now seen that they are both confident and humble. It’s possible that some of me rubbed off on each of them. And their mother works tirelessly to instill the values they will need to be self sufficient later in life. Neither of these things are bad attributes to have if they exist in the right balance.
They are confident in their abilities. They feel they can do anything, even if that is not initially the case. They are not afraid to interact with other kids, try new things or show what they’ve learned. We wanted them to be confident because we didn’t want them to be mislead by those that will eventually tell them they can’t do or be something. I dealt with it growing up, and I used it as fuel to succeed. People used to tell me all the time growing up that I wasn’t smart enough, or that I probably wasn’t going to accomplish a specific goal. Even today, I hear on occasion from folks that I’m not ready for something.
The kids are also humble, too. I think this is a product of the love they receive. They each have a gentle, compassionate side to them. There is a big difference between loved and spoiled. They’ve had everything they needed their entire existence, but probably not everything they wanted – that’s what helps keep them humble. I recently got some feedback that I presented myself as too humbled by my experience, and therefore lacking the confidence to take on a particular role. Those that truly know me laugh at that assessment. There are a few people that saw me lose my confidence after my father passed away, only to ultimately find it again later. I’m happy to share my experiences with others – they make me as unique as the path I’ve taken. When I was growing up I had everything I needed one way or another, but also experienced a wave of poverty. Also, at one point, having kids seemed out of reach – elusive, in fact. But guess what – they are here now…
I am successful because my parents gave me the tools to be so. I am humble because I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and live life, and that means facing the good and bad times – it all makes you stronger. I’ve failed and have lessons learned from those failures.
I can’t wait to share the story of how the kids got here with them. They will be glad we chose not to give up on the idea of them. I dream big, and they are the result. We had patience and were rewarded. And while they drive us crazy at the moment, we are confident they will succeed, and humbled by the havoc they wreak day in and day out. It’s all a part of the process. They are the product of unique choices, high stakes risks, and a great deal of effort from both parents. Huge sacrifices were made. I truly believe all of this has made me a better leader in my career. How can it not?
I certainly still have goals that I want to achieve. I will keep grinding until I achieve them. One way or another I will…trust! You are always redefining yourself throughout life, searching for your purpose. When the kids come, you realize they missed a great deal of the story. Look at a guy like Tiger Woods. His kids missed the entire wave of his greatness, and it is something that they might have to just watch on video. They’ve essentially seen him do nothing but struggle mightily. You would have to think he’s been humbled by all he has endured the past decade. Still he has a chance to pen an amazing story of being a great dad.
This year’s 4th of July started with us heading to the park in the morning only to find a large group of people there from a church having a morning picnic. Someone wandered over and introduced himself and invited us to partake in the food they’d brought. We did, and were soon participating in the activities they had going on.Previous Independence Days involved most of the kids sleeping through all of the fireworks (I believe only Emma was up to see them the first year). This year, everyone was up and engaged. I think one of my previous blog posts was something catchy like Declaration of Independence. Or maybe it should have been if it wasn’t, because all three are increasingly declaring their independence from their parents. It is manifesting itself as them telling us what they want to do more often and now that they can talk, there is very little guessing as far as their intentions are concerned.They, like any other kid, would rather play than eat (unless it involves ice cream!)They prefer to be outdoors – playing.This summer, before pre-Kindergarten starts on September 5th, will be spent getting them more and more comfortable with the water. I missed out during my own childhood as I couldn’t swim, so at age 22 I had enough and taught myself after lots of practice. We don’t want them to have that same experience. That’s all for this month. Thanks for reading! M.
Firetrucks and ambulances are now associated permanently in the minds of the triplets with Christopher (FerFer).
Anytime the kids see a fire truck 🚒 on TV or on the street, or even an ambulance 🚑, their latest new skill (recalling memories) takes over. The girls then go on and on repeated what they remember about Christopher: “FerFer goes on ambulance ride.”, and “FerFer goes to the hospital. He hurt his mouth”. They remember everything about the last experience. And apparently FerFer is the owner of every hospital in town if you let the girls tell it. FerFer leads the way in ambulance 🚑 rides and fire truck 🚒 visits 2-0-0😂.
So now when I get home from work each day, everyone is dying to tell me all about their day. Yesterday was all about the big green tomato 🍅 worm 🐛 they discovered at grandma and grandpa’s house.
I have an extraordinarily accurate memory that stretches back as far as I can remember. I remember things that happen in pre-school at age 3, and even events such as my first haircut on the Navy base at age 4 and my 4th birthday party. We shall see if their memories turn out to be just as accurate – all signs point to yes! 😳
They say the first 5 years are the most important, as there is so much development that happens during that time and it sets the framework for the later years. Heck, California has a website devoted to it: http://first5california.com. The kids are sponges, and absorb everything – more than we realize, in fact. At the end of the day, I think they absolutely realize that both their parents are, have been and will always be there for them.
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 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.
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.
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.
The more things change, the more things stay the same…
After only 2 weeks, the Cavelets are now day trained. The first week featured accidents across the board for a variety of reasons, but now they are used to the expectations (and the rewards).
We had to bribe them with gourmet treats (candy), but it worked. Plus having access to great weather made things easier. This last week they really put it all together.
As a result of their accomplishments, we’ve given the girls the nicer panties that were special gifts from my mother (Mima). Christopher started out in the good underwear (all Disney Cars and superhero themed, of course).
But what else is new?
Friday, May 11th I turned 39 years old.
It was a great day at work. Staff decorated my cubicle and brought treats for the group.
After work, I treated myself to Sushi 🍣 at my favorite spot right down the street from me – Sushi Omakase. They threw in a free beer 🍺 on the house.
Mother’s Day is today and Angelique’s 43rd birthday 🎁 is tomorrow, May 14th. This morning, the kids each gave their mother a special rose with a balloon 🎈- she loved the surprise. They even said Happy Mother’s Day. I’m sure that made all the torm3nt she has to endure throughout the day worth it. My older brother Chris’s birthday was May 9th.
Yesterday we took the kids to the Strawberry 🍓 Festival at Placer County Fairgrounds. It was HOT! But it was fun, and a good test of potty training. They held it until each potty break. Awesome! They also hung out with the Dive Bar mermaids 🧜♀️
Last week, Angelique and I decided we would take the plunge and not look back regarding potty training. The weather was great and the outdoors provided a helping hand.
Project management touches potty training, too. The road to potty trained kids, let alone triplets, is a delicate balance of time, money and resources. You have to make the time, and spend the money (on diapers), and have the people handy (in the early weeks) to make a run at it with triplets. The first week there were many accidents across the board, and for different reasons. As with projects, you make adjustments along the way. Some risks (tinkle accidents) are accepted as par for the course (yay hardwood floors!), others (💩) require a mix of strategies to facilitate improvement such as coaching, rewards (celebrate success) for avoiding that type of accident (🍭) and increased monitoring.
Diapers have (had 🙌🏽👏🏽) been a huge expense for us, as you can imagine, much like formula was in the early months. We can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. They are all having long runs of staying dry all day (and even night!). We found a huge stash of pull-ups that we were given years ago, so we will burn through those as we settle in to the next phase of the project. The next challenges will be staying dry during travel, naps, and while shopping 🛒 at grocery stores.
They pretty much decided for us that they wanted to embark on the next phase of this project together. I think deep down they have an internal sense that their baby days are slipping away. This results in nostalgic moments where they do baby stuff just for fun like crawl on all fours or want to be held like a baby. And sometimes they have initiated an accident just because (I think). But it is definitely clicking for them.
I’ve been working smarter at work, putting my energy into automation to help things run as efficiently as as possible so staff can make way for new work and new skills.
The kids are doing great. Potty training is in full swing, with all three in underwear throughout the day (except naps if they take them). They are getting the hang of it, which is all we can ask for. With three it is very difficult to work with one at a time. They feed off of one another. We decided we would deal with the accidents and not look back since the weather is nice. Needless to say they are getting a nice tan ☀️.
Michaela is (not surprising), the star ⭐️ of the potty training show, and the closest to being ready. She was the first born, first to come home from the NICU and pretty much the first to do everything else. She’s been staying dry all day since last Sunday. Both grandmas have showered all of the kids with cute underwear, and that’s motivated them. Other than that she babbles about everything she sees and we nod and egg her on. It backfires if she’s had an early nap because she is up most of the night talking in her daytime voice! 😂
Emma is getting the hang of potty training, but still hasn’t quite figured out that feeling and where to do things when she feels that feeling. For example, earlier this week one morning she was standing right next to mommy and had an accident on the (hardwood) floor. She laughed right after that and said “Hehe, that’s funny”. She will not say that the next time she’s on her hands and knees cleaning it up! 😏
Emma can be quite demanding. She likes things done for her and has no problem directing others to do it. I’m insisting that she do it herself, and while she may try and act helpless, she ultimately does it. The other day she asked for chocolate milk. She said, “Daddy, get it. It’s in the fridge over there”, and turned back around. I told her to get up and get it herself. She then did so and sat back down and said, “Daddy, blanket”. She will not start drinking her chocolate milk until there is a blanket covering her feet and she’s comfortable. I tell her to put the milk down and fix her blanket herself 😂
This handsome fellow had a scare in recent weeks that landed him in the emergency room. He was running around with a plastic light saber that he had chewed the top cap off of. He ran into something and it lacerated the back of his throat near his tonsils. It was a bloody mess, but it didn’t require the doctor to close the wounds and it healed quickly on its own. The bill for that ambulance ride to the ER $2150 and some change. Our share thanks to great insurance – $0. ER copay $50 – par for the course. Times like this are what make me thankful for my state career and it’s wonderful benefits!
Christopher is behind in most areas compared to his siblings, but catches up quickly once he figures it out. He was the last born, got most of his teeth last, was the last to figure out how to ride the bike with training wheels (no slowing him down now), and is finally talking with confidence (still not as articulate as the girls, but boys are like that!). He’s a shy boy, just like they said on his first pediatric development checkup report. And he’s definitely attached to his mother – he needs to know where she is at all times! He’s catching on quickly with potty 🚽 training.
Also, it appears that he is favoring his left for things like throwing and kicking. That’s how I am. Everything else is righty, just like me. I throw and kick with my left hand but do everything else with my right. He loves all things Cars (Disney) and is obsessed with Lightning McQueen. Those are his favorite clothes to wear!
The Book 📖I decided to wrap up the book (Triple Blessing) and shop it with a few publishers for consideration. The first publisher got back to me within days that they are interested in publishing my book after reading the manuscript. The second publisher is currently reviewing the manuscript and I’m sure they will be interested as well. The book outlines all that it took to bring these kids into the world over the course of our 7.5 year journey – it was a grind for sure. It is certainly an interesting read. I’m sorry it took 3.5 years to complete – I got a little busy 🙊Stay tuned for updates on the book!
The kiddos cleaned house this Spring…in terms of Easter candy, not spring cleaning!
They have mastered egg collecting and candy opening…and fortunately teeth brushing.
Other than that fun stuff, they’ve just been adding to their word arsenal and battling allergies. The cold and then warm, back and forth weather caused a bloom explosion of sorts, and they’ve had a rough time with it. But new milestones bloom as well – they have learned how to blow their noses!
They are 3 and a half now. Getting closer to being potty trained, but not quite “ready”. They have their moments when they just like being babies. Now that they can talk now, though, we push back a lot on their attempts to get us to do stuff for them. My canned response is, “You do it. You can do it!”.
Granted, we live in a much different era than when I grew up. I grew up in the 80s and 90s. I was raised to be independent early on, and encouraged to be. I had to figure things out on my own, and screw up trying. In the 80s and 90s, playing outside by yourself was encouraged, although it came with certain restrictions (be back inside before the street lights come on). I was allowed to explore. When they get older, that seems like a daunting leap of faith in today’s society. I imagine it will be hard on us both to let them be kids and not intervene as they figure things out, but it is a part of the process. They will want to be busy, so that’s good.
Several family members just recently became parents or are about to become parents. That causes me to reflect on our own journey, and what an incredible journey it has been.
I had good parents growing up. They were firm, but fair, and that’s how I am as both a parent and a manager/leader. I don’t want to look back and regret anything, so I’m as involved as I can be when I’m home. Everything we do has revolved around them, as it should be. It’s been fun watching them grow up – we haven’t missed a memory thanks to technology.
Our greatest creations have brightened so many lives, and they are just getting started.
Age 3 has been a real roller coaster. The kids have been all over the map. Ages 4 and 5 may hold more of the same “excitement” 😂. Should be a fun spring and busy summer! And in October they will be 4! 😮
I always chuckle when people at work wish me a relaxing evening at home after I get off. Relaxing? Bahahahaha!!!Finding my second wind is essential for when I get home! Haha 😂