School ends in a few weeks, and it will be summer, with the primary objective of keeping them as busy as possible.
We’ve been revamping the house to create more areas for them to spill out into, pulling teeth, breaking up the constant bickering and making time for them to do homework. During the break they will still be learning as they make their way to first grade.
Emma now does piano lessons and both Michaela and Emma are in gymnastics. Christopher loves to ride his bike so I try and take him places to ride it. He hasn’t gotten his fine motor skills dialed in yet for anything like baseball or soccer. He’s still very clumsy and doesn’t exactly like listening to coaching that comes from Dad so we will wait to see wh where his interests lie. But it appears that, like me, he does some things with his right but apparently likes to throw and kick with his left.
Greetings! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted any content. I’ve been busy with the kids and their many flavors of shenanigans, and also busy building out my podcasting brand. I am the Captain of my own virtual cruise ship called The Cave Boat.
Pics from our recent Monterey trip
Easter 🐣 was amazing, and we got some wonderful pics
What else? They are back in school full time rather than 5 days a week for 2.5 hours today. We continue to guide but not prescribe, giving them the flexibility to grow into who they are meant to be, while keeping them busy and challenged. It’s a delicate balancing act. But they are happy and thriving. Getting them accustomed to the concepts of mindfulness and gratitude are a priority. They have a lot to be grateful for, but they need to stay grounded. It is arguably the most important work we are doing in our lives at this point as their parents.
Also, April 7th was the 13th anniversary of my father’s passing. Believe it or not they know a lot about my father and talk about him like they actually met him. Like in the movie Coco, we have pictures of the dearly departed so we remember them and don’t forget. In this way they live on, and that’s exactly what is happening with Grandpa Bill. I was back East last month and got to visit his grave site. It is always so peaceful there.
I apologize for the delay between updates. These kids keep us busy!!!!
We had some renovations going on around the house the consumed huge chunks of my time overseeing. We got new flooring installed and knocked down a wall to really open up the floor plan (and the place got a whole lot noisier so we put some of the carpet back in as area rugs 🤭
The kids love the new layout. Most mornings before school they put their roller skates on and it turns into a roller rink. Might have to get a strobe light!
I released an audiobook version of the book Triple Blessing on 2/8. You can find it on Amazon!
The kids are doing great. Lots of bickering and personal growth, and more teeth are falling out. But they enjoy school and learning.
As you can see, they are happy, healthy and thriving. Can’t complain about that!
More pics since it has been a minute since my last post. By the way, Christopher is now 4’1”!
Time to check in with the curious and provide some updates. The kids are doing great! Healthy and thriving. They have been back in school for in person instruction 🏫 about 10 weeks now, and did very well in their first report card from their teacher. They are definitely all different, with their strengths being very unique. The only thing surprising that I heard was that Christopher is a bit of a class clown 🤡🤦🏾♂️
Ok, now for the barrage of cute pics. My how they have grown!
The kids are getting excited about Christmas 🎄. The tree went up shortly after Halloween 🎃
I am releasing an audio version of the book on Audible soon. Below is the cover!
Others changes include me taking over Michaela’s bedroom as my home office. She now shares a room with Emma. That has been interesting. She is trying to take over as the oldest 😂
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and since I’m up and not going back to sleep 😴 , I figured I would get the followers updated information about what the trio have been up to.
For starters, they are back in school 🏫 in person 5 days a week and are loving it. This is week 3 now since the schools reopened in Placer County. The Rocklin Unified School District came out with a pretty comprehensive 29 page reopening guide. It outlines how they will keep students and teachers as safe as possible and the protocols that will be followed should anyone become sick with whatever. Our kids actually now wear face shields with cute animals at the top of the shield to make it fun. Those get wipes down with disinfecting wipes when they get picked up in the afternoons. So far, 3 weeks in and no colds or the usual crud kids come home with at this age.
Ah, yes and the trio turn SIX on October 23rd! The party will not be like it was in previous years thanks to this blasted pandemic. Really tired of this “new abnormal” – it has altered the fabric of social interaction in mind boggling ways 😒
They have quickly made friends at school, and that is no surprise as they are very outgoing. There is an AM cohort and a PM cohort, and our kids are in the PM cohort and all in the same class, which has 7 students total. So they make up a majority of the class! 😂
Here is a quick summary of the kids’ interests:
Michaela: fashion, gymnastics 🤸♀️, art 🖼
Emma: Singing 🎤 (she can carry a tune!!! 🎶), drawing and reading
Christopher: riding bikes 🚲, building things and helping out others with stuff . He will do anything for his sisters, and they take advantage of his height. He is the distributor, handing out vitamins each morning and melatonin at night.
Leader in $50 copay visits to the ER: Christopher (3) 😂😘
They have a new play area out back now that we have had a patio cover built. They play out back for hours, role playing and building things. My wife had other idea for the space, but the kids said otherwise 😂
Christopher has been doing speech therapy sessions with Kaiser and now also with the school 🏫. He is doing great and is finally sounding out the “L” in words. He initially slowed down and paused and caught himself and now it is second nature. He charmed his speech therapist at Kaiser my showering her with custom drawings made just for her. That resulted in her giving him more than one M & M treat repeatedly. 🤭😊
The dynamics with our trio have changed significantly. Michaela and Christopher used to be really tight, but now it has shifted to Christopher latching on to Emma and at times excluding Michaela, who has noticed and now called him out for it. Her new favorite word to spell is actually “excluding” 😂.
Michaela and Christopher fight for Emma’s playtime attention. I think she likes being in demand by them both. Oh, to be a “middle child” 😂.
They “rotate” turns spending the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s and keep close tabs on who’s turn it is and how long someone stayed (sometimes someone gets a third night). That is when we noticed the dynamic really started to change. Two kids on a weekend is a piece of cake. There is very little fighting and us parents can get adult stuff done and actually think without three flavors of constant demands. It’s not all fun and ice cream and whatever else goes on there in terms of spoiling – there is intensive learning happening when they visit. They read a lot, make crafts, read some more and have plenty of breaks in between.
When they return through, something switches and the organized chaos ensues 😂
The audio book 📖 🎧 project is coming along and I am excited about releasing an audio version of the book soon so it can be listened to. It is being narrated by yours truly 😊
The book has been published for over a year now. The kids don’t quite grasp why they are on a book cover that will be out there for folks to read long after I’m gone, but the story of how they got here remains remarkable.
I created a form so that people can request signed copies of the book. If you’re interested the link is below:
The kids started virtual learning last week and it has been an unmitigated disaster. And it has no end in sight…but I digress 😊
The good in it is that they are less likely to get sick since they are home. The bad parts are that it is very disorganized so far and the parents are all frustrated. Fail to plan, plan to fail, and it seems like the planning wasn’t put into this endeavor and it shows. Ok now I really digress 🤭
Here are some cute recent photos of the trio:
They are certainly a handful. But they have adjusted well to this “new abnormal” and they are still enjoying each other’s company (instant playmates).
The dynamics have changed between the three recently. Christopher used to be really tight with Michaela but now he is really tight with Emma and has excluded Michaela at times. We have intervened when we see him do it.
Christopher has been attending speech therapy appointments. He’s progressing nicely but it has been challenging to break some bad habits. As parents it’s hard for us to get him to accept correction as we are mom and dad – par for the course though. The teacher is impressed with how hard he works during their appointments. And he is already starting to win her over with his charm. He even made a gift for her and brought it to her. How cute is that?
Michaela is very bright. Learning really comes easy to her. She sounds out words when reading, can count to 100 and beyond, and is very expressive when drawing during craft time. Kindergarten will be a breeze for her, despite this crazy distance learning setup.
They all get to work with grandma when they go visit, so that has made a tremendous difference. While what happens at grandma’s stays at grandma’s, it’s not all fun, ice cream, treats and pampering – a lot of learning happens.
It’s been a minute since I’ve posted, so I figured I would put something out there for the curious.
So what’s been up? The kids are doing great and getting cuter by the second. Here is the evidence:
The kids will be doing distance learning for kindergarten. At least they had a taste of the structure in TK before school shut down.
They may not look like it, but they were born prematurely and have underdeveloped lungs. They were usually sick with colds in school (par for the course), but this new abnormal is cause for concern. I really worry what all of this isolation and social distancing will do to kids socially over the long term. I guess we will see. My kids are outgoing so not being able to interact with folks doesn’t exactly compute for them.
They’ve each been getting to take turns spending the night over at grandma and grandpa’s house. While what happens at grandma’s stays at grandma’s it’s not all fun, treats and getting spoiled. There is quite a bit of learning that takes place. Grandma does crafts with them and works with them on new words, numbers and reading. Of course they get to take a break and play, but they get their noodles worked during their time there. And the individual time they get is cherished.
Having only two to deal with, I noticed that new alliances formed. Christopher and Emma bonded and now Christopher prefers to play with Emma and actually asks her to play with him. At least they have each other during this new abnormal – instant playmates!
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.
The kids have been keeping us busy. They sleep, they 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!
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
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!
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.
Emma’s once consistently immaculate room has given way to the force of 3 tornadoes routinely blowing through it to play as a group.
One barbie doll has been beheaded already during this crisis. Not sure how…glad we don’t buy this stuff new!
The chaos spills out into the backyard when it is nice weather out.
Window in the master bedroom is now an art canvas
Breakfast nook window now dons triplet art work (paint)
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….