Peek a Boo!!!

👻

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 😒

First day of Kindergarten in person!
You can see the personalities in the photo

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 😂

Kitchenette and Barbie house located outside now. If only I could get them to pick up after themselves 🤔🤭😂

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. 🤭😊

Our resident tree 🌳 climber Emma
Christopher is ridiculously tall. You’d never know he was a preemie and the last born. Everyone thinks he is the older brother! 🤷🏾‍♂️😱. He will be taller than his Daddy for sure
Tis the Halloween 🎃 season! A photo from Daddy’s one on one outing with Michaela
Michaela @ The Fountains ⛲️ at Roseville Galleria
The kids enjoyed their first extended beach 🏖 experience after a getaway to Santa Cruz, CA
Emma gliding across the crashing surf in Santa Cruz, CA

Dynamics

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 😂

Audiobook

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 😊

Book

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:

Triple Blessing Book

They rounded off the oddly unsocial summer attending a birthday party 🥳 for a new playmate they had met before COVID-19 pandemic. They wore masks when entering the house but other wise not when outdoors and they had a wonderful time. This little angel is drawn to Emma. Can’t imagine why 😊

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

M.

Picture Catch Up and Updates

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:

Michaela

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.

That’s all folks!

M.

“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, 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!

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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.

School Time

Sorry about the delay between posts – things have been extremely busy as of late on multiple fronts (no pun intended).

The kids were entered into the lottery system for Montessori schoolS, but we never heard back, which means that none of their names came up based on the selection criteria. Their best chance to get in was #4 in the list of about 8 selection criteria. What is cool is that had one child been selected, they would have all gotten in automatically. Oh well, next year.

We had registered them for our Plan B option, which is a school in Granite Bay. We found out this week that they all had been accepted and were enrolled, so Angelique brought them in yesterday for assessment.

Each child was brought back to a room alone with a teacher to have a conversation and to see what they know. Angelique got to talk to one of the teachers afterwards and found out that they just had a conversation with the child to see what colors, numbers and shapes they knew and to gauge their speech skills. One of the teachers that spoke with the kids asked if they had ever been to speech therapy. Angelique assumed that the teacher had spoken with Christopher, so she went on to explain that he only started talking regularly when he turned 4 and that while he struggles with certain sounds and words he is catching up quickly.

It turns out that the teacher that asked her that question hasn’t met Christopher, she met one of the girls instead, and if she met Emma she was probably floored that Emma speaks so well. Every words is clearly pronounced and her sentences are complete and well thought out. Then again she has been talking the longest and has the largest vocabulary.

In any case, until school starts the rest of the summer will be dedicated to more learning to prepare them for this transitional kindergarten adventure they will soon embark on. Being born in October, transitional kindergarten was the best option for them. Angelique also asked if they could be kept together. Christopher still needs to see a familiar face, so this should help. Plus one of our neighbors have a 4 year old daughter that the kids are playmates with that will also be attending that school.

I can’t believe they are about to go to school – time is flying! Angelique is ready for a break I’m sure, as they will be in school all day. This will be a test of how strong their bond has become. They are around each other all day and their are certainly alliances, but they will have to look out for one another as there will be new dynamics they will have to content with, and new feelings to navigate based on new experiences.

The kids are very social and make friends easily, so that is good.

Birthdays and Mother’s Day

On Sunday, we got together with family at Grandma and Grandpa’s to celebrate my 40th birthday, along with Mother’s Day and Angelique’s 44th birthday.

The kids are very proud when they trace their own names. It’s so cute.

Last but not least, Michaela has developed a legendary sense of fashion. In the pic below she is actually wearing her mommy’s pants, but somehow pulled it off as a new fashion statement. She could probably walk into high school wearing a Glad bag and nobody would say anything – in fact they might copy her and a new fad would be born!

M.

Busy Little Beavers

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I figured I would surface and drop a few lines and photos.

The kids are busy little beavers. Swim lessons, playing hard, you name it and they are in to it 🤭. They are a handful for sure and can quickly deplete your day energy – it is exhausting keeping them entertained!

So here are some cute pics:

You can see from this photo Michaela is the keeper of her siblings ☺️

This is not our puppy. Three kids is enough! 😂

Yep, the sass is real! 🤷🏾‍♂️

Four is a very challenging age. There is a lot more behavior correcting from us and challenging from them. It is a delicate balancing act because it is three different individuals. Michaela and Christopher tend to work together to wreak havoc, but Emma brings her own brand of drama. I find myself having to say No a lot more but also explaining why.

The kids are very social. They hug folks in all kinds of situations and it catches the folks off guard yet is adorable. For example, I took the girls to Pearl House for dinner with family and there were people coming in to pick up to go orders and the girls walked up and just hugged them…haha. I’ve yet to see anyone refuse them ☺️

I’m trying to do more one on one time with them. They really enjoy it and they are completely different kids when solo. I’ve taken Emma to do things and she acts like an only child. Christopher doesn’t say a whole lot but seems to like the freedom. Michaela loves having me all to herself. Usually she tells strangers that I’m her daddy.

Which reminds me – the other day I heard from someone that their school is canceling Daddy/Daughter dances because it’s not fair to the kids that don’t have daddies 🤷🏾‍♂️. I actually am looking forward to those as I’ll have to do them twice each time. I was disappointed to her that a school did that but hey, these are interesting times, aren’t they?

Ok one last cute pic ☺️

The suspenders were broken on the first day 🤦🏾‍♂️

Independence Days

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.

Child Cartoon Preferences

We have hit that stage where the kids have identified their favorite cartoon characters. It has made me realize how effective marketing and brand are for some companies like Disney and Mattel, because once it takes hold, that’s it.

I grew up as a kid in the 80s. That era featured quality cartoons (I’ll spare you the list because it’s so long) and even Saturday cartoons were timely. Now, we live in generation that is less attached to traditional television and more married to internet streaming. We “cut the chord” back in 2015.

I’m tickled pink that some of these characters are so important to the kids. The list of their favorites include:

Michaela

  • My Little Pony
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Barbie
  • Moana
  • Rapunzel
  • Tarzan
  • Smurfette
  • Ariel from the Little Mermaid
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • The Chipettes (she knows them all by name and outfit color)
  • Olaf, Elsa and Anna (Frozen)
  • Princess Sofia

Emma

  • Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story)
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Anastasia
  • Boss Baby

Christopher

  • Lightning McQueen (Cars)
  • Tarzan
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Boss Baby

No clue why Michaela had such a large list of preferences. It might have something to do with her usually being the first up each morning and insisting on watching her favorites first…you know, first born preferences.

Interesting – Michaela is explaining to me this morning that it was Christopher that threw the shopping cart last night and broke the wing, not her. Maybe she was just ducking after all. Whoops 😳

Gotta start saving for a Disneyland trip. You can imagine how expensive that will be with three Disney fans 😳😲

M.

The Triplets Are Three Today!

Happy Birthday 🎁🎈🎂 to the Cave Triplets!

Technically the celebration begins at 12:27pm (Michaela), 12:28pm (Emma) and 12:30pm (Christopher).

Three years ago today, our lives literally changed forever. We went to the doctor for a next day check up as Angelique’s test the previous day had revealed preeclampsia. The only cure or treatment for that is delivery. A long exam and sitting up on an uncomfortable bed with baby monitors hooked up to her tummy resulted in contractions that wouldn’t quit and a doctor that decided it wasn’t a good time to send her home, which we appreciated. Next thing we knew, she was being whisked away for a c-section and later that afternoon we became parents!

And what has changed since then? Well, for starters, they are all healthy three year olds now. Thriving is an understatement and doesn’t really do their development justice. Every triplet journey is certainly unique. It all depends on how early they are born and how they weather the storm of issues they have to contend with the earlier they come. The goal was 34 weeks, but they decided to make their arrival at 29.5 weeks. That early came with lung development concerns, early digestion issues, anemia, eye development concerns and a few heart murmurs. All fine now, although the early weeks in the NICU were nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster.

We survived the first 18 months thanks to outstanding help. The carpet in our old house, specifically the family room we lived out of (home base) did not, I’m sorry to report 😜

You look at them today and you’d never know they were born prematurely. Most people think the girls are twins and that Christopher is the older child since he’s so much bigger. But we tell them he’s the youngest and they are all the same age and their jaws drop. Christopher is as big as a few 4 year old kids we’ve seen. And he’s wearing 4T like a boss…haha.

Binkies are long gone, as are bottles. Only one baby gate remains as opposed to five. Diaper will hopefully be a thing of the past some time this year as I’d rather drop $90 a month on something else for them…lol.

Now that they can talk a lot better, we are bracing ourselves for even more challenges. I’m at work all day, and it’s hard to come to terms with how different they are from the previous day when I get home. Their minds are soaking up so much knowledge. Everyday there is a new skill or a few new words.

They aren’t in pre-school or anything like that yet. Last week I got on the Amtrak train home to work and our pediatrician was on the train, so we sat and chatted. She hadn’t seen them in a while, so I showed her some of the latest pics. Her jaw dropped. They have all sorts of different fans. The NICU nurses played an integral role in their development. They don’t get to hear how a lot of the kids are doing. I’ve run into one of the nurses at Costco before. She immediately asked how Emma (whom she cared for) was doing. She was asking a few questions like she was going through a developmental checklist. She knows that sometimes there are issues. Another I keep in touch with via text and she has visited once. I’ve run into the high risk doctor that helped keep the babies in longer at the hospital. I shared a pic and shook his hand and he lit up. I send him photos from time to time. It took a lot of people’s efforts to get them here, and we will never forget their kindness and devotion to their jobs.

Their birthday party is 10/29. Visitors will be greet with jabbering toddlers. Lots of hugs will be distributed, I’m sure. Should be a blast!

M.

Costco’s most honest samplers 🙂

The girls hop in Uncle Scooter’s custom trailer

Christopher being handsome from afar

Emma carries this heart around everywhere, so it’s starting to turn pink. Speaking of which, we may have lost it again!

Michaela has been a lefty for quite some time. She’s always had great dexterity and fine motor skills.

Emma loves the view from my shoulders

We dare not try and remove the coat from Michaela. That’s just not a good idea!

All in a day’s work for these three. We think they found whatever they were looking for…ha!

!=o Three…Three…Three=o!

Monday thru Friday, I leave the house around 6:40am en route to work. The past month has been great for send-off. Most of the time I get three hugs, three kisses goodbye (at least 5 from Michaela, and she actually asks each time, “Kisses goodbye?”), and three not so little munchkins waving goodbye and blowing kisses, with Christopher giving chase, as I back out of the driveway. Yes, that feels good!

The sponges are eager to apply the fruits of their daily discoveries. This has resulted in new words, behaviors, alliances, likes and dislikes. Now that we know they understand what we’re saying, when they ask for something out of the fridge, we make them go get it, especially Emma. “Milk!”, she demands. We tell her that she knows where it is, and that if she wants some, she can get it herself. She “pretends” to not be able to open the fridge door, saying, “It’s stuck!”. I tell her to try harder. And it doesn’t end there. None of them, though they try, get to drink it wherever they want like the days of old. They have to sit at the table or stay in the kitchen area. We’ve found ancient milk cups previously…ugh! And when they’re done, we tell them to open the door, put it back, and shut it. They assumed early on compliance was optional, but now they realize it’s compulsory 🙂

I still hear from folks all the time that they don’t know how I do it. Well, I don’t. My wife, Angelique does the heavy lifting. I go to work and make the money that fuels the chaos that is our reality…lol! New greys sprout out every day, but it’s more a product of being 38 years old than being a father of triplets. Yes, a lot of things they do are frustrating, but they’re kids and that comes with the territory. We spend extraordinary amounts of time with them (me specifically on the weekends), and it takes creativity to keep them busy. I think the comment I get from folks generally comes from the perspective of having multiple kids potentially, but not all the same age at the same time. Truth be told, I can’t imagine these three spaced out in years. That’d be weird. Each additional child compounds the challenges. Someone is always going to be unhappy about something or feel left out or annoyed. For example, now that Emma’s got a large arsenal of words, she can actually say, “Hold me”. Of course most of the time we do, but sometimes we have to say no for a variety of reasons, and she’s not happy about it. However, it’s healthy for kids to not get everything they want all the time. Now mind you, they get lots of love, but we draw the line with their sneaky attempts to take advantage of situations. We were kids first, you know 😉

Potty training has been an adventure. I’ll just say that I track it still because I look at it as diapers saved. And thanks to Michaela’s efforts, she’s saved us 230 diapers (2 boxes worth) and Emma 183 diapers (1 box and some change) and Christopher 29 diapers. If I tracked how many times he’s gone in the tub his number would be higher but I’m not home usually when they get baths.

They are instant playmates. Michaela and Christopher are maniacs and bicker a lot over toys and whatever else Michaela has laid claim to first. Michaela is well aware she’s the oldest and doesn’t care how much bigger Christopher is than her. And he always stands down…for now. Emma is still content doing her own thing most of the time. I still trace it all back to her time in the isolette in the NICU. She was in the isolette the longest and probably got used to the bubble, but the others are just too much most of the time.

These kids are something else. Those that have had the pleasure of their company can attest to that statement. And each visit is a different experience. Age 3 with these three is going to be a wild ride. Much more talking, opinions, defiance and independence. We’ll be here in to steer them in the right direction every step of the way.

Their latest favorite movies include:

  • Trolls
  • Boxcar Children
  • Moana

New favorite foods:

  • Uncrustables
  • Pickle chips
  • Sliced black olives (we buy 8 cans a week!)
  • String cheese
  • Stonyfield Yogurt pouches
  • Costco apple sauce pouches
  • Polenta
  • Bananas

August should be exciting. My mother (Mima) will be visiting again later in the month. I think this time she’s fully aware that they are completely different kids from the last time she saw them. We’ll let her dive in and get pummeled like the other times as it is unavoidable. Hope she’s got an idea of how she’ll keep her energy up…lol!

The highlights of my workday are when I get a text from Angelique describing something crazy they did or some cute pictures of a funny video. Facebook has been great with the On This Day photos as we’ve seen some great photos from 2 years back or even last year and it’s incredible how much they’ve changed. I look forward to coming home each day. I remember the days when I was home helping look after them for 4 months straight. It totally re-wired my brain, as I wasn’t thinking about work (well not that kind of work). I was in full-time parent mode. I’m glad I had that time with them, though. Years from now we’ll play all the videos that prove that we both were there, and we both were heavily involved. And hopefully, they’ll appreciate all the sacrifices we made to bring them into this world, to make sure they were happy, loved and ready to leave their own stamp on this life.

M.