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.

Michaela and Gigi
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.

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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 🤦🏾‍♂️

Field Trip to the Pumpkin 🎃 Patch

On Friday, October 12th, the kids had a field trip to a local pumpkin patch and they had a blast.

Below are the best of the best pics:

Other than that, the kids will be 4 on October 23rd and are progressing nicely. Chatterboxes to the extreme – love it! Thriving in pre-school, as well. Couldn’t be happier with their progress. And best of all, Angelique has 2.5 hours of freedom 3 days a week (most weeks)!

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 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!

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.

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

!=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.