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!
We are 4 years and 6 months into this parents of multiples adventure, and things have settled down in terms of the novelty of triplets – that has worn off. Most folks that ask these days still can’t imagine, but people can tell that the kids are a package deal. Most onlookers assume that Christopher is the oldest because he is so much bigger than the girls, but they assume that the girls are twins because they are just about the same size and favor one another at times.
The one thing that has been consistent is that they just keep getting cuter and cuter.
Miss Michaela is a ridiculously fast runner 🏃♀️. She has a really compact stride and just gets everything moving in a hurry. She is also very flexible and is always stretching. Gymnastics might be in her future at some point. She has a Marylou Retton build for those of you who remember the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Still bossing the other two around at every turn. Apparently she wants to be the lead singer 🎤 of the band!
Emma is all about precision and focus. When she is tracing letters or shapes, she takes her time and stays close to the lines. When she is cutting paper with scissors ✂️, she turns everything else out and is completely focused on the task at hand. She is a perfectionist of sorts. I dusted off my guitar 🎸 recently and she was enamored with it so I bought her one.
And Emma is doing outstanding in her swimming 🏊🏽♀️ lessons. Just this week she practiced floating on her back and also went underwater and touched the bottom of the pool. She is in her own lesson free of the other two and this works great for her because she doesn’t have to compete with the other two. Emma will most likely be the first to swim we are thinking. She really takes it seriously and talks about it all the time.
Christopher is still discovering what he likes. He’s around his sisters a lot so I have been taking them all on excursions with just the two of us so they have their one on one time. He likes to throw balls but hasn’t figured out the technique yet. Interestingly enough though he does some things with his left like throw and kick and everything else with his right, just like me. Michaela is completely left handed but he is a bit of both like me. I’m not sure what sport he will take to but he is our late bloomer and has generally been the last two do everything.
The kids also really enjoy going to visit grandma and grandpa
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:
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?
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)!
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.
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…
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:
My Little Pony
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)
Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story)
Lightning McQueen (Cars)
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 😳😲
Yep, they’re talking now, and they have a lot to say. They negotiate with one another, scold each other (Emma: “Michaela, time out!”), comfort whoever needs it (Emma: “It’s ok, honey” or “Are you ok?”), and let us know they’re done for the day (Christopher: “Mommy, want go to bed”). They even let us know when they’re irritated (Emma: “Christopher, get off of me now!” or “Michaela, calm down! Leave me alone!”). They also express concern (All: “Careful!”. They are even capable of providing high level medical diagnoses (Michaela: “Mommy your forehead feels hot. Temperature hot 😮”). Talking to them blows our minds. It’s astonishing since we’ve been with them every step of their journey. Family and friends that might not have seen them for a while are also blown away when they hear them talking. We can generally understand 90% of what they say.
They have certainly come along way. Now when I get home from work each day, whoever’s up says “Daddy’s home!”. They know my wind down routine, which includes taking off my work clothes and getting into something more comfortable. Emma or Michaela usually like to direct me to the bedroom. Yesterday when I got home, Emma asked me to take off my my coat and told me where to hang it up. Michaela usually likes to take off my shoes for me and occasionally my socks. Awesome!
This morning Emma had two shells 🐚 in her hand (holding objects is her thing) and she dropped one on the floor. Michaela picked it up and decided in typical Michaela fashion that it was hers to hold now. Emma asked for her other shell back (she said “Want baby shell!). Before she melted down, Michaela put her hand 🤚 up (talk the hand) and calmly told her “Emma, you have one…”. Emma stood down and that was that.
Christopher is famous for letting us know that he wants to go home. He either asks “Can we go home?” or just says “Wanna go home” and that’s that.
Biggest babbler by far. Goes on and on about anything. Sometimes doesn’t make any sense, but that’s to be expected at this age. Has invented new combo words. For example a fart 💨 is “hiney burp”. Michaela is very good at describing things. And she can convince you that her version of the truth is gospel. Yesterday I was going back and forth with her about hair colors on some cartoon. A red head popped up on the screen and I told her grandma’s hair is red and she said “No, grandma’s hair is black (it is actually red). A guy with silver/white hair came on the screen and she argued that his hair was brown. Maybe she will be a lawyer…
Has mastered the alphabet and numbers 1 thru 10 and can count them in order. The same is true of the basic colors, all of the shapes and even the 3D shapes such as sphere, cylinder, cone and cube.
Emma is the clearest speaker of the trio. She can repeat any word you throw at her, and had an uncanny ability to remember it after hearing and repeating it at least 3 times.
Emma likes to be watched doing things. I’m often asked to go with her into their play area and watch her make something at their kitchenette. She actually uses the word kitchenette! In an adorably bossy tone, she exclaims, “Come on…let’s go!”, and then tells me to sit down over there (and to stay right there).
Christopher’s vocabulary, while not as clear as his sisters’ word library yet, is quite large. He gets to the point, and is generally a quiet guy. He learns by repeating what his sisters say (ad nauseam). We still have to cycle through what we think he’s asking for, but that’s ok. One thing that’s clear as day: poop 💩
What else about these three: they know who people are now. They point out family and friends in pictures. Very social kids. No doubt they will make friends easily.
On Thursday, November 30, 2017, I concluded my 5 year tenure at the State Treasurer’s Office. In 2012, I took the job when the previous incumbent had retired and the internal person that was offered the job turned it down. It was a good move for several reasons. First and foremost, Angelique worked there at the time in Business Services. It was an opportunity to be nearby as she recovered emotionally from some recent and very difficult pregnancy losses. The job was doing things I had done already at previous jobs. It was also a fresh start at a new organization run by an elected official. So that would be an opportunity to learn how to do things already familiar to me under a different and more political lens. I had great staff and a supportive boss. Two years into my tenure at the STO, the triplets arrived. Over the next 3 years, I experienced a great deal of success at the STO. I went through the highly coveted IT Leadership Academy, and my class project idea (California Mentor Program for Information Technology) was one of the projects selected for the class and was very successful. A document management system landed in my unit’s area of responsibility to manage in 2014, and it came with several challenges that needed to be overcome before real change could happen. In my final two years at the STO, I graduated from the IT Leadership Academy, and picked up a 2017 IT Leadership award for my efforts improving customer efficiencies using document management solutions. In October 2017, I was also selected as one of 3 employees of the month. The other two folks were members of my document management team. We were nominated by two different commissions for document management solutions we delivered that significantly improved their efficiencies. I will really miss the STO. I met some great people there, and it is a very family-oriented environment. Angelique and I were one of the “super couples” that were married and worked in the same organization. I think we both left behind a very positive legacy as two service-oriented professionals with a passion for people.
Ten months prior to starting at the STO, I had attempted a fresh start at a different organization. It turned out to be a terrible time to pursue a job with promising opportunities. The main reason is because we were just starting to experience the challenges associated with our path to starting a family, and didn’t yet realize how difficult it would end up being emotionally. It turned out that it was not the right time to be trying to learn a new organization and job and be 100% emotionally invested in fertility treatments and without a supportive boss to boot. Lesson learned, and enough about that misfire 🙂
On Friday, December 1, 2017, I started a new job as a section manager over Document Management Systems infrastructure operations at the Employment Development Department. It is a promotion, and I will be overseeing the infrastructure operations of a massive document management solution that has its own building.
My success in the document management arena at the STO told me that this was something I would be comfortable specializing in. The job comes with several perks, such as free parking, more money 💵, closer to home, and an opportunity to (most of the time) be home earlier to spend quality time with the kids. My last year at the STO, I was taking the Amtrak Capital Corridor train from Roseville to Downtown and back, a 30 minute commute each way. The evening train was often late arriving in Sacramento, which resulted in me getting home as late as 6:30pm if I didn’t have shopping 🛒 to do after work, which is at least 3 days a week. Also, there was only one morning and evening train, and the evening charter buses departed at varying times. I will miss the great people I met on the train. Some of my commuter friends helped me solve a work problem once!
One trade off is that I lost my big office and now have a cubicle. It’s a different culture and managers at my level in such a large organization don’t get offices. Oh well, I will not be at my desk often anyway! Another is that I will no longer be downtown, so I will need to make an effort to stay connected and not completely disappear. I am on this year’s CIO Academy Advisory Board, and hope to continue in that capacity. There are, however, contacts I made during my time in the Leadership Academy that also work in Rancho Cordova, so I will be able to connect with them more often.
My first day was mentally draining. I was in a lot of different meetings all day. And most of the day I was only at my desk long enough to accept the newest wave of meetings that came in. When I got home, I was so tired I think I passed out about a hour after getting home. There is a significant amount of information to absorb in my new job. It’s not just the document management technology or the massive infrastructure that supports it. There’s also the holy IT trinity to master – the people, the processes and the technology of the organization as a whole. I will be dusting off old skills and leveraging recent experience in my new role. I’ll have more staff than I had at the STO, and it’s a matrix’s team operation so I will be involved in everything the document management applications development group is working on. There are many active concurrent projects, and dozens in the queue. I will be very busy all the time!
It seemed like the right time to take on a new job. The kids are here (hooray! 👏🏽🙌🏽👏🏽) and with great help early on, Angelique and I weathered the first 18 months, followed by age 2, 2 and a half and now 3. I will have to recalibrate the work-life balance piece, as being an infrastructure operations manager once again comes with specific expectations, but I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to grow even more professionally.
Eventually the new job will make sense and I will settle into a rhythm. I’ll be using the kids as my motivation to be the best manager I can be in my new home. After all, it’s all about them!
Gotta run – 3 kids running around screaming as they play!