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.
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.
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!
The kids are settling into their school routine. I have had a few opportunities to take them to school and it is very cool to see Emma and Christopher, who are in the same class, say goodbye to us in the morning and meet up with their classmates. They are getting used to the routine and structure. They are learning a lot on school. Michaela can spell her name and sounds out each letter of the alphabet when tracing the letters. They have also quickly made a few networks of friends and routinely rattle off new names of friends each day. They are starting to go on after school play dates.
They also just turned FIVE years old! Can’t believe it has been 5 years already.
The requests for play dates after school is totally new for us. As is the mass blasts to the entire class or birthday party invites. Given that that Michaela is in a separate class, we have decided to not let them go to parties that only one child was invited to – that will have to happen eventually but not now. We can defer navigating the feelings of disappointment that are sure to follow until Kindergarten.
Emma has been making a lot of progress with words and can draw her name. She loves to learn.
The kids love their new neighborhood. They love going out and exploring and saying hi to new people. Catches everyone off guard!
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?
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…