Milly’s first birthday was on a Monday. She had a weekend party with friends and family and a trip to Greenfield Lake to play on the playground there on her actual birthday.

Fawkes and Phoenix’s first birthday was on a Sunday. Friends and family came and celebrated it. Johnny and Torrie even brought a bounce house.

Griffin’s first birthday was smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, so the poor fella didn’t get a big birthday. It wasn’t a bad day though.

Lately all the boys have been waking up right as or after Tristen leaves for work, but today they were awake in time to see their mama, so she greeted the birthday boy with a rendition of Happy Birthday.

We had a Walmart pickup scheduled for 8:00, so I packed the boys up in the van and was heading there, but first I needed to stop by Torrie’s to drop something off for her. She had a Target pickup that was ready earlier than expected, so I offered to get that for her.

I decided on the way back to pick up a breakfast sandwich of some sort, seeing as how I’d be passing a Dunkin Donuts and a BoJangles on my way back. There was a Chick-Fil-A too, but we had lunch from there yesterday and I had picked up a breakfast there the last time I had to go out.

It occurs to me that it sounds like I’m going out a lot. I didn’t leave the house for anything for three weeks and the other time I got breakfast was because I was already out to pick up a prescription. And Tristen is in essential work, so she’s already out most days.

At any rate, I asked Torrie if she wanted anything and mentioned the two places I was thinking of, and she asked me to get a half dozen doughnuts for her family. So naturally I had to get some for us as well. I did still get a breakfast sandwich.

Erin FaceTimed to see Fin Fin while the boys were all eating their breakfast. Oddly, Griffin didn’t finish the Eggo waffle I included with his breakfast, nor did he really care for the partial doughnut I gave him. He did finish it all later on though.

Griffin went down for his nap a little after that and slept for about two hours. More often than not, he sleeps two hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

Fawkes and Phoenix have been down to one nap for a while. We were doing it at 12, but in the past week or two they mostly just play around and mess with each other when they go down that early, so we’ve started putting them down later.

Tristen got home in the mid-afternoon and put all the boys down, although G decided he didn’t want an afternoon nap at all. She tried three times.

I took a shower and trimmed the rest of my face. I had shaved just my chin a few days ago to give myself a muttonchops-with-a-mustache kind of thing. I showed it to Milly on a text and her reaction was pretty much the same as Tristen’s. Anyway, that’s gone. Maybe I’ll do it again when I have a bit more grown in on the rest of my face, after I’ve been lazy about trimming, as happens now and then. I’m sure that will win over the ladies in my life.

I took a shower and knocked out some work while Tristen worked on an angel food cake. Laura, Torrie, Sebastian, and Gabriel came over and hung out in the backyard. Social distancing was mostly observed decently well. Even with the twins following Sebastian around, there wasn’t much contact. I did tell Tristen we’d need to sterilize the kids to be safe.

Sebastian has been really into Minecraft lately, so he was going around with toy shovels and such pretending they were Minecraft tools and mining all sorts of resources.

Tristen served Griffin a piece of angel food cake that I said was about the size of his torso. That might have been a slight exaggeration, but it was at least as big as his stomach. Lacking whipped cream and thinking that icing probably wouldn’t be easy to put on it (or at least that’s my guess as to why she didn’t use that), she spread some marshmallow whip on it and stuck some strawberry slices to it.

Griffin didn’t quite dive into it; he mostly picked the strawberries off at first until he realized that the marshmallow stuff was yummy. He didn’t touch the cake much until I tore it into small pieces, but he did eventually eat the whole thing, which actually kind of surprised me.

We FaceTimed with Milly so she could tell Griffin happy birthday.

Tristen ordered a pizza from Elizabeth’s to be delivered via Door Dash, but it never arrived. When she checked on it there was an error on the app and no way for us to figure out what was going on with it. I eventually called Elizabeth’s and they said it hadn’t been picked up yet, so I went to go get it.

Many restaurants are doing things to minimize contact, and Elizabeth’s was no different. That’s actually the last place I went before staying in for weeks, and at the time they said they’d bring a pizza out to you if you called and asked them to, but they’re into the full swing of things now.

When you park, there’s a sign that instructs you to stay in your car and text a number to tell them you’re there. They text you back when it’s time for you to come to the front to get it. Out front they have three or four chairs in parking spaces set apart from each other to designate a proper distance, then they call you up to  table one at a time to get your food.

Anyway, since I didn’t get the pizza home until about an hour and a half after it was ordered, the boys had all eaten dinner by the time it arrived, so poo Griffin didn’t get to eat pizza for his birthday dinner.

My parents had called while I was on the way home, so we did a video call when I got back so they could see the birthday boy and wish him a happy birthday. There was a bit of playtime between dinner and bath time, as happens most nights. Then it was bath and bed and Mom and Dad eating their less warm dinner, having a cider and watching an episode of Ozark.

We’re planning on doing another little celebration and livestreaming it tomorrow.

So we’ve survived a year of having three babies. It hasn’t always been easy, but I think it’ll be terrific once they’re all a little older and Griffin matures enough for the development gap to be insignificant. I do wonder often wonder about how the dynamic will shape up between them. There’s so little age difference that it’s unlikely Fawkes or Phoenix will remember much, if anything, about life before Griffin came along, but he hasn’t been with them all along. The twins are learning to do everything together: walking, talking. They sleep in the same bed, whereas Griffin is still in a crib. They can do a lot that he can’t, and you’ve got to think they’ll have more of a bond.

We’ll see. It’s pretty fascinating to think about.

So what has everyone been doing lately?


Milly’s doing distance learning. Her teacher assigns things through Google Classroom and they tun in all their assignments online. She was on a class Zoom call today, but she told me pretty much none of the stuff that was discussed applied to her.

Aladdin has been canceled. I haven’t talk to her about it because Amanda, who passed the news along, said Milly was obviously upset about it and didn’t want to talk about it. (That reminds me: I need to refund some money I was given for tickets.)

She came up with a chocolate milkshakes recipe that she was able to try out the other day. I’m looking forward to letting her make me one.

Fawkes and Phoenix

I hate to lump them together, but by and large they’re doing things and developing at about the same time.

Tristen is worried that Fawkes might be color blind because the only color he identifies is blue. It’s a possibility, but I think he probably just hasn’t really learned any other color yet. We’ll see.

Both of them are playing with toys a bit more now, a barn and farm animals in particular. I think Phoenix started doing it first and does it a bit more, but I think it’s really cool to see.

I think Fawkes says more words on his own, but Phoenix is more apt to try to repeat something you say. In fact he and I went through a whole alphabet book with him saying (eventually) every letter.


He obviously just turned a year old. Two months ago he started crawling and last week he took his first steps, although since then he’s only taken one step on his own. Still, he can stand up as long as he wants, and his first steps are the earliest of any of our kids so far, so maybe it’ll be a while before he really starts doing it. But knowing that he can do it, we keep trying to help him do it more. It’ll be great for him because he’ll be able to keep up with his brothers better (much to their consternation, I’m sure).

Griffin can climb up on things like couches. A while back I started propping him up on couches when giving him bottles (we cut out his 11:00 bottle by the way, and switched to regular milk a week or so ago) and when he’s done he gets down from them just fine. He can do steps, too.

As with all my children, he watches Baby Einstein videos to help learn sign language. We’ve been working with him on “more,” and he’ll do it sometimes, but it’s not yet ingrained.

He’s definitely vocalizing a lot more. For a while now everything has been “Uh oh.” When he drops or throws something and says that, I like to point out to him, “That’s not ‘uh oh,’ silly baby; you did that on purpose.”

I think he also tries to say “bye” and definitely will wave to people. He might try to say “Mama” sometimes, but it’s hard to tell if he’s saying that or just making noises.

Griffin loves putting his wrist over his mouth and waving his hand to make a “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba” noice.

He’s sleeping better, although he had a few nights recently where he woke up, but we attributed that to the two new teeth he’s got coming in.

By and large he’s still just a very happy baby with a beautiful and easy-to-get smile.

Happy birthday, Babiest Baby!