That is all.
That is all.
And, apparently I’m horrible at blog keeping. Because the last time we talked I posted pics of our trip to Japan, and now here I am posting about our trip to Korea.
That’s right. The kids have now visited their second foreign country! In February we jumped at the chance for another port call in another country and we up and left for South Korea.
Let’s just say that it was a *tad* bit colder there than in Hawaii. Like, low 30s and even 20s at night. While we might have had to buy a few new wardrobe items for the kids (didn’t quite fit into what we had from CT almost 2 years ago), it was a lot of fun to have a real winter!
Highlight of the trip, obviously, was seeing daddy!
We spent most of the trip in Busan (on the far south on the ocean) and it is an amazing town. While I never would have thought to travel to S. Korea myself, I really am glad we did and I’d consider a trip back. Mostly because the food was AMAZING. There were some fun things like the international market where you could pick your own eel or octopus for dinner (no, we didn’t partake. I like my food already cooked when I see it for the first time). Every now and then they would oblige and take a photo with me, but really they just wanted to be with dad.
Finally got another family photo!
Not too often do families have 4 kids in a restaurant in Korea, but it was so much fun to try out the different places.
This was the “Temple by the Sea” – an absolutely amazing temple. The views were fabulous and the history and architecture are just amazing.
The other amazing thing about Korea? The indoor childrens’ play places. Like this one. Hello Kitty themed, they had a ball pit, paddle boats, kids train, and so much more. And, on top of that, it’s very hands off parenting there. So you sit at your table, drink your drink (either coffee or beer/wine as you prefer), and you can check on your kids on the CCTV cameras throughout the place if you feel like it. But, mostly, you just hang out and chat with your friends while they have the time of their lives. Honestly? I kind of wish we had an adult version of this place!
Overall, we had the time of our lives. The kids were such troopers, totaling 47 miles over the 4.5 days in Busan. 47. Seriously. Think about that.
That’s what she thought about that. I think the day she fell asleep walking we’d only done about 8.5 too 😉
We spent some time the last day up in Osan (on the way to the airport we flew in and out of) and had the time of our lives with another amazing military multiples’ mom and her four kids. Suffice it to say, only another military mom with 4 kids living internationally can fully appreciate travelling with kids solo.
Wow, it’s the new year already. How in the world?
What have we been up to since I last posted? Well, a lot. Hence the not posting.
Since last time I wrote, we’ve started a new school year (2nd grade and PK), started new sports (transitioned from Karate to Bowling for A and Gymnastics for the littles), made it through a few months of a deployment, and had a couple grand adventures in the way of port calls (Japan with all of us, and Guam as a belated 10th anniversary solo trip while the kids stayed home)!
What’s that, you say? A trip to Japan with all of us? You mean that you had help on the flight, right? Well, no. And it really went amazingly well. So much I’d do it again in a heart beat. With a last minute notice of date AND location change for the port call, we packed up one suitcase with 7 days clothing each, a backpack of goodies for the plane for each kid, and me with a carryon and a giant purse and went to the military air terminal to catch a Space-Available (Space-A) flight. When I say “Space-A,” I mean exactly that. The military has flights around the world daily for mission readiness – either sailors/soldiers being transported, or supplies being delivered. If that plane has some extra room left over then they graciously allow families to take the seats (if there are any… sometimes it’s just a jump seat along the side with space on the floor to lay if you’re so inclined).
Many travelers are more experienced (or better prepared) than I and came equipped with sleeping bags, air mattresses.. you name it. For us? I had an airplane quality blanket and pillow on the ground and that was about it. But, hey, it was better than sleeping sitting up in a jumpseat, right?
So we arrived in Okinawa, Japan, and then had to make our way up to Tokyo. This involved a bit of chaos (again, with Space-A, they don’t hold planes if yours is delayed, and sometimes even if there were originally seats available they have to take them for mission reasons), but we made it on a short commercial hop up to Tokyo, and then began the real grand adventure. While I’ve taken a semester of Japanese at the college level, and I felt I was pretty good at being able to ask where I was/where I needed to go/etc, it’s a whole different world when the signs are written in kanji not kana. And, while the public transportation was amazing, we started to realize the difficulties of travelling as a party of 5 when you needed something like a Taxi. Good thing they aren’t as strict on their seatbelt laws.
So, in the end, we made it to Yokosuka, we got checked into our hotel, and the next day we found our submariner! Life was pretty good. The subways/trains got easier every time (by the end I was actually recognizing some of the kanji!) and even the kids were pretty adept at “Sumimasen” (excuse me) and “Arigatou Gozaimasu” (thank you).
“Hai, Karera wa mitsugo desu.” (Yes, they are triplets). Have you ever taken triplets to Japan? Let’s just say – Japanese tourists think they’re amazing as it is when we’re in the US. Go overseas? And you end up with a group of people wanting to take turns with you during the industrial fair.
Lots of queuing. They got pretty good at it!
Best part to the kids? Finding the My Little Pony cafe in Tokyo. Yes, it was a real thing. Apparently pop-up cafes are all the rage in Japan, and the month of November it happened to be a My Little Pony cafe. We lucked out that it was pretty close to the military hotel we dropped our bags at, too.
As for the kids? They had a blast. The trip may have been a tiring one, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Till next time, Japan!
So for actual Christmas we escape and flew to the Big Island for 5 days of wonderful family time. Lots of hiking, driving, and sightseeing later, we were sad to leave but had a lot of amazing memories.
Active Volcano viewing? Yes, please!
These kids are amazing. 4.5 miles of hiking including 400 feet down to a crater (and then 400 feet back up).
After a long day hiking we were grateful for our huge rental house with space to lay back and relax.
They managed to get two different Junior Ranger badges while there, and had a blast doing it!
Christmas Eve we made Gingerbread houses and read the Night Before Christmas.
Christmas brought more hiking at the waterfalls.
And on our way off the island we finally managed to get to the lava flow. Thankfully, it had stopped flowing towards the housing, but it also made for less exciting pictures 😉
From there it was back to home sweet
home and our wonderful toys.
12 days. That’s how long it took this time to clear the house of boxes. I’m actually quite proud of this. The best part of 4 kids is that, while you have to break up the squabbles every so often they keep each other entertained. The clutter still needs to be organized better but I’m quite happy!
Boys room (aka Star Wars explosion)
Stairwell (need to update photos too)
The kids seem to like having their rooms finished and I like that the cardboard explosion has vacated the premises. It’s a nice change to have too much wall space and not have to pick and choose wall photos.
I can’t believe I haven’t updated until now. We’re officially here in Hawaii!!
The kids did amazing on the flight, the airports, the cars, everything. I’m pretty sure they even dealt with the time change better (though they did get a nap I didn’t!).
We are settled in (as much as can be with loaner furniture) and loving life. How can anything be wrong when you’re living in paradise? It’s honestly amazing how little we actually *need* to live. I have a feeling some purging will occur as boxes get unpacked!!
The kids are all in swim class. The first day it was questionable. At least the other moms laughed with me as Valerie did everything possible to avoid the water! By day two she only cried 20 minutes and whimpered the last 10. Day 3? Seven minutes of years followed by giggles and splashing. We’ll see what day 4 brings!!!
It’s a big day tomorrow: the littles turn three, take their first plane trip, and move to an island in the pacific!
This navy move has definitely been more involved than others. Thankfully God’s got a great plan and so far it’s been the least ulcer inducing I could think of. It’s always nice when what we think is the best thing for us works out!
Thankfully between two hotels, 700 miles of driving, a rental van, and lots of chaos, they’ve done pretty well. It’s fun to see them try to figure things out, and hopefully the amazement they have of planes and airports doesn’t go away in the first hour we’re there.
As we approach 9 years of marriage and almost 8 years since Steven signed with the Navy, we have…
• Lived in 5 states (CT twice)
• Driven cross country twice as an entire family, once while Steven was deployed.
• Lived at 6 addresses
Needless to say, moving is nothing new to us (though hopefully in future years the average will get a little higher than 1.5 years per house!)
We are finishing up day two of the move and I’m at the point that if I could wave a magic wand and just make the rest of my stuff disappear, I’d be ok with it. Even Jacen says moving is exhausting.
The movers this time have been great so far, very expedient. But the results and damage report on the other end will tell the full story. Fingers crossed!
The kids are doing pretty well with it. Aiden’s finishing up his last week of kindergarten (how did that happen?!) so he misses most of the boring sitting, and the triplets have seen four different movies at least twice each. Mother of the year? Maybe.
We ended up getting a hotel a night early due to the movers being faster than I expected, and it has worked out pretty well (though I’m not sure where I’m sleeping as the kids have taken the four pillows as their own and left me with no room!!
The fun in moving so much is that you’re likely to come across those you’ve known before or places you’ve lived before. The downside is that in regions with very distinct seasons, such as the northeast, many places aren’t open year round.
Thankfully we are here this time far enough into the summer to at least get a glimpse of the amazing things RI and CT have to offer come Memorial Day!
We were here 6 years ago now (hard to believe!) and found a lot of favorite local spots. One was Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough. It is BYOB, and only offers the basics in terms of plates and utensils. Many locals make an event of it bringing plates, tablecloth, silverware, and wine/glasses for the occasion. With 4 littles we liked the simplicity and were so excited for opening weekend.
On the bright side, this is the easiest whole food to be found at a restaurant. Real lobster, real butter, an artichoke (not pictured as we devoured it so fast) for appetizer.
Is that spring time I see? Thankfully we got a bit of a respite this weekend, the winter coats have been cleaned and put away. We headed up to Newport to check out some of the outdoor sights we missed over the winter and had a blast!
It’s a rare day when they’ll all get in the picture for me! There were thankfully railings on this stretch so we were able to let them run free. We made friends with many a dog, some friendly walkers, and I’m sure amused many others.
Daddy was brave to carry a newly potty trained girl on his shoulders post 14oz milkshake. Yes, you heard me right, 2/3 are out of diapers! Only Jacen is left and I don’t mind since we’d stocked up on tons of pull ups and the girls essentially transitioned in a matter of days!