Day 2

One more day down! Highlights of the day…


We passed 4 national parks/monuments that we couldn’t go to (thankfully they weren’t on the agenda or I’d be more upset).

But the best part? Crossing into our third state of the trip, a new time zone, and realizing how awesome the Air Force is in taking care of its’ families. Our TLF (temporary living facility) is a 3 bdrm house bigger than ours in CA was, for $63/night (making it cheaper too). There’s a minimart 24/7 with more alcohol than even a parent of multiples needs. And running paths as far as the eye can see. 😉

Miles traveled: 536
States traveled: CA, AZ, NM

Day 1 (on the road)

Well, one day down! We have survived a long one to get *almost* to the border of California. Not sure if it’s irony or just coincidence, but we drove on the interstate parallel to Route 66 today, passed a Mack truck while driving a mini van, and got lost on a turnaround (to which I replied to Aiden, “We’re not lost! I using the GPS!” when asked). All while watching “Cars.”

I wish I could say this was day 1 of travel entirely, but we started hotel living 8 days ago now. Yes, it was WAY better than living amid boxes in a cramped space, but definitely not ideal. It could have been worse though! Glad to be on the way to the Northeast and our eventual home for the Navy-has-yet-to-determine-length-of-time.



Miles traveled today: 496



As happens so often, we leave a place right as we’re starting to get used to it. And we always find one or two last things that we hadn’t managed to get around to while in that place, that we say “Man, why didn’t we do this more while we were here?!”

Beach bonfires are definitely on that list. Granted, I’m not sure we would have enjoyed them a month ago, much less a year ago. The kids are finally self sufficient enough that we can let them run and play on the beach and since it was so big there was no fear of them making it to the water. It was great to hang out with a couple of friends that are also leaving this quarter.

They fully enjoyed running and having freedom. There was a huge set of stairs to get down to the beach and we realized… these kids haven’t really ever done stairs by themselves (not more than one or two, anyways). That’s definitely going to be a learning point when (if) we move into a 2 story house!


We made Davey Crockett bars for the party. Essentially, they are yummy chocolate chip oatmeal cookie goodiness, but when you’re trying to clean out a panty you have to make do. So white chocolate and cherry morsels it was! They actually ended up surprisingly good even with that change, but a little sweeter than normal. Jacen didn’t mind though…



Aiden was enjoying showing the babies around and exploring. They found a cool drain pipe that we were glad wasn’t ground level or we were sure they might have crawled away in it.


The girls decided to play chase. Unfortunately they didn’t want to take the picture the way I wanted, but it worked!


Mountain climbing was also a favorite activity. Turns out that when the mountain is a sand dune, though, it’s not as easy to climb you’d think.


And Aiden practiced his snow angels for when we move. Sand, snow, same thing!


As much fun as it was, I’m glad that we didn’t try it a while ago or we probably wouldn’t have had such a fond memory. They avoided the fire, listened (fairly) well, and had a lot of fun. We were sandy and tired out after and they were asleep before we made it out of the parking lot. Fond memories of Monterey!

Military life and friends

Sometimes it astounds me the close relationships and friendships that resound in the military community. We arrive in an area, make lifetime friends within weeks (who we hang out with as if we’d known them forever), and a couple of short years later we move on. Sometimes we keep in touch daily (THANKS Facebook!), sometimes weekly, sometimes it’s months on end before we talk. But when we do, it is immediately like they still live or work right next door, and we haven’t spent a day away.

We just were blessed with such a reunion last week with a dear friend from Washington. The funny thing is, we knew him for less than 4 weeks up there. Had never actually met his family (though had heard of them and read their blog so I felt like we “knew” them a little bit). He was one of our NICU nurses. I remember bonding over quoting Princess Bride at, I believe, 3 am (or so) one day. I remember his personality and gentleness with the babies. And his true love for his job and the little tiny infants in his care.


The last time he saw the babies!

We kept in touch. An email here. A Christmas card there. A phone call to the NICU around significant dates in their lives and/or holidays. And then they decided to go on a family vacation. And it conveniently was to the area where we live. I was ecstatic. Jumped for joy. Literally. Pretty sure I scared my husband when I shrieked after hearing they were coming here. And got excited. And then waited. And waited.

Well, they visited last week. It was absolutely a joy to meet them. Part of the fun is that the babies are 2 now. He got to see them with personalities (temper tantrums and melt downs included). And since they have 6 kids of their own (only 2 came), I didn’t feel as stressed about the chaos that is our lives with them witnessing! We did amazing things. The aquarium, and with the extra help (his children are a delight) the babies got to REALLY experience it. They walked. They explored. They touched the animals in the touch pools. There was a 1:1 ratio (or more) at all times. How cool is that?! Aiden got to hang out with an awesome teenage big brother, and you could see it in his temperment and personality that he was enjoying having an older kid to look up to. Their youngest was so gentle and sweet with all of the kids, and they absolutely loved having a big sister to play with.


It was funny, having visitors means you go and do things you haven’t yet. Even though you’ve been somewhere for 2 years. We found the Carmel Mission (very not-stroller-friendly) and were able to really enjoy it with the extra hands. I had a “proud parent” moment when we walked into the mission (granted, only the gift shop so far) and Aiden looked at me and asked, “Mommy, is this God’s place?” Why yes, my dear child. Yes it is.


Fr. Serra’s tomb at the Carmel Mission

We laughed. We toured. I’m pretty sure there was crying and screaming (normally due to the lack of a toy, or a stolen toy, or a mean parent who forced them to put clean clothes on…), but his whole family took it in stride. It was such a blessing. And if we can keep in touch and stay friends a thousand miles and two years later, what’s a silly little move to the Northeast? It’s just a few more miles the emails/texts/phone calls have to travel!

Two years ago (yesterday)

Life changed. And not in that simple way of “Oh, look, we got a puppy dog!” or “Oh wow, we got a new car!” But in that completely insanely way where you go from thinking, “WOW, we might have two kids!” to “Holy S&@*! How did that happen!?”

This is what we saw:


And by “we,” I mean me, the doctor, two nurses, and Aiden.

Steven got to hear about it from the submarine captain.

In the Navy, there are people who will come and go in and out of your lives. There are the coworkers who you remember fondly. The shipmates who you are glad transferred quickly. The shipmates you’re glad to transfer away from. Some bosses you like, others not so much. Just like in the civilian world. But, just like any major news-worth event, you will always remember certain people for something that happened while they were on watch or held a certain position. I will never, ever, ever, forget our ombudsman and CO’s wife.

Normally, when one finds out they’re pregnant, the first person to find out (other than them), is a best girl friend or husband or mom/mother in law. In the Navy? The first phone call was to the Ombudsman. They are a wife’s best friend during a deployment – they have the contact info for the boat, they are your liason, your lifeline to your husband while he’s gone. When her phone went to voicemail, I left a hurried message that I’m pretty sure sounded like someone had died been shot been run over by a car gotten lost something really bad had happened. The next call? CO’s wife. For if there was ANYONE that the CO would call should they be able to, other than the ombudsman, I figured it’d be her. Or at the very least maybe she was with the Ombudsman and could have her call me. Or call the powers that be. Or ANYTHING.  In this case? They were my lifeline to make sure my husband found out quickly and didn’t have to read it in that night’s email (which likely would have been screened and blocked anyways).

Now? Thousands of miles separate us; weeks go without talking/face-booking/emailing. But never, ever, will I forget those ladies. Or January 7, 2011.

2012: A year in review

2012 was a pretty darn good year, I’d say.

It featured a lot of stability, which was a blessing and nice surprise in the Navy life. It’s not often that we go an entire calendar year in the same house, with no orders or changes to current orders, with a husband who was home EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of the year (except for a day or two at the Rose Bowl, but I’ll forgive that!).

The year started with us having a 3 year old and three 6 month olds. Big brother didn’t know his alphabet, couldn’t read numbers (though he could count pretty well), and was a little toddler still in his mama’s eyes. The babies? Well, they still stayed where we put them, and ate pureed food and drank from bottles that we mostly had to hold for them.


One year later, we have three babies who walk, run, and climb their way around the house. A big brother who counts, sings, runs, plays, and is more of a boy than a baby now. We hear sweet little voices all day long as they talk to each other and us (or yell, or scream, or cry… but that’s a topic for another post). Big brother takes an active role in helping them (sometimes too active). We have children that I can refer to less and less as “babies” and more and more as toddlers and kids. It’s kind of scary!


Last year I pledged to finally recommit to running in earnest. And I did. Sort of. I definitely accomplished more this year than ever before. My first triathlon. My first road race. My first of many post-babies half marathons. Faster. Stronger. But I was still a bit lackadaisical with it all. Why bother training for a half? I’ve done 6 before! Well, let me tell you, a triplet pregnancy later, and having been up with children in the night before, leads to a half marathon taking more effort than it has in the past. But we made it. Steven and I survived our first half together. And we can only do better next time!


This year? We’re ready. Bring it on. January is starting out right with a trip to Disney (Remember, kids under 2 are free. When half of your family turns 2 in just a few short months, better go now while it costs half as much!). February brings big boy turning 5. FIVE. HOLY CRAP HE’S TURNING FIVE. That’s like… a whole hand. Seriously. How did that happen?!?! March brings the big 3-0 for a certain daddy in this house. April? Submarine birthday ball. I think I’ve already planned more for it than was done by March last year. Thank God for that! Olympic triathlon in May? Scheduled. June? Three little ones have a sweet little birthday. July? Our last school break before daddy finishes school here and we head on the road to who knows where. August? Kindergarten. Need I say more?? September? Graduation from NPS. Marathon in October? Hopefully, depending on orders and what happens (welcome to the real Navy again!). November? Hopefully we’ll be settled in a house that is bigger than the one we’re in, or at the very least isn’t any smaller. And December? Goodness, another year, another Christmas, another 365 days without deployments.

How can it get any better than that?!

One year ago

We were on the road. With three newborn babies. Driving over a thousand miles from WA to CA to begin the next part of our military journey.
I cannot believe we’ve been here over a year. I cannot believe that the babies have been with us for over a year. I cannot believe they were every this small.

imageI tried putting them in a friends’ infant carseat the other day and yeah… let’s just say that it didn’t exactly fit!

The drive itself was manageable. Best part of having 6 week olds? All they do is sleep. And eat. And then sleep some more. So it was 2-3 hours of driving, stop to feed babies, drive some more. I remember stopping at a rest stop around 2 am thinking that if we could just get all the way to Monterey we would sleep for a week at that rate. But it sure beat dragging out two suitcases, portable baby beds, and all the other stuff that comes with having children at a hotel!

And then there is always the fun of staying in a hotel! At least back then they stayed on the bed where you put them!

Packing out in a new house with four children is a lot of fun. Boxes are the best (and cheapest) toy that you will ever find.

As much as people look incredulously when we say that we moved with 6 week old triplet infants who had been out of the NICU for less than two weeks and were still nursing every 3 hours on the dot and a 4 year old… okay, now that I put it that way, it does sound a *tad* insane… I just laugh at them. Because, really, what other move will I ever have where I can put three of my children in carseats buckled in and keep them out of the way, and have a child who enjoys unpacking boxes and putting things away for me, and is still too shy to run out the door while it’s open?? Wish me luck next time. I think with a 6 yr old and three 2 year olds I’ll laugh and look back thinking triplet infants was easy!


It’s 4/20 and you know what that means? No, no, get your head out of the gutter. Not THAT.

It’s the anniversary of my husbands commissioning into the US Navy. It’s been 5 years now.

In that five years:
~We have lived in 4 states (not counting the one we left to join the Navy).
~We have birthed 4 children.
~We have gone through 3 years of sea duty and over 18 months of separation.

But we are lucky.

He did not miss a single birth of our children.

He has not missed any major life-altering events (minus an ultrasound, but, hey, that phone call to the Ombudsman to tell that there were THREE babies makes for a GREAT story).

The separations make the time together all the more important. In the two years we lived in Ohio, we never LIVED as much as we do now. We take every opportunity possible to travel and make memories as a family, knowing that there will be times that we cannot.

We have survived 5 years. Here’s to the future, the adventures to come, and who knows where it’ll take us!

(Subball 2011)