Things I’ve learned

It’s funny. We still get asked, “How do you do it?!” incredulously by anyone and everyone we know. Honestly? We just do. There’s not really another option is there? Shy of getting a bazillion dollar a year job and hiring nannies and housekeepers galore?

But it made me think… What’s so different? Really?

1) You have to let the small things slide. For example, it’s time to start potty training. Your daughter wants Mickey Mouse underwear. You can
a) get the boys underwear
b) try to convince her Minnie Mouse is just as cool
With the first kid? I tried to stay gender specific for everything. When trying to potty train three at once? You can wear anything you want as long as it stays dry. I. Don’t. Care.

2) On that same note, your daughters train faster than you expected, leaving an abundance of pink pull ups behind. You can:
a) Throw them away/donate
b) Try to exchange them
c) Let boy child wear them. Because, really, no one else will see them anyways.
Let’s just say Jacen loves Minnie and Ariel as much as he does Mater and Lightning, and it works for me.

3) You learn to pick your battles. Snow boots in the 70 degree weather with a sundress? Go for it. You want to wear two hats? Be my guest. Not. Worth. The. Fight.


4) Toys can be used in any matter they want. As long as it’s not endangering others. You want to use that badmitten racket to hit a beach ball? Have fun. Refer back to “picking your battles.”


5) Crying happens. A lot. No, I don’t always intervene. They learn to fight to get their way or how to give in. They learn when to pick their own battles. You’d be surprised what is worth it to them.

6) Two words: baby gates. They are gated in their rooms at night and I don’t see that changing till they’re old enough to get out on their own. Even then I might just get better gates.

7) No short order cooking. These kids love anything from calamari to grilled cheese. But that doesn’t mean they always eat it. They don’t get something else though. If you’re full and don’t want it, that’s fine. We don’t force a cleaned plate. We don’t force you to eat more than the number of bites you are old (to make sure you try it). But if you get hungry later? Sorry, too bad.

8) We go out in public, and do so often. They have always gone places with us. Yes it’s crazy and chaotic, but if you don’t do it you won’t know whether they (or you) can handle it. How can they get better at it if you never try?

9) Coffee.

10) Beer.

(Or wine.. Whichever is more accessible)

Second year wrap up

Since I will likely forget to do this in two weeks (how did that happen?!), I figured I would do a two year wrap up real quick.

I thought one two year old was… Challenging. And amazing. But mostly challenging. They learn to argue, to disagree, and how to be opinionated. But they also learn sharing and co-play, and how to cuddle and have fun WITH you rather than just at the same time as you.

With three of them? It’s even more entertaining. They try to boss each other around (which doesn’t work well… Let’s go back to the “opinionated” and “argumentative” statement).

Take this for example.

Jaina stole the Mickey Mouse MobiGo game. And they ran around the house fighting over it for half an hour. To the point they were so exhausted Jaina fell asleep. With the game still firmly in her grasp behind her back.

The girls are fully potty trained. Unfortunately with the ability to go to the bathroom solo comes the ability to completely strip naked solo. Sorry, those pictures won’t be taken or posted!

Jacen has decided that Aiden is the coolest kid in the world and imitates his every action (for better or for worse).


Valerie is a parrot- she will repeat anything and everything she hears (for better or for worse).

Overall, we’ve survived, and most importantly so have they. They will arrive in their fourth home on their third birthday (not counting the NICU or Fisher House!), have travelled cross country in 8 days via car, flown 5000+ miles, lived in three time zones, and had more experiences than kids twice their age. Whatever you want to say about this transient military life, it’s never boring, and they are thriving, which is what matters most! How many kids do you know will have experienced snow and beaches, planes and road trips, and visited so many amazing national parks and museums in their first three years?


Getting too big!

We played our first board game tonight (courtesy of an amazing family friend).

When did the littles (can’t even pretend and call them babies anymore) get so big?!


And in a side project I’m finally putting my Cricut cutter to good use and getting crafty. Beach drink holders all set and ready for the sun!


Hello/Goodbye/Hello again

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.

Can’t really get a better view than this.

Aiden was bribed into his first bite but quickly developed a (expensive) taste for it. Val joined in soon after!


We were excited to get two of the kids to share (though that meant less lobster for me!)


Road trip!


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.


Val wanted nothing to do with the group shot and insisted on a private photo op.

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!


Courtesy of a kind passer-by I got a new family photo! It’s not often we get 6 sets of eyes looking at the camera!




Angel Gowns

If you want to save some time and backstory you can click over to this (more eloquently written) blog to hear her story.

As a multiples parent, we always knew that we would 99% likely face NICU time. We also knew if we didn’t hit certain milestones (first 24 weeks, then 28 weeks, then 32 weeks) that our outcome could vary from the 100% success that we had to something much more dismal and hard to think of.

We saw those families while in the NICU. We were lucky enough to only have one baby on the moderately intensive side for a few days. Otherwise we were “feeders and growers.” They just had to learn to eat and keep their temp up and we could go home. We had neighbors (including my last roommate) in the closed off isolation rooms on the end for the weakest of preemies. We saw babies “code” (either stop breathing or heart rate drop) more times than I’d like to think about.

What I want to share with you today, is this. The Angel Gown program. An amazing organization called NICU Helping Hands works with NICU families providing resources for those in need. One thing that most people don’t think of is: What does one bury their infant who died without ever having left the hospital?

Here is the answer: and Angel Gown. Made from donated wedding gowns, these fabulous (and entirely volunteer) seamstresses make 10-12 gowns for those babies who need them. They are completely free of charge to the families and can be sent to anyone who needs one, you just have to ask.

Almost 9 years ago, I was married in the most beautiful gown I could find. I felt radiant and that hope and love and joy, I hope, is still preserved in that dress. As a mom, you have a fleeting image of your daughter wearing your gown, but we all know that rarely happens. 20+ years from now it will be far out of fashion and at the most will have been a dress up toy for them as children. That gown has been safely preserved an stored for 9 years now. It has traveled 6 states and completed two cross country moves.

These Angel babies will never come home, the least they deserve is a gorgeous gown. I hope the families who receive the gowns made from my dress have a fleeting glimpse of the happiness it knew as a bridal gown and the love and prayers it now covers their child in. If you have a gown, whether it has sat on a shelf for weeks or months or years, please consider donating. Sadly there are many more Angel Gowns needed than there are bridal gowns to make them from. Please visit their website at for more information and the address to mail to. If you don’t have a gown, consider making a donation to cover the costs this project accumulates.

On the move again??

So, the Hunt family has been here in the northeast for about 5 months and we have tried to cram in as much as possible as we had no idea coming into this where we would be moving come May when the training ends.

Well, we finally got word where we’re headed. Aloha to Sunshine, Mai Tais, and flip flops!!

With this news, we’re trying to hit up the last places around. This weekend was Providence Children’s Museum and the Union Station Brewery!

Unfortunately, this means that I won’t be able to run the Marine Corps Marathon again this year. On the bright side, my sister in law is going to take my spot and run it for me! We’re still going to support the Fisher House in this effort, just me from the Honolulu marathon in December and her at MCM in October!!





Big Brother

It’s been 6 years.

6 years since he came into this world.

6 years since we went from a couple to a family.

6 years ago this amazing little man was born.


He has changed our lives in so many ways. Taught me more about patience than I ever thought possible. He is showing me how to see life in a slightly different way from how I’ve always viewed it.

I remember turning 6. How cool it was that when people asked how old I was I had to hold up TWO hands. He appreciates the same thing.



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