As if she didn’t have enough going on, we decided Jennifer Hulick needed to add a bit more to her plate and tagged her as our new Social Media Mama. What’s it like to raise a very full house of two teens, triplet kindergarteners, husband and boxer-mix Marley?
“We’re busy, but that’s how I grew up – we had a big family and were always on the go. On Sundays, we spend time as an extended family at my parents’ in Huntington Beach. We’re all no more than a bike ride away, which is great. The kids all play in the pool, the guys hang around the barbecue and we sit and chat and enjoy the day. 14 grandkids means lots of cousins to play with, they love it. Family time and making memories is what life is all about.”
Having natural identical triplets is special enough (odds are between 1 and 200 million to one). But if you look very carefully at those big blue eyes on our cover, you might recognize the boys from their occasional work on commercials, including a very popular spot where a dad sending a baby photo from his phone to grandma resulted in a cross country whoosh of said baby over mountains and through deserts, dodging semi’s in an infant walker.
“When they were first born we said, oh we’re not going to do any of that, especially when they’re so small. We started getting approached when they were three days old and just out of NICU! But we had friends and family that had positive experiences doing commercials, so when we got approached again by an OC agency when the boys were coming up on one, we decided to give it a try. We are 100% against doing a television show or anything time intensive. It’s just too much. And we have two older kids who deserve a family setting.”
Identical mulitiples are often sought after for acting roles and appearances, as the strict labor laws governing child actors demand such minimal daily shooting time that in order to get things done on set, some level of kid-swapping needs to be done. During that one short Hewlett Packard commercial, all three of the boys are featured within the final 30-60 second spot (easily picked out by Jennifer, though we’d be hard pressed to see it!)
“We went into it with a firm thought that we’re going to do this strictly for their college funds. We have sports and school and church and all those things are very important to us. But we have five kids and with the three of them going to be hitting that stage at the same time, we needed to prepare while they were little. We could do it then without them really even being aware of it.”
The Hulick boys did five other commercials, including a V8 commercial with Jackie Chan.
“Life got busy, so we haven’t done anything for a few years, but we’re just now looking at doing a few more. They’re fun to do, my mom goes with me and it’s just a fun day or two of filming. The boys have their own trailer– they are totally catered for the day which is cute — there’s fancy food and we get to watch and honestly, we’re so appreciative. We’re very far from stage moms”, Hulick laughs. We’re just so appreciative we got picked and to be there! So many kids go, and we’ve been really lucky and blessed to get the opportunities we have. One commercial for a cell phone company was modeled after the ‘old woman who lived in a shoe’ and they were three of her many children on a set filled with toys and petting zoo animals. They just played all day with the other kids — they thought they had landed at a carnival!”
As if being mom to five kids, including three potentially budding superstars about to go into first grade, isn’t enough to fill her days, this former event planner shares her passion for retro upcycled and vintage shabby-chic styling in a quarterly market called Behind the Picket Fence, which she founded and organizes. Hulick stayed home with the boys until they entered kindergarten, picking up side cash here and there by perusing such items and reselling them. Once they were in school, she ramped up her networking and saw an opportunity to make some “fun money” for her family from her once-hobby.
Her business has now grown to a waitlisted 65-vendor quarterly event, which she curates through an application process to ensure the quality of the items were of the right quality. Live “Roaring 20’s” music plays and she hosts the fun day, meeting many of her social media connections, and covering the family’s vacation fund, pricy athletics fees (like her 14-year-old’s football), bikes and other fun activities.
If you need to pick up something for Mom, or want to drop some serious hints for your own partners and kids, Hulick’s next Behind the Picket Fence event is perfectly timed for Saturday May 7 at Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa. If you miss Hulick there, you will have plenty of opportunity to say hello and chat – just come visit our Parenting OC Magazine Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to welcome our new Social Media Mama in style.