Friday, May 29, 2009


In the movie Overboard Kirt Russel comes home to find Goldie Hawn completely overwhelmed by motherhood and homemaking. She is sitting in a chair, mumbling "baa baa baa" over and over. I was pretty sure that was how Adam was going to find me when he got home from work tonight. It may have been thus, if Gram hadn't called and invited my kids to play in her back yard and insisted that I go for a walk. As I walked along the path lined by giant Cottonwood trees who are shedding little bits of "cotton" right now, I was struck by the beauty of the evening. I thought about the events of the day:

A much anticipated trip to the zoo to ride the train.  The girls had earned "tickets" by doing morning chores for 7 days in a row about two months ago and as a reward they wanted to ride the zoo train.  It has taken me this long to make good on that deal.
I'd been putting off writing "thank you" cards because in my mind it was a monumental task.  "Take a nap while the baby is sleeping and the girls watch a movie, or write, address, stamp, mail the 'thank you' cards?" I would ask myself.  I find that I say this a lot.  "Sleep or vacuum, mop, clean bathrooms?" or "Sleep or exercise?" or "Sleep or Spiritual nourishment?"  I wish I could fit it all in, but I've got four kids who all seem to be clamoring for my attention these days.  While I was trying to finish up the "thank you" cards this afternoon Sierra and Kaia were bombarding me with all sorts of requests.  "Make a modest swimsuit for my Barbie!" Kaia demanded for the 100th time (my attempt to wrap ribbon around said Barbie had failed).  "Read me another chapter of Fablehaven," Sierra begged.  "Can we hold the baby?" they both repeated insistently.  Finally I kicked them both out of my room and told them to find "a new activity" (have you heard the comedian Brian Regan use that line?).  I thought they would go into the kitchen and make a big, huge mess.  Which they did--involving peanut butter, chocolate chips and raisins.  But they also made their own "thank you" cards and addressed them to me.  This is what Sierra's looked like: 

I told her I would keep it forever.  And I will, just in picture/blog format.  They surprise me with their thoughtfulness everyday (right after they surprise me with how much they can bicker, argue and fight).  I love my kids.


I heart Boulder, Colorado. I really wanted to go there while my MIL, Le Anne, was here. It kept getting put off until the day before she left I insisted that we get up there. That was Monday, the same day the BolderBoulder Marathon took place, the same day the Boulder Creek festival was happening, and the same day it decided to pour cats and dogs. Traffic was horrible, but we managed to find a parking spot and get to the festival just as the rain clouds opened up. But in typical Colorado style, the rain didn't last long and soon the sun was shinning.
There was a wild life exhibit (indoor) at the festival with moving animals to boot.
Here is the clan as the rain started to let up.  Kaia is munching on a free sample from The Melting Pot, chocolate with strawberries and angel food cake.  Yum.  We stocked up on all the free samples, just like a Saturday in Costco.
Here is Le Anne protecting Ruby from the rain.
We were all impressed with this tent in a trailer.  But this is about the point where I noticed my sandals were rubbing my feet so much that they were bleeding and I was finished with the festivities.
Here we had a nice family picnic overlooking the Flatirons.  A few moments later Tristan found a big ant pile to stand in and experienced his first red ant attack.  Poor little guy.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Joy School Graduation

Kaia graduated from Joy School on Friday.  Here is the graduating class led in march and song by Joy herself.
ErynShae, Neveah, Cooper, Kylie, Emily, and Kaia. 

The graduates and their Moms (the teachers).

Don't be fooled.  Under this grumpy facade she is bursting with joy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pictures from last week

Ahhhh, nap time.  Kaia is on an every-other-day nap schedule.  She usually gets woken up by the little squeaker and when I return to the bedroom I find her happily holding and singing to Ruby.
Sierra and I got into a few arguments yesterday.  She ended up with a double punishment (sent to her room and not being allowed to run through the sprinkler) and took this picture of herself to document her sadness.
Tristan was helping Grandma Danna in the kitchen.  He does not like loud noises and the 4-horse power blender is very loud.  Grandma made "alligator shakes" with fruits and vegis and Tristan loved it.
Our first family picture with four kids.  Just so happened to be a beautiful sunset that night.
Ruby is one week old!
Grandma Danna has been here to give all our kids their first home bath.  Ruby loved it.

Tristan wore his "Lederhosen" to church on Sunday and was a big hit.
Ruby has very flexible feet.
Grandma Shelli and Ruby (notice the pile of laundry in the background, that is only half of the baby clothes Le Anne brought down from WA for Ruby).
Sierra's Field Day at Tarver Elementary.  She jumped rope 18 times and was very proud of herself.  I think she's been practicing her jump rope skills every day since.  Dad, Kaia, Tristan, and Grandma Danna were there cheering her on.  I remember lots of ribbons on Field Day, but I guess ribbons have been cut out of the budget.  No first prize winners anymore, everyone is a winner.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Almost Wrote Something Spiritual & Intellectual

During nap time I read a profound speech by Merrill J. Bateman given at BYU January 5th, 1999 (see HERE).  I was on the verge of expounding on my thoughts and feelings, but nap time has abruptly ended.  

For anyone who read Eric Snider from the BYU paper and who loves Ben Folds Five should see HERE (aka Lorie).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Birth Story

So after this, Adam and I were off to the hospital. Contractions slowed down while riding in the car so we stopped off at McDonalds for breakfast (a rare treat for me). By the time we got to the hospital contractions were probably back to 10 minutes apart and wimpy wimpy. We walked into "the starting place" (as the sign said) and no one was there. We walked back into a nice lobby area with a tv, couches, birthing balls, bathrooms, etc. No one bothered us in there and I had everything I needed. But after about 30 minutes with no progress in contractions I told Adam we needed to leave the hospital and go for a walk. We moved the car to a long-term parking area and all the while Adam was trying to convince me that we should go to a movie. He even started looking up movie times and locations on his phone. Wolverine was playing at 12:30 p.m., but at this point it was only 10:30 a.m. I knew I wasn't going to make it that long and ignored his silly idea. Instead we walked through a historic neighborhood just north of the hospital. We held hands, we looked at the beautiful gardens and houses, he made me laugh a lot (like when I would complain about how small and weak my contractions were he'd say, "You mean it is just a baby contraction?" and then laugh at his own joke). I really have to say it is one of my favorite memories I have of Adam and I together, that 30 minute walk before our forth baby was born. We got back to the hospital, bought a whole wheat bagel from the cafe, and contractions started to pick up. It was a really busy day at St. Joseph's Labor and Delivery. Nurses and receptionists were in a flurry. Some attributed the rush to a change in the weather or cycles of the moon. At any rate they ended up having twenty two births on May 11th when normally they have less than ten. After check in my midwife found me to be dilated to a 5 and said I could stay. They moved me to the most wonderful birthing room with a giant jacuzzi, state of the art bed, and leaves imprinted into the ceiling tiles. Adam and the nurse filled up the tub and I can't ever remember being more comfortable (in between contractions, that is). I really mean it. Something about hot water and the massaging jets put me totally at ease. A few months ago I was considering hiring a doula for this birth. In the end I told Adam, "You will just have to be my doula. Your job is to put hot washcloths with drops of lemon oil on the back of my neck and to give massages." He didn't protest and even picked up a little bottle of lemon oil for me. Well, while I was in the tub he came in and dropped a dozen or so drops of lemon oil in the water. At first I thought this was a great idea, it smelled so wonderful, then my skin started to burn like it was on fire. It really hurt everywhere the oil touched my skin. I tried to ignore it and keep on enjoying my bath, but after a few minutes I knew I needed to stand up and try to soap off my skin. I kept telling myself, "You just needed some variety to your pain. This is a good distraction from your contractions which are getting stronger and stronger." Nonetheless, it was so very hard for me to get out of that tub. Adam felt really bad about the lemon oil problem. He dumped some on his arm to see if he would have the same reaction, but he never did. After about 20 minutes my skin stopped burning. Both the nurse and the midwife came in and said, "Didn't you enjoy your bath? Why did you get out so soon?" I resisted the urge to point at Adam and say, "I loved that bath but HE ruined it by pouring in oil that burned my skin off!" After the bath I was at an 8 and things moved pretty quickly from there. Transition from an 8 to a 10 was pretty rough, in fact I don't want to think about it (let me just say I'm so grateful for Hypnobirthing and all the mental & physical prep I put into this birth). Pushing was short but painful and I don't want to think about that either. But THEN, before I knew it I was holding my perfect little Ruby in my arms and saying "thank you thank you" over and over. Thank you to her, thank you to the nurses, thank you to my Heavenly Father that I didn't die, etc. My mom and siblings came to visit about 30 minutes after the birth.  Adam left at about 7:30 and Ruby and I were on our own for our first night.  It was a good one, I'd say.  Ruby is a natural at nursing and you just can't ask for much more than that in a baby.  Adam brought Kaia and Tristan with him to pick up Ruby and I while Sierra was in school. I'll never forget Kaia's wonderful reaction to her new sister. She just held her and sang to her and loved her right up. Tristan was more excited to see me, but also happy enough to meet Ruby (that morning Adam said to Tristan, "We are going to the hospital today to bring baby Ruby home." Tristan's reply was, "And mommy?") After 24 hours in the hospital, filled with interruptions and surveys, blood draws and room service, we were on our way home. Everyone seems to be adjusting so well. Tristan hasn't acted jealous at all. In fact, he has turned into an eager napper suddenly. Ruby's presence must make him sleepy. Sierra and Kaia are constantly at war about whose turn it is to hold Ruby and who has held her the longest. Adam's mom is here for two weeks to help. I can't say enough good things about her. She currently has the house rearranged and torn apart in an organizational effort. She and Adam had great success at a garage sale this morning (found a really nice dresser, a baby pack, a pack-n-play, clothes, etc) and now she's moving dressers all around the house. I'm delighted about it. Mostly because she tells me to go rest and she'll take care of everything. And she does. I'm on cloud 9 with nursing hormones, my beautiful baby, and my wonderful family.


Kaia: (running down the hallway, chasing her Dad, using a sing-song, teasing voice) "Dad, you smell like 'one two'."
Adam: (looking at Mindi with questioning eyebrows)
Mindi: "Kaia, what is 'one two' and what does it smell like?"
Kaia: (whispering to Mindi) "In the movie Madagascar they say 'You look like a monkey and you smell like one too."
Mindi: (laughing till she cries)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ruby Video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!

A video is in the works, I just couldn't not post a few pictures tonight.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here we go!

I was awakened by contractions this morning at 1:30 a.m. I tried to stay in bed as long as I could but at 2:30 I decided to get up and watch a movie. I made it about half way through "The Secret Life of Bees" (a movie I've been trying to find time to watch for a very long time) when I noticed contractions were starting to slow down. I went back to bed and was able to sleep on and off because the contractions were coming 10 to 20 minutes apart. Now it is almost 8 a.m. and the contractions still aren't as regular and as close together as I'd like them to be before making the trip to the hospital. I just spoke to the midwife and she said, "You've been having contractions for 6 hours? Are you planning to do this natural?" "Yes", I replied. "Oh, that's why you've waited so long. When do you plan on leaving for the hospital." "In the next few hours," I said. When I told her this was my fourth she didn't give me any trouble and just said to come on down when I think it is time. I'm going to have Adam get the kids dressed, Sierra's backpack ready for school, and heard them over to Gram and Pop. Then we are off. Keep us in your prayers!

Mother's Day and EDDs

I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Lots of talks at church that made me tear up and feel very, very grateful to be a mother (and certainly feel more love and gratitude for my own mother and grandmothers).  We met at my mom's house for a nice little evening party.  Pictured above: my mom, me, Grandma Judy, and my aunt Debbie. Missing from the photo and party was dear, dear Gram. She's been suffering with back pain for months now, poor Gram (we really missed you!).
Here I am on my EDD (estimated due date) with no signs of labor.
I thought it would be good to show off the men in our lives, too.  Pictured here: Mike (aunt Debbie's new beau), Adam, my Dad, and Grandpa Dave).
Adam made this wonderful window frame for me for Mother's Day.  He tracked down the girl I know who does vinyl lettering and had the sign made up, painted the window frame, dug out any and all pictures of us in front of a Temple and made copies.  He is amazing.  The other morning he woke up and whispered "I love you".  My heart was full and I replied, "I know you do, and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Birthdays and Soccer Games

We had a birthday party for my wonderful sister, Janelle, last Wednesday.  Her birthday isn't until the 14th, but I hope to be busy with a brand new baby by then so we had an early party.
Here is Sierra helping Dad build our garden boxes.  He was able to finish them on Saturday night with Miguel's help.  Once we get them all filled with dirt and plants I'll take pictures.  I'm so proud of him and so excited about the garden.

Our Saturdays are ruled by soccer games.  Adam tries his best to be there, but 80% of the time it is all me loading the snacks and supplies, trying to entertain the two kids who are not playing, making the monumental effort to be there on time, etc.  After chasing Tristan off the field for the 5th time (imagine pregnant mom, taking on the cell phone, chasing speedy two-year-old through the middle of the game...embarrassing) I was thinking of giving up the whole sports-for-kids idea.  But then Adam was talking about some of the boys in his Young Mens group who had no athletic ability at all.  He convinced me that it was much better to make the effort to see that our kids are in sports, not just so that they are athletic but so that they have something worthwhile to do on Saturdays when they are teenagers.  I see the point and I will continue to support my "team".

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

I was talking to a Mom of a kid in Sierra's Kindergarten class a few weeks ago about my upcoming due date.  She said her son was born on May 5th and that it is a very crowded day in labor and delivery.  She said something about all the celebrating sends women into labor.  She even had to labor in a janitors closet in the hospital until a room opened up for her to deliver in because the hospital was so busy.  "Well", I thought to myself, "I better have a Cinco de Mayo party and see if I can join the throngs of women in the hospital."  So I invited over our home and visiting teaching families to ensure that visit would be taken care of before I went into labor.  We had the Andersons and the Olsons (Bennetts + Andersons + Olsons = 9 children) and it was so much fun.  Our friend, Miguel, who is from Mexico and is now living with us, cooked up some yummy carnitas.  Joy brought Cafe Rio style chicken burritos with all the fixin's and Brandie brought a seven layer dip and chocolate cake.  
                                              Adam setting up the pinata.
          Adam, Miguel, and Little Chef Tristan working on the carnitas.
                                                            The shorties.

     Sierra stuffed all the candy she could into her shirt.  She is a candy hog.

                                           Kaia's buddies: Neveah & Cooper.

So now it is May 6th and I'm still pregnant.  Since this baby didn't go for having the exciting Cinco de Mayo birthday, I'm now telling her she has to wait until Sunday or Monday to arrive so that we can finish our Square Foot Garden this weekend.  I'm sure she'll oblige. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Laughing with Sierra (or at her)

Keeping with the Sunday morning tradition, I piled all the kids into bed with Adam this morning. I noticed when I lifted Sierra off her pillow there was a big droll spot thereon.  Half way to my room she wakes up enough to say, "Who was licking my face?"  I was laughing so hard it took me a few seconds before I could explain to Adam what happened.