Saturday, September 30, 2006


Susie & Jamie (in Paul's Red Car)- Tucson, 1988
Happy Birthday, Susan!
(and Happy Conference, all you Mormons!)
PS: I just noticed (at 10:30pm),
"Celebrate good times, come on... There's a party goin' on right here..." Okay, that was totally unplanned, but how cool is that? And on Su's birthday! And while I am post-scripting, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW to my dear friends, Kurt &'s one of those "special" birthdays that ends with a zero for Debbie, so LIVE IT UP! You don't look a day over 29, girl, plus you get to hear from GBH on your big day! Woo-hoo!
(knowing so many cool people born this week--like LISA ROBBINS ANDERSON-9/25--makes me wonder about astrology--hmmm, maybe Libras really DO rule!)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some Photos

This is James, asleep in his car seat today (9/28).
This is hilarious Heidi running around in Rich's dress socks on Sunday night. As "spirited" as she is, she sure does make us laugh and keeps us all on our toes!
...This is about 15 seconds after that last photo...she's obviously "pushing Addie's buttons" in this photo (this is a scene we see often at our house: Addie crying, Heidi in the background giggling, "mwahahahaha!"). Thanks to Aunt Marti for an insightful parenting conversation last night...she once had a Heidi in boy form (Steven) who is now a fairly normal, nice, productive almost-adult. She gives me hope! ;)
(PS: too bad they didn't have blogs when Steven was growing up because, man, that woulda been a good read!!!!!)

Bubble Fun

Last night, Addie wanted to take a bath by herself upstairs, which made Heidi sad, so I invited her to take a soak with me. I got some great Bath & Body Works bubble bath for my birthday (thanks, Mom M!)...look how good it works!

Heidi kept going under the water, then popping up like this...

...look at her bubble-fro!

Strike a Bubble Pose!

(She reminded me of a Dr. Seuss character, or someone in a powdered wig)

Old News

Last night (Wed. 9.27) I happened to have the TV on CBS Nightly News with Katie Couric while I made dinner. I hardly ever watch real news anymore, now that I am a Fake News junkie, so I was surprised to hear that THE LEAD STORY on the NATIONAL EVENING news was something that was covered (and of course, made fun of) on The Daily Show the night before! HA!

On Tuesday 9.26, Jon Stewart welcomed Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan (no less) and they talked about his new book and about Pakistan's politics, etc. Musharraf mentioned that after 9/11/2001, Colin Powell called him and told him, basically, "You are either with us or against us," and after weighing his options, Musharraf figured it would be best for the Pakistani people in the long run to cooperate with the US invading Afghanistan. The next night (9.27), Katie Couric was sounding all sober and serious about how Colin Powell and Richard Armitage THREATENED and COERCED Pakistan into cooperating with the invasion--not exactly what Musharraf said. But I just thought it was cool that the evening news was YESTERDAY's NEWS for us fake news junkies!

Here's MSNBC's commentary on my fake news boyfriend, Jon Stewart.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Behold the Cuteness

James doing "bug-eye", wearing his Auntie Jen sweater
I know, I know...the sweetness is killing you!...
He can raise his eye brows and stick out his tongue, too!

Addie Playing Legos

Last night Addie spent a really long time upstairs after dinner building castles and towers and stuff with the Princess Mega Blocks...
Look how cool it turned out!
Oops! Forgot to rotate this one, but you get the idea--the crazy bus!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Half Awake

I just fed the boy and decided to post before I go to "real sleep" (until 3:00am-ish). My sister-in-law gave me a lovely baby shower last night at which NO ONE--not a soul--took pictures! Can you believe it?? I have no photos to blog nor to scrapbook! Shucks!

It was a lovely Fall-themed party with nice decorations and yummy food (fruits a veggies with dip, pumpkin bread, punch). We played one "get-to-know-you" game because there were so many "new" people there (church people, neighbors, cousins, etc). There were 18 guests and 4 babies there and the invitation said that it was a "frozen dinner" shower--everyone brought dinners to stock my freezer for nights when I am too tired to cook (I know what you're thinking--we should have had this shower in July when I was feeling REALLY crappy!!) There is a plethora of food in our spare freezer now--homemade casseroles, Costco frozen favorites, homemade breads, cookies, applesauce, freezer jam, crock pot stews and soups, and even a gift card to Pizza Hut! Almost everyone broke the rules and brought a baby gift, too (who can resist buying baby stuff?? Not me!), so James has several darling new outfits in various sizes, as well as onesies, diapers, and wipes and a Creative Memories "It's a Boy" scrapbooking kit. We had a really fun time and I came home with this warm fuzzy sisterly feeling-- like I really love all the women who were there and appreciate all the things they do for me and my family. I am really blessed on all sides, you know?

So tonight we had Lori Prinkki's Chicken & Rice casserole for dinner and it was delicious (a huge hit with the husband, so good thing she gave me the recipe, too). I LOOOOVE food I didn't cook!

Also, midweek update: we totally missed out on Stake Conference this past Sunday, but in retrospect it was a good day of rest for all of us. On Monday for Family Night we took a ride out toward Clyde Park to visit with Sister Cotant and taker her some of our peanut butter Rice Krispy Treats. She got to meet Baby James and we got to sing Articles of Faith songs all the way home. Tuesday was the Baby Shower and tonight was just a chill-out night (after I made a brief appearance at Young Women). Tomorrow we have to miss most of pre-school because of check-ups, but I am hoping to make it up to Addie. She has been practicing her "B's" all week! We are still struggling with telling the difference between lower case b's and d's (she writes her name "abbie" a lot of the time).

I am really sorry about the lack of pictures. But I'll post some of James in the cute sweater he got from Auntie Jen Claar last night. Thanks to Angie for the nice party and to all the girls who came (if you're reading this)--y'all are FABULOUS!

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Kim Deal's So Groovy, I Want You To Know..."

Last night we happened upon a re-run of The Pixies on Austin City Limits. We had lots of fun watching and singing along ( funny!) and I felt like an Old Person. I was watching one of my favorite bands from 20 years ago on PBS--how could I NOT feel like an Old Person. Rich even said, "I miss good bands like this. Why are there no good bands like this?" I pointed out that there ARE good new bands like this, we are just to busy to discover them. And it's totally true. If I had the time to listen to music and watch videos, I am quite certain I could be mad about Arctic Monkies and the Killers and OK Go. But I don't have time to fall in love with new bands, so I rely on the high of listening to old music and remembering when I DID have time to be obsessive. Ah, yesssss....

Speaking of obsessions, R.E.M. reunited this weekend. Still love 'em, but haven't listened to any new music by them for about 10 years (I'm busy, y'all). But check out THIS performance of "Begin the Begin." It brought tears to my eyes. They are good ol' goats. And while you're at it, check out THIS's the clip that started my R.E.M. addiction back in the day.

Oops! Time to live in the now...2/3 of the Melin children are crying!

PS: Just one more little YouTube flashback for you...oh, 1991!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Three Babies

Just as I was uploading these pictures, cmhl left a comment asking for baby pictures of all three kids. I read your mind! Actually, yesterday after I bathed the baby, I noticed how much he reminded me of his sisters, so I snapped a photo of him fresh from the bath at one week old, just like these other photos I had taken of the girls. I think he matches...what do you think? This is Addie at about 8 days old in November 2001.
This is Heidi around 1 week old in April 2004.
And here is Sweet Baby James at 8 days old, yesterday.
"Each of these
My babies
Have brought you closer to me
No longer mad like a horse
I'm still wild but not lost
From the thing that I've chosen to be
And it's `cause you've thrilled me
Silenced me
Stilled me
Proved things I never believed
The face of you
The smell of you
Will always be with me
Each of these
My three babies
I will carry with me
For myself
I ask no one else will be
Mother to these three"
-Sinead O'Connor


We have fielded some questions and concerns today regarding the wildfires around our town. Here is an article to read about them with a video link, too.

While fires are scary and unpredictable, we have not been too worried for ourselves (believe me, my Dad-in-law is worrying enough for everyone--he is a super insurance agent and has been busy helping his evacuated customers for the past 3 weeks). The fires are at least 20 miles from us and that huge wind that kicked them up yesterday actually blew them AWAY from town and cleared out the smoke that has been so thick the past 2 weeks. The wind was strong all day today and we expect rain the next few days (although we are terribly disappointed that it didn't start today). Most people I know have been unaffected, except for those who work at the Stillwater Platinum mine over in those mountains (including my brother-in-law) who haven't been able to work all week (and hence, don't get PAID). Tom Brokaw's ranch is over there in the fires, too, poor guy. Last I heard it was still unharmed.

Today was an exhausting day. Our preschool group started today (a big success--a group of mom's are getting together to do it cooperatively and it seems like it's going to be great. And free.) and then we had dental appointments. Man, I am still tired and it wasn't even that much activity. But I have to boast a little bit because, aside from being tired and sometimes cranky and not looking so fresh, I have been able to keep up with my regular schedule and responsibilities quite handily since my mom left. The house is clean, the meals are made, the laundry is done, the kids (all THREE) are bathed and dressed, and I have attended meetings of one sort or another very day since Sunday. AND I AM STILL ALIVE!!! I guess it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but I was just expecting my world to get rocked because EVERYONE told me that the third kids changes everything. Maybe it's just because James is such a mellow baby, or the fact that we are not trying to build a house (or both), but this is way easier than bringing Heidi home. That's not to say it's EASY; it's just not a hard as I was dreading it would be.

Of course, nothing in my life would be remotely manageable if I weren't married to a SAINT. Rich is my right hand man--so great with the kids and so good at giving them the extra attention they need as we adjust to the new guy. Thanks, hun. We're not too big and we're not too tough but when we work together we got the right stuff.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More Family Night Fun...

WOW! James is one week old today (well, tonight). WE LOVE having him in our family! Here are some fun quotes from family night last night:
Heidi put on Rich's hat and sunglasses. He said, "Look at you! Are you a cool dude?"
Heidi said, "NO! I not cool dude, I Daddy."
During our song practice (the girls are learning the Articles of Faith songs--we are on #4), Addie misquoted the AF #3: "We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to THE LOST ORNAMENTS of the gospel" (rather than "the laws and ordinances of the gospel."). Then we were singing "I am a Child of God," and she sang, "Has given me a larfby home with parents kind and dear..." We tried really hard not to laugh and asked her what a larfby home was. She had no answer, so we taught her that it's "Earthly home" and what that means. SO FUNNY!!!
This is James' "YIKES, I hear Heidi!" face.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Family Night

James was awake for Family Night!
Family Dogpile!
Heidi came in my room with these dress up shoes and jewelry on and announced, "Bye, guys. I go work now..." (with her hand on her hip...I am sad we did not catch that cuz it was a funny affectation). She's hilarious.


Today I came downstairs afraid for what Addie might be doing to her brother and found this TOTALLY AMAZINGLY SWEET scene...Addie reading her library books to Baby James...aawwwwww!

I kept a file of my "favorite" 9/11 photos from five years ago. Here are two.

The Anniversary

Here is what I blogged on the morning of 11 September 2001 on the now-defunct

11 September 2001: Bloody Tuesday

I can’t believe I am supposed to think about public relations and recognition, or even good grammar at this point. I am going through the motions absent-mindedly—and I am 2,000 miles away from the epicenter.

The events of this morning warrant their own journal entry. At about 7:45am MT [almost 10am in NYC], my little brother Michael called from California asking if we had Matthew’s (our missionary brother who is serving in NYC) phone number. We said no and asked why, and Michael told us to turn on the TV. The Today show was on and it showed a live shot of the World Trade Center towers burning, through a haze of smoke and ash.

It wa shocking. It was like a scene from Independence Day. When the newscasters said that TWO hijacked planes had hit the towers, I started crying and said, “I can’t believe it!” Richard and I just sat on the bed watching in horror. Later I noticed that there was only one tower—the first had just collapsed, and the second would soon follow, When I saw the footage from that and realized how many people must have died, I muttered, “Osama bin Laden.” The rest of the world is not “jumping to conclusions,” but I felt pretty certain from the first minute that it was a jihad attack sponsored by bin Laden.

Then, of course, we learned about the Pentagon disaster and another hijacked plane headed toward Washington D.C., which crashed in Pennsylvania (all of these things within one hour of each other), and we wondered what the extent of the damage would be. Would they attack the west coast, too? And what will the effect of no air traffic be?

We got hold of Matt’s mission office and they said that all of the missionaries were accounted for and that Matt was in the Bronx, north and safe from the frenzy in lower Manhattan. So I got dressed and headed down south for work. I felt all numb and a little scared as I drove—I just wanted to stay safe in my house. The interstate commute was eerie. We live beneath the flight path for SLC International Airport and there was NOTHING in the sky, few cars on the highway…yikes. But I got here and I am kind of working. I have talked to Jill, Dana, and the kids at home in California, as well as the grandparents in Arizona and my mom and Mark, who are now stuck in Ohio (they were to fly home to California tomorrow). Now we are listening to the radio and it’s horrible.

I feel pretty confident in our leadership, though. The prophet AND the president seem composed and strong, and that’s just what we need right now. Ugh! I have my first childbirth class tonight. I used to be excited; but now I just can’t help but think our baby girl might not want to come into a world that just got uglier. But we will get her here and we will keep her safe.

“I can’t believe the news today
I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.”

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Grandparents' Day... my own fantastic Elrey grandparents, Grandma Sine and Grandma Muriel, and to the grandparents of my kids: Papa Post, Papa Jim and Gramma Becky, Nana and Papa, and Gram and Gramp Melin. Thank you for making life so sweet and fun and full of love for all of us!!!! I envy your job and I'm comin' for it in about 25 years! ;) Have a great day and know that you are adored and indispensible in our lives!


So Friday morning I was enjoying my first morning at home with THREE kids, watching my cute boy make waking-up faces, when my mom came downstairs to hang out on my bed with me. The house was quietly a-buzz and I was feeling so relieved and thankful that James was with us, that mom was there, etc...

The phone rang and it was my brother, Matt, calling to tell me congratulations and to say good bye to mom.

"What are you doing?" I asked him.

"I am sitting on a bus at Fort McCoy, getting ready to fly to Ireland and then good ol' Tikrit..."

We continued to chat and then I passed the phone to my mom (who of course began to cry). I thought about how long we had been waiting for and dreading this very moment, and how weird it was that I was having this peaceful, joyful moment in my little Montana home and he was facing this...deployment.
For real.

I felt strangely at peace with Matt's situation, though, too, after all the crying about it earlier this year (especially when his own baby boy was born in February). Like I said in an earlier post, I just sing the prayer, Bring Him Home, to myself. I know he'll be okay.

That moment reminded me again how the things I treasure most in life and the most joyful moments always come at a price...someone else's Great Sacrifice. So once again, thank you. Thanks to Heavenly Father for all of it, and especially today, to the soldiers, their families, and others who make these quiet, peaceful moments full of love and home and family a given. Thank you, Matt.

You're in our prayers and always will be.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Birth Story

So…I didn’t mention that I went to the hospital on Saturday night for my non-stress test hoping that the OB nurse would check me and maybe get things started, but no dice. I went back home to my house full of family with no baby. SHUCKS! We all went to bed and had a really excellent Sunday church meeting. By the time church was over, most of my siblings had headed home and we just had a nice quiet nap that afternoon. Later, we joined my in-laws (Rich’s brother Jess was visiting with his son and some friends) at the ranch again for some dutch oven dinner and s’mores.

Monday turned out to be a pretty relaxing day, too. We cleaned up from the weekend fun and got lots of rest. I was very uncomfortable and couldn’t even nap very long, but tried to stay busy. Mom and I made a big Mexican dinner and invited Mom & Dad Melin over for a makeshift family night, and that was a really nice visit (it’s so nice having my mom AND Rich’s mom over—they are both so much help and make my life so much easier). By the time we cleaned up dinner, I was having regular contractions, although they were hard to follow. I went downstairs and sat down for a couple of hours. We watched TV and the contractions got more and more regular. I took a hot bath around 11pm and decided to go into the hospital and just check if I was really having contractions. I was going to go alone, but mom offered to come with me. The night nurse, Shari, hooked me up to my regular machine and we started monitoring. My contractions were regular but over 2 hours, I hadn’t progressed much (stayed around 5 cm dilated and 60% effaced). She said she thought my labor was real and we could just wait around, but I said I’d rather sleep at home and go see my doctor at 9am as scheduled. So I went home and put my poor mom to bed around 2:30am. No sooner had I laid down than Heidi woke up and would not go back to bed (or even lay by us) for NUTHIN’! Rich even had to put a movie on for her around 4am and she crashed a little before 6am. It was HORRIBLE! Luckily she was still asleep when I left for my appointment and Rich left for work.

At the appointment, I saw Dr. Burwell (who was also on at the hospital that day). She saw the report from the hospital and checked me and I had progressed enough that she thought she could “augment” my labor that afternoon and deliver the baby after office hours. I still had to get the Group B Strep antibiotics two hours before the induction, so I told her I would go home and get my stuff and check in by 11am so I could be ready for induction at 2pm. My mom was getting the girls dressed when I got home and she was so excited that we were really going! We took the girls to Grandma Melin’s house for a couple of hours so mom could help me get checked in and Rich could get some things done at the office [aside: this is a bad week to be an insurance agent in Montana—our area is completely surrounded by dangerous wildfires and several of our insureds have had to evacuate and may lose property in the fires]. Rich and mom got me settled then went home to take care of the girls so Grandma Melin could go into the office for a while. Mom went home to rest while Heidi took her nap, and Rich took Addie to play at a friend’s house. Nurses Mary and Katie got me all set and started pitocin around 2:30pm, and Dr. Burwell came to talk with me around 3pm. We discussed our plan…I would have an intrathecal anesthetic (what they used to call a “Saddle block”—a one-time spinal injection that lasts 3 hours, instead of the immobilizing epidural), then she would break my water and hopefully the baby would soon follow. She left to return around 6pm, and I just kept working on labor. My mom came back after Heidi had a nap (Grandma Melin came over to my house to take care of the girls—feed them dinner, get them ready for bed, etc.) and Rich soon joined her. We walked around the hospital (mostly because just sitting there was giving me a headache and the contractions weren’t too painful yet) and just hung out watching TV.

After 7pm, contractions became stronger and I decided it was time to start the anesthetic (it started at exactly 7:21) since they would only get worse. Let me just say that the two times I have had anesthetic for childbirth—getting the meds was EASILY the worst part of the whole experience. I am SO not a needle person and “skin pain” as I call it (itching, burning, poking, etc) is more irritating to me than any deep muscle pain any day. So it was a real trial getting through the intrathecal without moving (or vomiting or passing out). By 7:30pm, I was numb from the waist down with only a mild, annoying itch from the tiny bit of morphine (I am SO not a narcotics person, either). Dr. Burwell broke my water around 8pm, then I got very sleepy and spent the next 2 hours alternately sleeping and vomiting (it wasn’t terrible vomiting, though, and I didn’t get one of those awful spinal headaches, either). I woke up at 10pm with very serious, painful contractions, so Dr. Burwell checked me at about 10:20. She said I was ready to go, so she and Nurse Shari got the delivery stuff ready and I started to push at 10:35. I had Rich on one side, mom on the other, and the doc and nurse out front coaching me. I did about 7 or 8 long pushes, then the baby crowned (YIKES! I kept saying, “It’s burning! Get it! It’s burning,” and I am guessing that’s about the time Dr. B went ahead and gave me a very small episiotomy). Three big pushes and James was out in the world. I remember finally letting out my breath and opening my eyes and seeing Dr. Burwell turn him right side up, all wet and white and red. She said, “Wow, that’s a big baby…he’s more than 8 pounds!” She laid him on my chest and he felt tiny to me. The nurse came to clean him up a little and mentioned how big he was, too. I felt like he had been easy to deliver, so I though he’d be around Heidi’s size (7-14). Of course we soon found out I was wrong—the boy weighed in at 9-11!

Just as James was getting wiped up, Rich ran down to the waiting room where Mom & Dad Melin were waiting with the girls and Aunt Angie. They all came into the room to watch Rich cut the cord and pass the baby around. I was stuck getting stitched up, but so excited that our boy was here and was being so adored. It was a huge welcome and I felt so relieved.

Sadly, all the excitement died down, everyone went home, and I was still too dizzy/nauseated to get up, so I had to sleep in my delivery room until almost 5am on Wednesday morning. When I could finally get up and go potty and change into a clean nightgown, I was thrilled. I went across the hall to my big comfy recovery room and got in a clean bed and held my beautiful, clean, sweet baby boy on my chest. We slept that way for about an hour and everything was good in the world! I was sick until about 8am and couldn’t eat until around lunchtime, but it was all so worth it (and that first meal and all that yummy ice water and juice tasted SOOOO good after a 25 hour fast!). James is sweet and perfect--I feel so blessed!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Still more birth pictures...

That's me, ready to POP on Tuesday night with my mom. I'm so glad she came and she got to witness the birth of a was really cool (except for the part where I kept throwing up and ruining the otherwise-jovial occasion).
Here's proof that James is gigantic...edited for the web!
Addie is such the Little Mommy! She has been taking great care of me AND James. I am hoping we all adjust smoothly to his arrival!
Addie came and shared lunch and some quiet time with me and James before we checked out of the hospital yesterday...she was SOOOO excited!
Going Home... Baby James was NOT thrilled about the car seat.
I have the complete birth story written in James' baby journal, I just have to find a quiet moment to type it into the blog. It's coming soon! Life is good here...our first day home was not so bad, although I was feeling pretty bad at 3am trying to get him to latch on when my milk came in and he was squealing and grunting and frustrated. A few hours of sleep made a big difference and we have enjoyed a nice peaceful day at home as a family...
"and now we are five!"

Close Ups for Aunt Jill

James resting peacefully at home...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We're Home!

Hi, it's me, Jamie...I am home with sweet baby James (as of 2pm), even though they threatened that we'd have to stay til Friday morning. The docs checked us and set us free and we are glad to be home.

I'll have the birth story for you all soon. I must tell you that I have NO swelling, very little pain, and I am amazed that this GIANT baby was the easiest! He is sweet and quiet ( he only grunts--it's hilarious) and tolerating all the love from his sisters very well! We need a nap, so I'll be back soon! Thanks for all the e-love and the personal visits, too--we feel special! ;)

More Baby Photos for Yall (from Rich)

Look at that belly! This is about 6 hours before James was born, right when the induction started (3-4pm)
Somebody is the most popular guy in town!

Happy Sisters

Attack of the clones

Just beautiful I must say!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sweet Baby James

When the girls were with Grandma Melin on Tuesday, they made him little birthday cakes...SO CUTE! When they came to hospital, they brought him presents and sang him Happy Birthday...

Both Grandmas, both sisters, and Daddy greeted Sweet Baby James

Handsome Boy!!

A new addition to the Melin Family

Baby James Ole Richard Melin
was born on 09/05/06 at 10:53 P.M.
Weighing in at a hefty
9 Lbs. 11 Oz.
He and Mom are doing great!
I am sure there will be millions of
photos to follow. This will have to
do for now....Love, Proud Dad


Sister Jill here-
I talked to Jamie yesterday morning while she was packing her bag for the hospital. She just returned from a Dr appt. where her doc said it was the day. She was making progress and it was TIME!!! I have the priviledge of being a guest blogger! I recieved another call around 11PM last night, and guess what? Baby Boy Melin is here!!! You will never guess his weight- 9lbs 11ounces!!! Born at 10:53PM, I am sure the proud parents are so happy he is finally out of there! Congratulations Jamie and Rich!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saturday: On the River

My father-in-law helped get everyone on canoes & rafts
Petersen Canoe: Jack, Jill, Drew, & Nana
(This is the canoe that sank just beofre it reached the ranch; Nana, Jill, & Jack got out and walked back while Drew got the canoe going again and rowed into the beach at the ranch)
Willy, Melanie, & Liam
The Lehman Canoe: Darrin, Jared, Gabriel, & Laura
The Post Canoe: Liam, Mel, Spencer, Will, & Audrey (Brent rowed with them, too)
Spencer & Brent at the ranch beach
Addie in the sand...any wonder she STILL has sand in her pants???
Melanie in the sand
How the ranch looks through the smoke of two big wild fires


Dear Loved Ones,               The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for us…and now we are 8! We got a new German daughter, Kristin...