Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bike riding

A few weeks ago Heber discovered he could ride his big boy bike, on the bumpy grass in our backyard

We decided to take him to the greenway for some more practice. He did great! Here are some pictures of the day.
 Getting instructions on how to turn

 And he's off

 With Heber on the big bike, Eeva has now graduated to practice on the balance bike

 Jole gets to stick to the carrier for quite while still.

Family backpacking

This weekend we took our first family backpacking trip. The weather was perfect. The surroundings were beautiful. And the hike was long. We were all very tied by the end of it and Ben says that means it was the perfect length.

Here we are all ready to go. We had my aunt drop us off at one trail head and left our car at the other end. It was fun to hike through but it made for a longer hike than I had expected.

Taking a break on our way up. Ben carried almost all of our stuff and had a pretty heavy pack. 

 We got started pretty late so we only hiked a short while before setting up camp. Ben picked a beautiful spot in a grove of aspens. It was sort of flat.

 I shared 2 sleeping bags with all 3 kids. Heber and Eeva were fighting to much to share their own bag.

 Ben got a spacious sleeping bag all to himself.

 We started to hike up to the top of the mountain behind us. We then decided to would be way too far considering how much further we had to go.

Beautiful view looking into the valley. 

Here is Eeva entertaining Joel

 Heber filtering water for our hike out

 We hiked through beautiful meadows. 

 Looking down into the meadows. There were 3 or 4 old little huts. I have no idea what they are for.

 Getting ready to leave from our lunch break area.

 Taking another break. We had to watch out for bikers.

Ahh... we finally made it to our car!! We hiked over 9 miles, 7 of them being on the second day. The kids did fantastic. Heber hiked all but about 1/4 mile. Eeva needed a bit more help and encouragement but was only carried for around 2 miles. Overall it was a great trip and enjoyable time as a family.

Friday, April 12, 2013

December - I gave life

In Spanish they say "dar a luz" - to give light. I have always thought this is a beautiful way to describe bringing new life. I very much prefer it to terms that are common in our culture today.

Early in December Joel Richard Madsen was born. The stats: He was born at home at 4:30am on a Sunday morning. He was 6lbs 9oz and 191/2 inches long. He is my smallest baby and also my shortest gestation time (40weeks 5 days, compared to Eeva at 42 weeks 1 day and Heber at 41 weeks).

The story:
    2 weeks before Joel was born I started having contractions. I had lots of contractions all day, every day. This was a difficult 2 weeks for me and full of a lot of emotions and fears. I really struggled through these 2 weeks wondering if my birthing time was near or still a long way off. I struggled to eat and sleep and take care of myself. My mom took my other kids for a few days and nights as I worked through this time. Looking back I am very grateful for these few weeks because they gave me the chance to prepare and really be ready both physically and emotionally. It gave me the time I needed to work through my fears so that when the time really came I was able to surrender to the experience and put my full trust in my Heavenly Parents.

     On Saturday night at around 9pm, I felt like the contractions I had been having were getting more regular. I called the midwife to give her a heads up and decided to try and sleep. I rested in bed for a few hours but I wasn't getting any sleep. The contractions kept coming but weren't too much different than what I had been having. At 12am Heber woke up and he stayed up with me all through the night while I labored.
One of my biggest fears was having to labor through the night. I was afraid that I would just be too tired to get through it. I was also afraid that Heber or Eeva would wake up and need my attention. In actuality it was a very peaceful, quite time to labor. Eeva slept peacefully until right before the birth and Heber was a great help. Around 1am I decided to get out of bed because I wasn't sleeping and was getting really restless trying to lay down through contractions. Heber got up with me and sat quietly near me while I labored in the living room on hands and knees and on the birth ball. I loved that Heber sat with me. He didn't say anything or do anything but just sat quietly with me. His presence was very calming.  I let Ben stay in bed because I wanted him to get all the sleep he could.

Around 3am things started to get a lot more intense. I woke Ben up and told him I needed his help. We called my friend Robyn who was coming to the birth as my doula. I told Ben he needed to call Kathy, our midwife, right away because she had over an hour drive to get to our house. Ben wanted to time some contractions first just to see where we were. I practically yelled at him to stop timing and just call her because this was serious and I most defiantly needed her to be there soon.

A little while later Angela (the assistant midwife) arrived. She lives in Pocatello and is much closer than Kathy.  Angela came and got a few things set up and Robyn got there shortly after. Ben was helping me relax through contractions that were pretty intense and close together. Robyn suggested the Ben fill up the pool so I could use that. She helped me through some contractions while Ben worked on the birth pool but after a few minutes it was pretty obvious that there wouldn't be time to get it ready.

It's so interesting how birth works. This part of labor was really difficult and looking back it was so obvious that I was in transition. At the time I thought I had hours to go. I kept saying how I was so tired and I wanted to be done. I didn't want to do this anymore. Robyn was really helpful in reminding me that it was almost finished. She also reminded me that I was not alone and I could get through this. I felt the support of angles and heavenly messengers bearing me up as I labored. The difficulty and struggle was not taken away but I was strengthened able to get through it.

I got up to use the bathroom. Immediately and uncontrollably started pushing. My body completely took over as I pushed. It was such powerful feeling that I missed with Eeva's birth. After the first big push I remember feeling really overwhelmed and scared. I kept saying "I don't what to do this", "I don't like this part", and "This is really hard." Kathy (the midwife) was not there yet but I didn't feel the least bit of concern about her absence. My baby was about to be born and I was almost finished! Kathy arrived after a few pushed just as the baby was crowning. Eeva woke up all on her own just it time to see the birth.

One more good push and the baby was born. I was ecstatic. I just gave birth on the bathroom floor and I felt like superwoman! The rush, the excitement, the joy - it was incredible!  

After a good long time sitting there and enjoying the moment, I got up and got cleaned up. Ben and the kids got to hold and meet our new little baby.

This birth was amazing. I would do it the same way a thousand times again (or at least once more after a few years time).

Thursday, April 11, 2013


In November we finished putting the basement back together after our huge summer house project. I was so very glad to get the bathroom finished and everything done before Joel was born.

 Hello Grandma and Grandpa Madsen.

My Grandpa Browning passed on from this life. I had the opportunity to sit with my Grandpa the day before he died. As I held my Grandpa's hand, I felt the new baby growing and wiggling with in me. It was wonderful to sit and ponder the two great transitions of birth and death. I thought about how close heaven is and how much support we have from the other side as both of these great events occur. I felt very strongly that my Grandpa would get to help send my baby into this world from the other side and that Grandpa would be sending his love with this new baby. I wanted to remember this by giving my baby my Grandpa Richard's name. The funeral was a wonderful celebration of the full and faithful life my Grandpa lived.

We had thanksgiving dinner with my parents and family.

Eeva turned 3. My dear little Eeva, such a spirited girl and I love her more than words can say.