Monday, December 7, 2009

She's Here!

Greta Catherine was born Tuesday, December 1st at 5:02am.
7 lbs 4 oz
20 inches

Check out all the hair!!

Birth story in a nut shell...I was scheduled to be induced on Tuesday morning at 6:00am. Throughout this pregnancy my platelets dropped really low and the doctors were unable to get them high enough to make everyone comfortable, including me. They planned to transfuse me with platelets the morning of the induction so that I would have less risk of bleeding out and also so that I could get an epidural.

Instead of following the nice plan set up by the OB and Hematologist I woke up at 3:00am with pretty intense contractions. We arrived at the hospital at 3:45am and our baby came at 5:02am.

She's perfect and I'm immensly grateful to not be pregnant any more.

In other news, Luke lost his first tooth!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grandpa's Garden

Grandpa Rollins grew a surplus of all kinds of vegtables this year. We've enjoyed tomato soup and yummy salsas from home grown tomatoes. Squash soup from home grown squash. And my very favorite was the carrot ginger soup from garden grown carrots the boys helped pull up.

The boys have tried all sorts of vegtables from the garden. Luke has liked most of them including beets and green beans. Caleb has hated most of them. Both have loved the cantalope and watermelon.

Luke and Caleb have enjoyed working in the garden with Grandpa Rollins this year. I hoped they're developing a green thumb of their own!
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We picked out pumpkins yesterady to carve up in celebration of my Dad's 52nd birthday. It was a perfect day for pumpkin picking! I don't think the beauty of harvest time will ever compare to upstate NY's, but yesterday came pretty close.

Also, here's what 7 months looks like. Still coming along and getting more and more crowded.
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Newest Nephew

Kami had her son on Tuesday, October 6th. They named him Henry Paul. They are doing great and we can't wait to meet him.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dang you, Caleb!

Recently, Caleb has had a poop problem. He's had a little rash (what the pediatrician diagnosed yesterday as a strep A infection) around his bum hole which makes pooping pretty painful and bloody. (sorry) And so, he will hold his poop for as long as it will hold and then unload in his pants, and sometimes in the potty. (Sorry again, I have to set up the story.) Although I feel bad it hurts him to poop it's got to come out one way or another so can he please put it in the potty!?!

A week or so ago I was at lunch with my grandma who was visiting, my aunt, my mom, her friend, and Caleb. Before getting there my grandma had bought Caleb some little figure guys and he took them into the restaurant to play with. At the end of the meal Caleb began doing his poop dance which I've come to recognize and loathe. I took him to the potty where he peed and then refused to poop saying, "see mom, there's no poop." He was even holding his little legs together in order to keep his cheeks together and keep the poop in. I told him that I was going to have to take his new toys until he could put his poop in the potty. The stink said while sitting on the potty and squeezing, "I want you to. I want you to take my toys!" Fine.

We went back to the table where he immediately took his toys and threw them across the table at me. He didn't poop until later that day.

Last week on an especially frustrating day on and off the potty. He says to me from the couch, "the quickest way to stop poop is to sit on a pillow." What?? He sits on a pillow and sort of bounces up and down until the 'pains' stop and then he'll go play again until finally...the poop has no choice but to...

We finally got some medicated cream and an antibiotic to clear all this up and hopefully resume a normal bowel movement. Geez, I thought I was done cleaning up his rear.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New babies are coming!!

This picture is a few months old and, really, not the best of either of us, but for history's is is. Kami is about 7 months and I'm 5. I'm now about 6 and a half and Kami is almost delivered. Any day now! Lucky her.

Also, for those wondering what the heck I'm wearing, this was at the the end of the day when I reached the "I've got to get these pants off and get into something that facilitates bending and breathing." And so, the sweatpant.
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Before having Luke I taught school for about 6 months, and on the first day of school I stood with the other teachers watching the Kindergartener's come in and we said, "look how cute and little they are." And they were...little bodies with backpacks twice the size of their backs, super little compared with the big kids.

This year I sent Luke to Kindergarten and said, "Holy Cow!! Look how huge he is!! Big enough to be a Kindergartner." He's such a big boy now and loves taking the bus.

As is typical I was freaked out he would get off the wrong bus stop and be standing on the side of the road some where wondering where I was.  I told him many, many times, "do not get off the bus unless you see mom."  When the bus pulled up he was standing in his row scanning the road to find me.  He did.

It 's been a few weeks.  His transition to "school-boy" has been flawless.  I still love watching him run across the road to the bus with hair and backpack bouncing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So What Are You Guys Doing Now??

Graduation was in May and since then the question of "what's next for the Rollins?" has perplexed us and others. We've determined another 6 month plan, which seem to work best for us, and it all happened a little like this...

Ben abandoned finding a traditional job in February due to the worst economy since the great depression, a lack of interest in big corporations, and most of all the entrepreneurship bug that has got the best of him in the past and has now bit him again with a new Cornell technology. This is Ben's latest corporation and he's partnered with a Cornell PhD candidate who is working furiously in the labs on a medical device - Ben calls it a "Super" Band Aid for the eye, Star Wars type stuff. While we were in Mexico Ben spent many hours writing up a business plan to submit to several business plan competitions. When we got back to the states they won 1st place at Cornell's competition, and took 8th of 340 applicants in the biggest competition in the nation, Rice. They expect to go back to Rice this spring and take the grand prize of $100k cash, plus prizes. They have also been selected as a finalist in the Purdue competition, which is held this coming November with a prize pot of $30k. Here are a few links about the company.

CNN Forbes

Johnson School
And so, what does this mean for our family life? Well although the National Eye Institute has awarded nearly a million dollars in government grants to continue research, it doesn't pay a salary to Ben or Brian (his partner). The business has a bank account but its been used to pay for paperclips, printer ink, and business travel to Boston, Omaha, and Ithaca. This means we will stretch our left-over savings/student loans as far as it can stretch (I'm talking serious stretching like I've never stretched before) while living in the Rollins' basement at least through Christmas. Yes, I will be bringing our new baby home to our parents house - at least there is a sweet theater room, basement kitchen, and a yard large enough for Croquet.

While Brian continues working in the labs in NYC, Ben works in my parents basement writing grants, talking to the FDA, and other stuff. We (our parents included) all hope that come January we'll be able to pull some salary and finally begin to live like a real grown-up American family in a space of our own.

So there it is. Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My poor travelin' boy

Yesterday we drove from Ben's family reunion in Aspen Grove back to Farmington, UT which is only about an hour drive. We packed up the car, got in, and Luke says, "How many days is it gonna take?" The poor kid. Since January we've driven once from Mexico to NY - about 5 days, from NY to UT - about 4 days, and then a couple weeks ago from UT to Yellowstone - about 4 hours. So of course he can't contemplate a trip with luggage to take less than a day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gender Confirmed

It IS a girl. Last week Ben's dad (who is an ER doc) took me down to the hospital and snuck me into ultrasound. It took about 2 minutes total. They put the little do-hicky on, squished it around a couple times and there it was...a little bum with open legs and a couple little lines, which aparently is what girls look like in ultrasound, black and white, fuzziness. There happened to be 2 women in the little room and both said, "yep, that's a pretty clear girl."

We are excited and my mother and grandmother have almost outfitted this child completely. Not quite, but they're getting there.

Also, if wondering - we don't know what we're gonna call her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bring on the Pink!! maybe...

For those unaware, we will be having another baby in December.  I had the ultrasound this last Thursday and the doctor really wasn't confident in his gender guess.  He says, "I'd guess a girl, but I'd stick with yellow."  How's that!?

Our baby did not cooperate with the probing and the best shot he got was looking up - like sitting under and looking up at the bum and was pretty vague.  He says, "I don't see anything that looks like a boy, but there could easily be something stuck up in there."  Nice, heh?

We're headed to Utah next week and they tell me that you can have an ultrasound to determine gender at any mall, at any time.  I might have to find one of those places just to confirm the guess.  Best news is that all those little developing body parts appeared perfect.  Phew!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy 29th Birthday to Nicole / Eye-Catching Wife / Patient Mommy / "Mad Woman"

Happy 29th Birthday Nicole - If weren't poor students we would get you a new couch or full day treatment at the spa, but this year you'll have to settle for a blog post, cheerios breakfast, candles left over from Caleb's birthday, and some kisses from your boys.

Love - Ben, Luke, and Caleb
PS - "Mad Woman" comes from Luke - see the posting below. I actually disagree with Luke on this one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just to funny not to post

A lot of quotes recently, but recently our house has been dang funny. After asking Luke to stop eating chips, put them back on the counter, and then vacuum up because he'd made a huge mess he says...

Luke: (with a mouth full of chips) Stop being mad woman!

Me: What?!? (partially shocked, mostly laughing)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Caleb Quotes of the week

While holding a Newberry Award Winning library book, you know, the ones with the gold sticker on them...

Caleb: Mom, can you get this chocwit penny out for me?

Church Nursery Leader: What's your name?
Caleb: Caweb

A little later...

Church Nursery Leader: What's your name again?
Caleb: Caweb

A little later...

Church Nursery Leader: What's your name again?
Caleb: (yelling & irritated) Caweb! James! Wowins!!!

Thanks to the Nursery Leader for telling me that one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Me:  Luke, what do you want for breakfast?

Luke:  Can I have an English muffin?

Me:  We don't have any more.  You ate the last one yesterday, remember?

Luke:  Then can I have a Spanish muffin?

Me:  Huh?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Johnson School Follies 09

You may remember Ben's OGK (Old Guys with Kids) video I posted last year - job interviews of kids.  This year we were in Mexico when OGK made it's video so Ben produced his own MBA Luche video.  It was definitely one of the favorites and I can say this positively because it had the most views on YouTube (well before he deleted and reposted a better edited version) and those around us kept slurring with drunkedness, "this one's totally the best so far."  Anyhow, here is the link...

I'm sure it's funnier (I just can't say 'more funny' even though I know it's more correct) if you know the stars, but I still thought it was pretty good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The latest insult

goes a little something like this...

Luke: "Caleb you don't know the gospel."

Caleb (screaming): "YES MY DO!!  YOU DON"T KNOW THE GOSPO!"

Luke: "No, you don't.  You're to little."

Caleb (screaming):  "YES MY DO!!  YOU DON"T KNOW THE GOSPO YUUUUUUKE!" - imagine the angry eyes

The screaming and insulting nature of the conversation goes to show neither know the spirit of the gospel.  But it's still funny.

Also, the kids with eyes almost closed speaking Spanish are the Asian kids that live near us.  Korean, Spanish, they're similar, right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Way Home

No kidding - after packing up our car all morning we had finally taken off.  We were driving through Monterrey towards the border and we were pulled over for the 5th!! time.  Like I've mentioned, the cops are just looking for some money and when they realize we won't hand it over they have let us go.  This cop was a little more haughty and when Ben said he couldn't leave any money with him he gave Ben a ticket.  "Who cares," you may say.  "You're leaving the country!"  Problem is that it is legal for the cop to take your licence to gaurantee you pay the fine. 

So like we've been counseled we offered to follow the cop to the station in order to pay the fine immediately so that Ben could get his licence back and we could be on our way.  Turns out it was a Mexican holiday and the office was closed until Monday - this was Thursday.  Yea, I was almost in tears.  The jerky cop took his licence.  What else could we do?  When the cop was saying good-bye he put his hand in the window in order to shake hands with Ben.  I was outraged and as he's doing it I say to Ben in English, "Ew, don't shake his hand.  It deserves to be spit in."  Yea, I was mad.

To make it an even better story (this is not a joke), not 5 minutes later we were pulled over for a 6th time!  Seriously, on the same road, a few lights up.  Ben told him his amigo just gave him a ticket.  We showed him the ticket and he laughed and let us go.  I told Ben it's a bummer because all warm and fuzzies I was feeling about our time in Mexico were trampled in the last hour we were there.  So mad!

Also, on a lighter and funnier note, last week after being here a few days Luke says, "Mom, did you know that there are lots of kids here with their eyes almost shut who speak Spanish?"  Do you know what he's talking about??

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


One Nintendo DS!!!

Yes, it's true and I hesitate and embarrassingly post about it because I feel incredibly angry and partially at fault. It happened last weekend when we took a little trip down south to visit El Cielo, a national park in the state of Tamaulipas.

It was outrageously hot and we had just pulled into the little town of Gomez Faris. Windows had been down, not all the way, not even half way, but enough for a hand to fit through (this is where our major fault lies). We would have rolled them up without a second thought if they had been automatic, but we had a rental with manual roller-uppers and it was hot, we had been in the car for 5 hours, and we were all hungry and crabby. Those are the lame excuses.

Ben asked Luke to pass him the DVD player to lock in the trunk. And so, I'm angry at Ben for not seeing the DS and locking that up to, I'm mad at Luke for not putting his DS safely back in his backpack which would have been to big to get through the window, and I'm mad at me for not double checking the back seat to make sure everything was out of site and not insisting we roll up the dang windows. The only one blameless is Caleb. And I'm sure if I seethe long enough I can come up with a way to blame him too!

Luke cried and cried. I become nauseated every time I come across DS paraphernalia. Sorry Mom, for being stupid and losing your fun and expensive gift after 3 months. Ahhhh!! At least it was just a game and not a kid, eh? I've been so sick about this I even had a dream the other night that when we cleaned out the car before returning it to the rental place we miraculously found it in some obscure cubby in the trunk. Wouldn't that be nice.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jardin de Ninos Valle

Yesterday was the boys last day of school in Mexico. When I told Luke he only had a few more days of school left he said, "but I don't know Spanish yet." He does know a lot. He can count to 30 in Spanish, he knows most of the colors. He always tells me, "salud" when I sneeze. Sometimes when he's with his friends I hear him say, "que?" The kid will say it again and he'll say, "okay." He also tells Caleb, "Mira Caleb!" Or, "Caleb, mira" while pointing to something. The picture is of Luke and his teacher, Miss Adriana. The other is Luke in his classroom.

 100_0800 100_0798-1

This is Caleb with his teacher, Miss Ivon. Caleb's name is kinda hard for the Mexicans. They don't really get it until we say Cahleb, with a long ahhh sound. His teachers first started calling him Claben. They figured it out after a week or 2.


The boys loved their school which included a playing yard with a real live race track for bikes. It is sort of cement curbing, the 'road' is indented and is about 3 feet wide. It twists and turns in a big oval...does that make sense?? I should have taken a picture because I'm sure you'd never see anything like it in an American school. After one kid crashed and sliced something open the track would be replaced with foam. I heard almost everyday whether or not Luke was able to get a bike. We've had a fun time and I wonder if Luke will remember any of it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"You took our boats!"

There's this faucet right outside our front door. When we first got here and before the boys started school we filled up a bucket with water and made little boats out of tin foil in order to occupy them. It worked, it kept them busy.

Every few days a hired man (who's like 70) walks the apartment grounds, sweeps, and picks up trash. Do you see where I'm going with this?? The boys happened to leave their foil boats outside that night (which was back in Jan) and the next day the trash man happened to pick them up and trash them. Caleb is still very upset.

Since then, every time (and I mean every time) the trash man comes walking with his broom and trash collector Caleb says with angry eyes and a lot of authority, "you took our boats!" Or, "there's the guy who took our boats," if the guy is to far away for Caleb to accuse personally. The trash man doesn't speak a lick of English so fortunately he doesn't know what Caleb's screaming about, but I'm sure he can read Caleb's angry face and knows he isn't liked.

Today as I over heard Caleb accuse him again of taking his boat I heard the trash man chuckle and say, "No hablo Ingles. No entiendo nada." To which Luke said, "Hola!"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Q & A with Luke

This Sunday Luke gave a little talk in Primary and the theme was Family Members Have Important Responsibilities. I asked Luke what the jobs were for each of the people in our family and this is what he said. The bullet points are quoted answers.

What is Daddy's job in our family? What does Daddy do?
  • work
  • get a new job
  • goes to school
  • drives
What does Mommy do?
  • knows the rules (someone has to!!)
  • they love to hear favorite songs
  • meet with friends
  • play with kids
What do you have to do?
  • to be good (yes!)
  • listen to Mommy (and heck, yes!!)
  • play with Dad and get rides on his shoulders
  • follow the rules (at least he knows it even if he doesn't always do it - that's a start, right?)
  • eat and grow big
What does Caleb have to do?
  • not cry
  • play with toys
  • get better at playing
I used some of these answers to come up with a talk. It's always fun to ask my boys questions interview style. Luke drew a picture of his happy family that he held while giving his talk. He did a good job!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ben’s Been Busy

Hiya! Is he about to do what you think he's gonna do???








If you are wondering if I jumped too you must be out of your mind, and don't know me to well!!

Also, how could we leave Mexico without going to Luche Libre??


Ben went with some guys from school, but we hope to go back with the boys before we leave. Ben said that between matches all the kids get to go up and mess around. Luke will love it!


Ben with Christopher (from Holland) and Mark (a native). They actually had to give a little presentation on the Luche event.




Just a cool picture.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sleep Training

A lot of you know that we've never owned an actual crib because we've moved so often and we've lived in such small places. We bought a Pac n Play when Luke grew out of his cradle and it's been used everyday since for nighttime sleeping as well as day time naps for 5 years. It has finally seen it's last day.
The other day I could hear the boys sort of jump-rolling from Luke's bed into the Pac n Play and then the sound of fabric ripping and then 'uh-oh.' They ripped through the side netting. That night I turned the Pac n Play around so that the ripped side was up against Luke's bed. The next day (after having had a serious talking to about not doing gymnastics into Caleb's bed) they ripped through the other side doing the same thing. Imagine my horrified disappointment. Caleb is to big for the Pac n Play anyway, I'm not going to buy another one, but he has to sleep somewhere these next 2 weeks, and I don't want him in my bed. With no other option I put Caleb in his bed and about an hour later found him like this.

He's managed to stay in his bed since that first night, thank goodness. I figure it's good training for when he finally has a big-boy bed of his own.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Little Caleb

So last week, Caleb woke up with a red eye. I thought maybe he had pink eye, but there wasn't any goop in it and the whites of his eye were still white and not irritated. We called Doc Grandpa and he said without the goop or redness in the eye it was more likely a bug bite or an allergy. Either way, for about 3 days Caleb's eye was swollen to almost closed. Into the 3rd day he tripped at the church and wacked his cheek bone which slightly bruised, and bonked his lip which bled and swelled up. Poor thing looked like he had been mugged. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture. All I have is this adorable one which resembles what he looks like post injuries! Aren't those cheeks the most pinchable?

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Baby!!!!

Not me. My sister. Due in October! Yea!!!!

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's happened

Last week a moment I've been dreading happened when we walked past a gaming store and Luke turned total zombie. He stopped at the entrance, turned to see the massive wall of games and promptly began drooling. We called his name numerous times, clapped our hands as if trying to get the attention of a wayward puppy and still no response, only continued drooling.

My mom bought Ben a DS for Christmas this last year and it quickly turned into Luke's. We've found that he could spend many brain numbing hours with his Lighten' McQueen racing game. If only it could teach him to read...

Now begins my years of birthday and Christmas shopping at these deplorable, stinky, boy-smelling game stores. At least the machine carries huge leverage in encouraging positive behavior. He does anything for more playing time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

American Roads, I Miss You!

O, American roads I miss you terribly!!

Your clearly painted lines that indicate whether 2 or 3 lanes of traffic should take up the space.

Your exits placed regularly on the right side of the road rather then left, then right, then right again, then left, then right again causing you to almost crash 2 times, get honked at 1 time and barely make the exit you swore was on the left side, but no, it was on the right.

Your English written roads signs that give reasonable time to merge through 3 lanes of traffic.

Your police officers who roam the roads and sometimes have pity on a confused driver. Sometimes they even offer advice or give directions rather than ask for discreetly handed mula. 3 times people - 3 times in 2 months! Usually I play dumb (which isn't really 'playing') and Ben uses really broken Spanish. They get frustrated because we aren't 'getting it' and let us go. Usually we have made a violation because their roads are crazy, but they don't give us a ticket. I don't get it. I'm convinced our US plates make us stick out and the policia are just waiting and watching for the dumb Americanas with their Americana dollars to make a mistake. Curse our US plates!

Your drivers who know how and when to use a blinker.

Your 4-way STOPs where drivers stop and politely take turns instead of 5 and 6-way STOPs where the first one to go is the driver with the most guts.

Your street parking where all the cars are lined up nicely in the same direction giving drivers a clue as to whether the street is one-way. I never knew how beneficial this parking law was. Would appreciate it here.

Your smoothness from regular pavings rather than polka-dotted with pot holes so big you swear you just blew a tire.

And lastly, your speed bump warning signs in order to keep your car from teeter tottering up and then down, scraping both the front and back end of the underside of your car on the gravel.

5 more weeks! 5 more weeks and I will most enthusiastically drive your roads and not have to silently cuss each time I drive by a cop! O, did I mention this...

Really, it was bound to happen. I've never seen more bumper to bumper accidents pulled to the side of the roads as I have in this country. Thankfully there is a GM dealer down the road and we opted to pay for all the extra out-of-country insurance available. Our poor car!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cuatro Cienegas y Monclova

Check out this beauty!  Valentine’s weekend we went up to this cool place in the city of Cuatro Cienegas (The 4 Marshes).  What makes this place so dang amazing is that it’s in the middle of a UT-like desert. 


Even in this picture you can’t see how really cool and bizarre it is.  The water is a crystal clear turquoise.  We were all bummed that we couldn’t swim in it.


We could, however, swim in the rivers that connect all the little pools, which we did.  This is me checking out the view.




See what I mean about the UT like desert??  So strange.  There weren’t any park rangers around to ask how this happened.  Even if there were, I wouldn’t have understood.






It was a perfect day and the water was warm.  This is Ben checking out his feet. 



On Sunday we had dinner with a family in Monclova, the Gonzales’.  This is a family that Ben taught and baptized way back when.  This is Ben 10 years ago…


…and this is Ben 10 years later with 2 missionaries, 2 temple marriages, and 2 – almost 3 – grandchildren.  It was very cool to say the least.



Everyone is still doing great.  Luke tells me he understands what the teachers say sometimes and that he doesn’t talk a lot.  His friends at school, so he tells me, are Diego and Patricio.  I have no idea if they talk to each other or just use signals.  Either way, he doesn’t seem to be bothered.

Luke went to the Bishop’s son’s birthday party last week.  The Bishop and his wife speak really good English and their kids can speak, but don’t usually choose to.  Anyhow, the Bishop said that all the boys went downstairs to play the Wii and Luke finally got his turn to use one of the controllers.  He said after that he kind of owned that controller because none of the other kids would ask “the American boy” for a turn.  They just took turns with the 2nd controller.  The Bishop said that even though most of them can speak English they are usually to intimidated to talk.  I guess Luke took the opportunity to play dumb and keep the controller.  Nice.