my favorite things

I am making myself write. I keep thinking I have nothing to say, when in fact, I believe it is just the opposite. There are plenty of things to say, and, after a day like today (it's rainy and we all had cabin fever) it is good to reflect on the energy, cuteness, and hilariousness of my children. I had a hard day today. I lost my cool a couple times. Tomorrow is a new day.

One of my favorite things about Jackson right now is his energy. Even though it wears me out. Tonight we went to the mall and he just started running. Jimmy went on the elevator with the stroller and I took Jackson on the escalator. He ran to it, ran up it and ran to meet Jimmy and his siblings. Everything he does is like he's been injected with caffeine. It seems he only has one volume. YELLING. Tonight at dinner he was quiet (while eating) and when he finished scarfing it down he yells out, "MOM YOU FORGOT TO GET ME A NAPKIN!" along the same volume you might use to inform someone they are getting ready to be hit by a car.

My favorite thing about Libby is (besides the cuteness) that she is totally and completely in the talk about herself in the 3rd person stage. It's constant. "Where are Libby's shoes?" "Get Libby's blanket" "Where's Libby's baby?" Sometimes she says "I". Like yesterday. After she woke from her nap she stood in her crib calling "Mom! I'm awake! Mom! I'm awake!" until I went to get her. And she can sing the "Do, Re, Mi" song from the Sound of Music. On pitch. Love it.

And then there's my babe. Ah, the sweetness of a child who can't talk yet. It's like a breath of fresh air to talk to someone who cannot interrupt you. He is such a good listener. He smiles and seems to respond at the appropriate times. My favorite thing about Cash is that you can never have enough of him. He is a big smooshy marshmallow.

And now, a thank you to the Mitchell's for the amazing swingset. I will include a picture of Jackson's energy pouring out into swinging. And Jimmy really wants me to put in the naked picture of Cash I took today, even though I don't think it's that good. But it proves my marshmallow point. Do I have too many pictures on my blog? Is it too big? I don't care.


Thanksgiving at the Kagys

Saturday, November 18th we had a Pre- Thanksgiving party at our friends Mark and Danielle's house. It was a great day for being outside. Plus it was the first time I had tasted fried Turkey. Mark fried it up right. If you weren't there you missed out. Thanks Mark and Danielle for the great Saturday.This picture to the left is of the Monday night crew who were there. Jackson is doing his "Night of the Living Dead " pose. Also a picture of my beautiful ladies.


Jumping, touching, and hiding in closets

I am having a low patience day. Even as I type this, my son is standing behind me in my chair and playing with my hair, while chanting, "tell me what you want what you really really want". So as you read, please consider that my patience today is stretching like a dollar store lizard. I am more grateful for my situation than it may sound.

First of all, here is a movie of Cash in his doorway jumper. I am amazed at how he can swing himself. When you watch how far away his feet get from the door jam, you realize how amazing he really is. If you turn up the volume, you can hear Libby doing a little cheer for him. Please do not call the Department of Children and Families, I promise, he is perfectly safe. I hope. Having trouble uploading movie. Here is a still from it.

On a different note...

I'm pretty sure someone is touching me all the time. They are sitting on me, touching my elbow, and under my feet. If someone is not touching me, then I am touching them. If neither of those things are happening, I am holding a baby spoon, changing pee-peed sheets, or smelling nasty trash. Personal space is often not an option for me. And today I didn't fully wake up until about 2:30. All morning I just sort of existed in the same space as these three tiny people who like to yell, cry, and provide a bowel movement every hour. There is no glamour in my job. The other day I tried to put on make-up in the morning and look nice for my mothering. It's overrated. I spend most of the time trying to wash sticky stuff OFF of myself and didn't really like the feeling of having it there on purpose.

Lastly. Today things got quiet and I went and snapped a picture of what was going on. Even though my daughter was perched on top of three plastic drawers and my son was standing and resting on parts of a 50 year old closet, I just took their picture and let them keep playing. Because #1, THEY WERE QUIET and #2, THEY WERE NOT TOUCHING ME.



I have a wonderful seven month old baby who poops a lot. Luckily, I would call his poop "organic" since it is pretty much breastmilk, fruits and vegetables. Not too stinky and still holding the innocence of a human being not yet filled with sugar and potato chips.

This weekend Jackson spent his Wal-Mart gift card (a birthday present) on a cap gun (two, actually, with a plastic belt and holsters, or "hoisters" as he likes to call them) and 250 paper caps. He has had me clarify that they make "real fire" and nothing fake. He has had a great time firing them off, thanks to my selfless effort of threading them through, which is no walk in the park (although I'm getting pretty good at it now). Anyway, unfortunately I keep scolding him for pulling the trigger while people are sleeping and I especially keep reminding him not to leave the used roll of fired off cap paper on the ground where his brother might get it and put it into his mouth. If you know Jackson, you know this is a pointless task because as he fires off the last few blasts he is NOT thinking about the trash can, he is asking me to load the next one on.

This morning, as I am changing a glorious peas and carrots diaper, I notice something red mixed in with those "organic" vegetables. Since it is one of the more exciting parts of my job, I decide to investigate. I discover, to my horror, that my precious baby has ingested, digested, and excreted four or five (approximately) paper caps. (In less than 24 hours I might add.) Jackson was nearby. I call him over, thinking, "now he will see the danger! now he will never leave them on the floor!" and I ask,

"do you see this?"
"what is that?"
"they're your CAPS!"
"in Cash's diaper?"
"YES! You cannot leave these on the floor!"

And he replies, quite matter of fact,

"at least he didn't put them in his mouth!"


confessions of an iPod widow

Let me begin by saying that I believe I am, in fact, married to the best of the best. We two are truly one and I am fortunate to be forever attached to him. I really don't believe I could function without him and this is not at all sarcastic. I rely on him in every way.

He is, also, probably the funniest person I know. While I am wound fairly tight most of the time, he is constantly loose. And while this drives me crazy sometimes, it is exactly what I need. And, it makes for some fun entertainment for our friends, so we've been told. I believe Jimmy is even more funny when he is home around me and the kids, he doesn't just put it on for other people. I feel blessed to get to see him ALL the time. (And I get to see ALL of him all the time, since his uniform at home is boxer shorts.)

This week, after months (probably years) of wanting one, he ordered an iPod. He called me from work, while on line tracking it's progress, to tell me it would be arriving and that I should open it and charge it right away. He was very excited, to say the least.

Now, I hope I've made it completely clear how much I love this man. But sometimes, he has issues when it comes to hearing what I say and, if necessary, responding to it with some sort of action. It's not his fault, he just forgets. But still, I have spoken and my request has fallen on deaf ears. I have learned not to get my feelings hurt but when you wake up to stinky trash when you specifically asked your man to take it out and he responded with "no problem, babe" you do question, in that moment, how much of his "babe" you really are.

Back to the iPod. That night after the kids were in bed he began to load it full of songs. After putting enough metal and U2 on it to satisfy, he strutted around the house (in boxers, of course) dancing along and shaking it in every sort of way. Very proud and excited about his toy. I was cracking up, but not TOO much. He doesn't need an excessive amount of encouragement. This went on most of the evening, and every once in a while I would call out to him with a comment or question about what I was doing. Guess what? He didn't hear me. At all. I didn't even get a "no problem, babe." In this moment I thought, "Now he REALLY can't hear me. What does this mean for me?"

My husband calls some of our female friends "computer widows" because their husbands spend so much time using their computers. He is, of course, joking but I am going to refer to myself now as the iPod widow because today, I caught him attempting to watch a football game, play a video game, and listen to his iPod all at the same time. I just shook my head. This is a man who I claim can't do more than one thing at a time. Except drive and use an iPod. Which he hasn't proven yet! :-)

Props to Jimmy for making me laugh. And I bet he made you laugh, too.


"Challenge for our Superfriends"

We just cut up the pumpkin tonight and wanted to issue a challenge to all you creative people. Can you beat the Man of Steel??? Do you have what it takes? Post it on your blog and let us know. Briiing it!!!

Hal---OOps! Pumpkin Time!

Well yesterday the J's went to their annual pumpkin find and picture shoot. The finding is easier than the shooting. As the kids seemed more interested in the million kids running around than Mom's camera lens. We went to the pumpkin patch on the corner of John Knox and Meridian. That church does it right. Many nice pumpkins along with Fall creations and even a large as life Mr. Potato Head ( Seen above). Libby seemed to get it more this year. I love watching the kids at each holiday seeing how much more they understand about it. Jackson is the old pro and Cash of course no clue. Enjoy!


I heart New York

I should be cleaning and organizing but I wanted to add a few more pictures and thoughts about the city before I forget. My grandmother tells a story about going to a big city with her family when she was a child. Detroit, I think. It was quite an adventure and a big event in her life. I think I will tell my grandchildren about my voyage. The city holds in itself opportunity and excitement. But, also, dirt, grime, and corruption. Kind of like me. I am just a jar of clay with a treasure inside.

Enough deep stuff. Time for pictures. This is Jimmy and Cash at the Hard Rock Cafe. We figured we'd start him on the rock music early. And a self portrait of me with the Lady. Jackson still forgets and calls her the "Statue Delivery." And lastly, our baby girl, who wore her "heart" shirt for about 24 hours after we got home. Once she added the shoes, I had to take a picture. For more pictures, you'll have to come visit. We have a friendship, not a blogship.


in New York, out of time

Well. I've been wanting to blog while here in NYC but we forgot our password. It took us a while to figure it out. Anyway, we're getting ready to make our trek to the airport in about an hour, and, while I'm not feeling especially poignant, I'm going to try and sum up our trip and post a few pictures.

First of all, a few observations. People ride the subway in their sleep. It's very interesting. Almost everyone in New York has white cords coming out of their ears. The strollers people push around here cost more than my first car. Whenever you feel hungry and you're a tourist, expect at least two hours of talking about it and walking before you actually get to eat. Consider it a treat if you get to see a woman reach out and touch a sculpture in the MET, because you get to hear the beeping sound and feel the pounce of the security people. Be prepared: If you want to ascend into the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, you must first be stripped of all your possessions, food, and water, put through a full body scan, and stand in line for approximately 90 minutes. (But personally, I thought the Lady was worth it.)

Things we saw:
Empire State Building
NY Public Library
Squares: Times, Washington, Union
Museum of Modern Art
the MET
World Trade Center Site
NYACK College
Central Park
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island

Things we did:
Enjoyed time with family (Gary and Sharon) and friends (Robin and Jamie)
Ate at the Hard Rock Cafe
Browsed Toys R Us (it's like an amusement park)
Got lost on the Subway
Lost and Recovered our Luggage
Played some nasty Catan
Walked, walked, walked

(and, for all you moms out there...)
Places I breastfed (to name a few):
The airplane
the bathroom of the MOMA
the mens section of a shoe store
Washington Square park
the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty
a ferry boat (twice!)
the Hard Rock Cafe (while eating, thank you very much)

We have had a great time. We are tired. I've discovered what can cure me of my night owl disease...Walk around Manhattan for six hours a day! Whew!


a day in the life

Hello no one.

Today was very normal for me, and I realized how many crazy things happened on this normal day. Nothing out of the ordinary but the normal chaos to manage.

6 am. Asked my four year old if I could lie down in his bed because I truly thought that lying in bed with an active awake four year old was the most likely place for me to get a few more minutes of sleep

9 am. The first duel time out of the day (You sit here, you sit there)

We discover a cold front has come through and my son goes through every drawer and his entire closet getting out "winter clothes"

10 am. Lawn bowling in the backyard

11 am. My son strips down to his tighty whities and socks, upset to discover it's not winter anymore. He had no interest in putting on shorts again, it was as if there was no going back. He was still wearing nothing but underwear when Jimmy got home from work.

2 pm. Power naps for everyone. This means they don't last long, but you still wake up grumpy

5 pm. My 2 year old daughter tries to help cook and spills steeping tea (so not quite boiling water) on her arm. And while she screams in the next room (luckily dad got home early so he was holding her) I am cleaning it up, feeling guilty that I am not worried about her, all I can think is, "I'm glad there wasn't sugar in it yet, it won't be as sticky" (Oh, and the burn wasn't that bad. She was fine a couple hours later.)

6 pm. I take a walk around the block (to distract the burn victim) and up our huge hill with approximately 50 pounds of children, while singing "the farmer in the dell" (the longest song known to mom) and whatever else is requested.

While walking, I am one street over and I can hear my four year old asking my husband questions...while Jimmy is mowing the lawn! I am shaking my head, as he proves my deduction that he doesn't really always want an answer, the asking is like breathing to him.

7 pm. I successfully bathe myself and my baby at the same time, (impressive, I know) only to have him pee on my down comforter right afterwards. That's gratitude for ya

I read picture books.

8 pm. I eat ice cream. just thought it deserved a space

11 pm. I win (again) the self appointed award for "able to fit the most in a dishwasher". I win this a lot. Over and over.

Today, I am thankful for being created in such a way that I long to survive. And not only survive, but thrive. I am living, I am breathing, and I am rejuvenating on the inside. This is not of myself, so I cannot boast. Not that I would even consider it these days.


Life is Art is Life

I am thankful for a lot of things, but today it is Art. I have realized anew that it is everywhere. All around us. It penetrates all parts of our life. From the plastic food in my daughters room to the pine cones she enjoyed finding outside...from the brown bananas in my fridge to the crayons and markers in our playroom. Not to mention the books and movies on our shelves, the fine art prints on the walls, and the clothes on our backs. Somebody came up with that stuff and may we never take it for granted. Without the God-given creativity that I believe EVERYONE is gifted with, we would be blah. Blech. Boring. Do me a favor and take a moment to appreciate art today. To get you started, I've included an image by Chuck Close, an American artist of our time who became a quadriplegic and still painted with a paintbrush in his mouth. He has regained some control in his arms and hands and now paints with a paintbrush strapped to his hand. All I can really think as I type this is that he, too, was made in God's image. And with that comes a driving desire to live, to persevere, and to create.
Chuck Close
Big Self-Portrait
, 1967-68.

Acrylic on canvas.

107 1/2 x 83 1/2"


Cash Alley

Well here is Cash Alley. He was born April 7th so that makes him just over 5 months old. It seems like yesterday we were having Jackson. Cash is a very calm easy going baby and he likes to smile alot. He weighed in the other day at Publix@ 20 pounds. Some of his hobbies includes breastfeeding, flipping over from his back to his stomach, bouncing in his doorway jumper, yelling out, and sleeping. No instruments or song writing yet, but we are not going to push him into
living up to his namesake. James Cash Penny. Ha Ha! Well here is my post. Jimmy has written. Now Julie will post again.


The First Day of Home School

Here is a photo of my wonderful students. Today is Tuesday, September 5, 2006. Today it is cloudy and hot. This week's sponsors are, the letter S, the number 3, the circle, and the color yellow. I'm glad our school only lasted about an hour. I'm pooped!



I really like to swim. In fact, if it was not an option for me, I'd be really depressed. Like if something crazy happened and I could never be near a body of water and if there were no swimming pools...it would be really sad. But at this point in my life it's like someone said, "do you like to swim?" and after saying, "Yes! I've wanted to swim my whole life but have never been swimming!" they threw me in the deep end, and then all of a sudden told me, "well, since you like to swim so much, you're never getting out. You're going to have to learn to live your whole life, as you know it, while swimming." At first this may not seem like a big deal. Because, as I said, I love the water. I love swimming. Not being able to swim would be sad. But the reality of swimming constantly is that it is very consuming. It's hard to do things like read and cook. You are wet all the time. Your hair greatly suffers. Sometimes it's hard to catch your breath. Eating while swimming becomes a sport. Yet, there are moments in the deep end that aren't so bad. You can float on a raft some and have a break from all that wetness. Going to the bathroom is sometimes difficult but you somehow manage. Other people can join you in the pool and you have some support in your life long swim, but no one else understands life in the deep end quite like you do. You learn how to make it work. You do laps, you float, you hold your breath, you spend a lot of time treading water. A little synchronized swimming now and then.

This is how I feel being a mother.

I love it, couldn't imagine life without it. Once you get wet, you can't get totally dry. And it shouldn't be any other way. I'm hooked on swimming. Even though getting out and sitting on the side to watch others in the pool isn't an option for me, I'd rather be in the pool. Because being out of the water would be sad, boring...dry.


Corn flakes with banana

Yes, I am hypocritical, for here I sit writing my first blog when I have openly declared my reservations about them. Nothing against those who blog, but for the record, I'd like to state that I am against blogs because now, you can, without any personal contact with our family, find out what is going on with us. Somehow that does not seem right to me. You used to have to make an effort to know what was going on with someone. Now, you can carry on a complete conversation with someone without even hearing their voice. I feel like you should not be privileged enough to know, for example, what I ate for breakfast, unless you contact me personally and ask. Anyway, may we not let this blog come between us. The only reason I am here is because I have always been inclined to write when something gets me going. Now, if I am miffed about something in this world I can have an outlet. Something to send out into space for NO ONE SPECIFIC to read. Because I care enough to contact you personally, I promise.


Keep on truckin.