T'was the night before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas
and in every room
Noise maker fans were blowing
I was using a broom

The stockings were hung
by the door with thumb-tacks
For Penelope, Cash,
Libby, and Jack

With Jim in his boxers
and I in my chair
J-train miracles
were filling the air

I've nursed the baby
and put her to sleep
The presents under
the tree in a heap

When all of a sudden
there arose such a clatter
We muted the T.V.
To see what was the matter

Libby's crying I think
she fell out of her bed
"You help her," "no you!
She might've hit her head"

I'm trying to blog,
Jimmy's got gas
I hold my breath
for this too shall pass

Just wanted to share a picture of our first Christmas here with ourselves. Jimmy is taking it hard, being the party animal that he is. He's being a good sport even though I know he'd rather be with a crowd. I told him I would post a picture of his Christmas pizza. For the record, my pizza included spinach, making it red and green AND good for you. Jackson said, "pickles are good for you mom, they're cucumbers!" Anyways, we also unlocked the key to a group photo with Cash. Turn on T.V., Place camera on tripod directly in front of T.V., Place child on couch, Promise a lollipop if he sits still. This is our first family photo without me sitting on a hospital

God has come to earth in the form of a baby. I have a newborn baby. It is truly a humble being. Babies cannot do anything on their own. They need help for everything. It was truly a humiliating thing to become not only a man, but a tiny helpless one. Accompanied by angels and cow poop. My baby is angelic and poopy. And I don't give serving her a second thought. May it be the same for my Savior. May I serve Him freely and selflessly.

Peace to You.
Merry Christmas to all
And to all a Good Night!


stuff I don't want to forget

Just making notes of things I'd like to tell my kids one day, but am afraid I won't remember...
  • Whenever Jackson gives Penelope a kiss, he plants his lips on her cheek, goes totally still like a statue and holds his lips there for approximately (I've counted) 12 seconds. I always have to ask him to back off, it lasts so long. He responds with, "Mom, I wanted to give her a wedding kiss!"
  • Libby saying that Penelope is the cutest baby in the "whole white word" (whole wide world)
  • Yesterday I asked Libby to wash her hands and face after dinner. She did her hands but not her face and when I told her that her mouth was still dirty, she told me that it was not lasagna on her face, but that her freckles had just moved around.
  • My children have used sharpie to write on clothing, wood floors (twice), tile floors, my dry erase board, our dining room table, a decorative pillow sham, and themselves. These markers to me have begun to represent my identity as a person outside of being a mom. I love them so much, I still keep them around even though they are "mommy markers" and are NOT for children. I refuse to rid myself of sharpies. I will put aside breakable items, valuable books and documents, and electronics, but sharpies will remain plentiful in my home.
  • Last week Cash bit the tip off a yellow Crayola marker. I did NOT look for this in his diapers. If he wants to make art on the inside of his body, that is his choice as a modern artist. If only something recognizable came out into his poop--maybe we could take the kid to NYC and make a buck.
  • My favorite kissing spot on Penelope is right between her eyes. I don't want to forget this because I know I've had a favorite spot on all my kids when they were infants, but I can't remember the others for sure. This makes me sort of sad.
I hate that I'm going to forget everyday stuff like this. I wish I had a big sharpie in my brain to circle certain things that happen in my day. You think you're going to remember your sweet baby boy yelling "bye bye...love you" over and over, and hopefully you will, but you never know if you'll be able to or not, and which events will stick. I am thankful that my life is so full that there are too many memories to keep track of. If anyone reading this wants to make some memories, you can borrow a child or two any time. Just kidding.


King Kong

Well, I am adjusting to life with an additional J. It has been described to me as "a new normal" and this is true. Life as I knew it no longer exists and now I have to figure out how to maintain some sort of safe, sane, and somewhat sanitary environment for my little people.

We get the cheap basic cable and because they block out all the extra channels, there are a few we get that we aren't supposed to. The Style network is one of them. We like to watch "Clean House" in which a team of four people visits a family with intense clutter, has a yard sale, and uses the money to fix up and reorganize their space. The show is hosted by Nicey Nash, a large lipped always well dressed African American woman who is never without a flower in her hair. She always has a heart to heart with these people who live in clutter and she is always using the adjectives "foolishness" and "mayhem" to describe their home.

This is my new normal. FOOLISHNESS. And MAYHEM.

Contributing to much of my mayhem is my toddler. I now would like to remind those who may not know or remember, that I previously described Cash as a big squooshy marshmallow. And he is. Although a marshmallow I believe, is a little bit lighter. Anyways, Cash has weighed and measured average for his age, so when I make comments about how huge he is, it's not really that he's all that big, it's just the way he carries himself. And throws himself around. He is a full blown male toddler. I add the "male" part because he has an aspect that is quite masculine. He likes to destroy, take apart, and tear things apart. I think the squooshy marshmallow part applied to Cash, the baby. As my friend Carey says, we won the baby lottery. He was laid back, quiet, and calm. Cash the toddler is not so much. If the bathroom door is open, he is in the toilet. If the pantry is open, he is in it. If it's locked, he tries the trash can. He is fully equipped with that toddler radar that hones in on anything that is NOT a good idea for him to climb on, touch, eat, or throw.

What spurred this whole blog is what happened yesterday. I was attempting to teach Jackson school. We were sitting on the bed in the playroom (trying to be away from Cash) using some paper triangles to make shapes of things. We had a child's encyclopedia open next to us, which we were referencing, trying to imitate their shapes. Cash bounds up on the bed, much to my frustration, and does a spread eagle on top of the encyclopedia, hoisting his ample belly right on top of the pages, wrinkling them up as he grabs for our project. Jackson got frustrated too and said, "Cash, you're like King Kong!"

Unfortunately, ever since Jackson made this observation, I keep having these visions of Cash, our little King Kong, climbing into Penelope's crib, (the top of the Empire State Building, if you will) grabbing her by the torso, and waving her around while he speaks his toddler-ease that no one can really understand. While he may be a gentle giant at heart, I fear for my newborn's safety, I must confess.


Little Red Caboose

Hey, it's Julie. I thought I would record some highlights from the birth experience while they are fresh in my mind. The best part for me was getting to photograph the birth of my own baby. I have always wanted to do this, but haven't been able to while in the pains of labor and pushing. I finally accomplished it by getting an epidural and having my baby slide out with no pushing required. Jimmy stood watch of two screens- my contractions and Sunday afternoon football. My mom was the normal queen of support, but I'm sure glad I remembered to pack the crossword puzzles, since most of the day was pretty boring.

My Dad gets a gold medal for babysitter of the millennium--he watched my kids on an incredibly exciting and unpredictable day. You think I'm referring to the birth of Penelope? Well, that's exciting and unpredictable but really I was referring to the time change. Also, three days worth of Pop-Pop's morning oatmeal, which he lovingly makes for the kids when he's visiting, decided to blaze on through to Cash's diapers. Dad got to deal with all of it. When Jimmy called him after she was born, Jackson got on the phone, heard the news, yelled at Jimmy "I'm pumped!" and then promptly hung up.

Libby sat next to me on my hospital bed, looked over at Penelope and said, "We're three girls." (I usually say to Libby, "We're two girls.") Cash lovingly held my hand while sitting in his stroller next to my bed in the hospital. We are pretty much experts at the whole hospital stay, and Jimmy was very gracious to get off his lame excuse for a bed just to turn on a light or get me a drink. He ate cheese grits from the cafeteria like three times. He also provided plenty of laughs for me, as usual, with his mispronunciations of words we only use during or after childbirth. For example, a baby's first bowel movement, called "meconium" was called by Jimmy condonium and plutonium, among a few others. I kept correcting him, even though I knew what he meant and knew it would do no good, he won't remember what it's called and it really doesn't matter, I guess. When a nurse technician came in to draw my blood at 5 a.m. missed a vein twice, and then sent in someone else, I managed to pretty much sleep through the whole thing. Later, another nurse came in to tell me about the class for new mommies. When she left I announced, "I think I'm going to skip the class this time." I'm not proud, but I don't really need a demonstration on how to use a car seat or put on a diaper.

Enough of all that. I really wanted to post a few pictures that I actually got a chance to take in all the chaos. Penelope has proven to be no trouble so far-- a good sleeper at night, I'm hoping it sticks! Jackson wants to hold her ALL the time. Libby regularly announces she loves her, and Cash, though he's having a little trouble adjusting, likes to bring her what she needs. Tonight my mom was holding her, and Cash brought her a blanket, cloth diaper, and my bed pillow, since those are the items I've had with me every time I hold her. He pays attention.

Penelope is little, red, and bringing up the rear of the J train. Our caboose.


Baby Penelope!

Here are the some pictures. Who do you think she looks like? Jackson, Libby, Cash, Jimmy, or Julie. Leave your vote in the comments section. Its up in the air with us.
This is the official end of a million dollar pregnancy.


Poop cycle

Well, here I am again with another poop story. But you know what? Flatulence and poop are always good for a laugh. And I do like to try and make things funny. It's not hard when things like this happen to you. I need to give a little background before the payoff, so please stick with me.

In the middle of the night last night Libby fell out of her bed. It finally registered what happened after probably a minute or more of scream-crying. I went to get her up and realized she was wet. I told her to go to the bathroom and take off her pants. She did, and I took off the sheets and grabbed fresh underwear and pj's, meeting her outside the bathroom door, where she was trying to get her wet pants off her ankles. I helped her, tossed them in a pile with the wet sheet to be washed tomorrow, and helped her step into her clean pants and night shirt. I then saw some poop on the floor behind her. Gross, right? Well, this is not uncommon (here's some background on the background part: Libby does not always poop when she has the urge, we're working on it, but because of that she often poops in her sleep and also because of that her poop is so hard it rivals in size and consistency a golf ball. Prune juice, anyone?) So I grabbed some TP and plopped it in the toilet, trying to stay sleepy despite the fact that it stunk. I put on a clean sheet, she went back to bed, I washed my hands, peed, of course, and also went back to bed.

Okay. So this morning after breakfast I put the soiled laundry in the washer, added enough to make a load, which included her pillow (it's a small one I can put in the wash) and started the washer. I got everyone dressed and playing outside, and then had them wake up Jimmy. I then proceeded to do more cleaning in the kitchen than usual, because I'm going to have this baby soon and I want everything to be Queen-ready. Feeling rather proud of myself that I actually wiped down the inside of the microwave, I heard the washer stop. I decided to switch the laundry over to the dryer. I was also feeling proud of myself about this, because, sometimes soiled laundry sits for a while if it's not laundry day and when I wash laundry on NON laundry day, I tend to forget about it. I walked into the laundry room and told Jimmy something stunk. I assumed it was the full kitchen trash can, which sits right outside the laundry room door. (At this point I'm beginning to wonder if all this background is really worth a stinky payoff.) I open the washer and smelled inside. Something wasn't quite right. I pulled out Libby's pillow, buried my face in it, much like one might see on a laundry soap or fabric softener commercial, and took a big whiff. It didn't exactly smell like soap, but I still wasn't sure I wasn't just smelling the trash can. I put the pillow and a few other items into the dryer and then I discovered something. Libby's sheet had some brown flecks on it. And then I saw it. A poop terd in the bottom of my washer. Gross! I had just done a super sized load of laundry with soap and poop! I ran out to report my finding to Jimmy, only to go back in and find two more terds, the last and biggest stuck to the bottom of my washer looking large and in charge.

Well, of course I proceeded to look through every piece of laundry to make sure I didn't repeat the "Poop cycle" when I rewashed everything, and started the clothes again--with hot water and oxyclean this time. Did you believe me when I said her poop was like a golf ball? Well, obviously since it barely even disintegrated in an entire laundry cycle. And do you remember the part where I buried my face in the pillow? This is what has stuck with me all day. Me, proud of myself for doing my laundry efficiently, burying my face in a pillow that was washed with golf ball poop. Just when I thought we had seen every poop disaster known to man, another one rears it's ugly head. Or should I say it's ugly rear end?


...begins with the letter E

This week is letter Ee. Libby drew an amazing elephant on Monday and then asked me how to spell it and made every letter so well that I brought it out at dinner time and bragged about her to Jimmy. Jackson also did a good job portraying an egg- in every form he could think of. Jimmy said, "You should put these on the blog" so Jackson remembered and has been bugging me to post them. I will ask them to talk about their pictures.

This is Libby's picture and Libby drawed this and then she drawed the eyes and the eybrows and then she drawed the elephant. This is my elephant. I did it and my mom did it on the computer. That's what I want you to say. (Libby was given a prompt page that looked like Jackson's and did eyes and eyebrows first before she moved to the elephant.)

Eggs can be lots of things. They can make a baby chick and the chicks grow. They can make scrambled eggs. And then you eat them all up. They can make boiled eggs. They can make eggs that you can eat plain.


This too shall pass

I have been thinking I should post something before I have this baby (I'm due Nov. 4) but I think I am censoring myself because when you are 9 months pregnant for the fourth time in 6.5 years, certain words are just a part of your vocabulary that most people are not very comfortable with. I am afraid that if I blog it will be filled with words like groin, nipples, uterus, bottom (and whatever else you may call it), contractions, cervix, and discharge. At least I didn't include hemorrhoids. Which is a very interesting word by the way. I believe there are a few acceptable spellings. Probably because no one wants to think about them.

So this explains my lack of gumption to write, but I have now successfully gotten it all out of my system and you can rest easy. No more pregnancy lingo from this obstetrical patient. I will be good.

Today I lugged both Jackson and Cash to my Dr.'s office for a routine ultrasound and check-up with my doctor. Cash seems to be over the whole waiting room scene but luckily I had Jackson around to keep him happy by doing many things, one of which was pushing him around the waiting room in the stroller, only running into someones toes once. To make a long story short, I had to have two ultrasounds, the second being a "level 2" which means I went upstairs to a nicer ultrasound machine. They were making sure I had plenty of amniotic fluid, which I did and all is well. The baby passed with flying colors and I actually got to see her in 4D which was cool but scary because her face was smooshed against me and my placenta. (Oops I promised no more buzz words.) So we were a Hansel and Gretel of sorts, scattering all kinds of "keep your children occupied" snack food crumbs over waiting rooms, exam rooms and hallways over the course of 2.5 hours. All of this culminated with Jackson announcing in quite a loud voice to a nurse, "We're having NO MORE BABIES after this!" I just laughed because, what else is there besides laughter after a morning such as ours? Oh that, and the fact that Cash was fussing and my big round belly was full of jelly when Jackson dropped his declaration. As if he makes all the life-altering decisions in our family.



Well, this week is a week of adjustments on the J train. Monday I started homeschool, and Tuesday Jimmy started his new job (of which the first two days have proved it is indeed the perfect job for him--YES!) and Libby went to pre-school. She will be going two mornings a week. Everyone seems to be adjusting fine. I am just amazed at Jimmy going to bed early and getting up BEFORE me. (Even if it's only five or ten minutes before me.) It has been years since this has been the case. Here are pictures. Noodle Names from our first day of school (it's letter N week), Jimmy out the door, Libby ready for school, and what Cash and Jackson were doing while I had her sitting on the front porch. Poor Libby. And a shot of Cash eating breakfast in the background because my other two are ready to learn! Ha!

p.s. An apology to all who have left comments in the last three or four months. I didn't know you commented and I finally published them all. Sorry!



Sometimes you have one of those days where you're not quite sure you're going to make it until bedtime. I'm not really sure if it was the spilling of salt on my freshly mopped floors, the pee on the carpet, the whining, the endless questions at the exact wrong times, or the loss of electricity just before the eggs were fully cooked on my casserole, but after the clean-up of our "just eat the edges" dinner I knew I had to get in the car and strap everyone down so at least they couldn't touch each other or me for an hour. So, we did. It was pretty bad, but as I said, at least no one made a mess or hurt someone. And yes, we made it to bedtime. Which was 20 minutes early tonight.

Sometimes when I go in to check on the kids at night they might stir a little and seem to notice me. Jackson, my heaviest sleeper, will never open his eyes but might jabber something or turn over. Libby is usually peaceful, but will sometimes crack an eyelid. Cash is often found spread eagle, on tummy or back. But tonight my baby boy just turned over and looked at me with wide eyes as if he had been waiting for me to come. I scooped him up and rocked him for a while, and as he lay with his open hand on my belly his baby sister seemed to step up her movements just a little. After the night we had, I rocked there thinking of how many more crazy nights are to come. But rocking with your big baby and your tiny baby together, a once in a lifetime opportunity, makes it all worth it.

Sometimes Jimmy tells me "you need to blog about that". And it was none of what I just wrote, that was just therapeutic. What he thought I should record for posterity is the phone call I got today. Jimmy was out. (*Also for the record, he got a job and starts Tuesday.) We were about our normal post lunch pre nap chaos and the phone rang. I could hear that it was somewhere in the back of the house and heard Jackson say, "Mom! Phone!" so I ventured back to our bedroom, picked up the phone and said "hello?" To which I heard someone (who sounded a lot like me) say, "hello?" right back. I'm not sure what else was said, but there was another hello and some giggling and so I promptly hung up and walked out to the living room to confirm my suspicions that Jackson had used our cell phone and called me on it. He was cracking up and I was NOT amused, telling him he just spent ten cents to call me. Only later, when I relayed the story to Jimmy, did I see it as pretty funny. I also later thought to myself that if I ever wondered whether or not he could recall and use our phone number in an emergency (and I have wondered this) then I guess I know the answer. I think I'll use the cell phone to call him tomorrow. Hee hee. Two can play at this game, Jackson.


On the road again

Well, we thought our trip to New Jersey and back would be our last hurrah during Jimmy's "summer of George" but here we are, on the road again, to spend a few days with my sister in Indian Harbour Beach, FL and then a day and night with Jeremy and Darcy, and of course a stay with my parents on the way up and back from these places. This reminded me of our journeys this past May when my kids awoke at 6 a.m. this morning. Jackson received a good what I like to call "whisper scream" which basically means I lost my cool and totally yelled at him, only through clenched teeth and in a whisper volume. I said something like "DON'T COME IN HERE AGAIN!" and of course he did and woke up Libby. Whatever.

My brother in law Jim (the traveling preacher) has enjoyed our Wii, (pronounced "wee") which Jimmy bought last week. (I will not comment on how I had to wait until AFTER my birthday to get new shoes because tax free week started the next day, but he can, with little thought, purchase a new game system. Plus tax of course.) So anyway, Jim keeps making comments like "We like to wii in the den" and "We could wii for hours" and "wii-ing gives us pleasure" and "wii-ing makes me warm all over" but my NON preaching husband comes up with "I like to touch my wii while I look at the TV" and we all laugh until we have no strength left in our arms. No, wait, that's from bowling.

So I wanted to post our final "after" picture from our trip earlier this summer because Jimmy never did and I haven't forgotten about it. This will give you a good picture of how we all feel after being away from home for days. Only now I am in the final trimester of my pregnancy and find it nearly impossible to turn around backwards from the passenger seat to help little people. I do enjoy, though, chastising Jimmy for almost cursing under his breath at other drivers while listening to headphones. It's as if he thinks I can't hear him because he can't hear himself. Yes, this is how Jimmy copes with traveling with little people and a pregnant wife. He wears headphones while he drives. Most of the time me and Cash are the only ones not connected to some kind of electronic device.

Here's the picture. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to wii in the bathroom.


Hair, hair, hair!

Today I gave all three kids haircuts. Thank you, Jimmy for documenting the process. Here are some before and after shots. This was the first haircut for Libby and Cash.

Here is Cash right before we started, caught in the act of eating frosted mini-wheat dust. The queen would be proud, she hates to throw that stuff away.

Here are some of Jackson's mane. I declared it was time to cut it because I just couldn't stand not seeing his eyes anymore. I tried to get him to push it back but he just couldn't keep it out of his face.

Libby before. I didn't cut much. There's not much to cut!

Here is Cash, excited about his first lollipop. He did figure out how to eat it from the right end, and yes, he ate plenty of hair too. Yuck!

I know the "after" shots aren't great but getting them to sit still and look at the camera at the same time isn't possible, even for a semi-pro photographer like myself!


For a long time I've been meaning to write a blog totally devoted to Jackson. I think it all began when we were sitting in the waiting room of my Dr's office last month for a normal pregnancy check-up. Out of the clear blue sky Jackson says to me, "I hope your baby's not black skinned, Mom." Trying to hide my laughter, and hoping the other prego's nearby hadn't heard, I of course explained that our baby cannot have black skin because myself and Dad don't have black skin. Putting two and two together Jackson says, quite happily, "And I don't have black skin!"

And there you have it. I hesitated to record this for all to see because I don't want my son to appear racist. But I think it's pretty cool that Jackson assumed babies come out whatever color they happen to be. I know he made the comment because he just wants his sister to look like him.

I am also devoting this to Jackson because very soon he will be able to read this blog on his own and the days of telling funny stories about your kids that might be embarrassing to them but since they're to little to understand you can get away with it are soon going to be over for us around here.

So here's another one. After a long and exhausting evening I declared "everyone to the tub!" because I'm sure it had been a while and I figured containment was priceless, even if it did mean me leaning over my belly to wash people. I discovered Cash was dirty so I had to haul him back out of the bathroom (which he hates of course because he thinks he's not going to get to bathe) and then back into the bath, holding his (heavy) naked body at arms length so as not to get any dirty booty germs on myself. Whew. Which was exactly how I was feeling. Tired, frustrated and hoping for some peace and quiet bath playing. I then am forced to try and answer another question from Jackson: "Mom, why doesn't the water go into my body through the hole at the end of my penis?" If anyone wants to try and explain this to a five and a half year old who doesn't really listen to the answers anyway, please feel free. I wish now that I had said, "I don't have a penis, let's ask Dad" but instead I tried to give some sort of "that's not how those muscles work" explanation. Looking back, now I really hope he wasn't listening and never remembers the conversation.

We have been painting still and have finally finished. Jackson coined a new phrase in my opinion, when he walked into where I was rolling and said, "Wow, Mom! SO much wow!" It was quite encouraging.

Jackson is good like that. He knows me. He knows me really well, actually. For someone who seems to not pay much attention. Tonight I sat down on the couch and took off my glasses and began to rub my eyes, sighing heavily. Jackson said, "I know what's wrong Mom. You're frustrated because you're tired and Dad's not coming home until late and you have all these kids crawling all over you." Well said, Jackson. Today I drug a protesting Cash out of the bathroom by one arm and loudly told Libby to get out of there so I could close the door. She began to cry as well and Jackson says, "Mom, that's what happens when you don't take care of your kids." I hope to be able to use that one on him some day.



Tonight we went to the mall to meet our friends the Lehman's and eat dinner. It was quite an experience. It always is. But tonight I just felt like we could have locked our family in a cage and sold tickets for others to watch our craziness. Here are some numbers I recorded in my mind:

24- number of chicken nuggets our family ate
3- number of people we saw who we knew besides the Lehman's (I only include this because the number of times I looked in the mirror before we left or made any effort to "fix" myself was, of course, ZERO)
12- approximate number of times I made Cash stay seated in his high chair or stroller
12- approximate number of times Cash screamed really loud
5- number of free Chick-fil-A coupons our kids won playing games (it pays to eat badly, unfortunately)
6 trillion- my estimate of the number of dust particles my (still crawling) 15 month old child picked up off the floor of the food court and bookstore
600 trillion- number of germs we probably came in contact with
25- number of feet of toilet paper I used courtesy of Barnes & Nobles
2- number of children who pooped all over themselves
9- number of times I felt it necessary to pump the soap when washing my hands
1- number of pairs of poopy underwear I left in the trash at the mall
2- about the number of times I mentally patted myself on the back for being a mommy problem solving genius (I have to do this "I am my family's super hero" personal encouragement for myself or I can't get through the day)
4 or 5- number of people Libby hit with her helium balloon
4- number of people I washed from head to toe as soon as we got home (everyone but Jimmy, he does shower on his own)
90- number of minutes we spent eating, running, peeing, pooping, crawling, talking, and getting dirty at the mall

And here's the kicker:
3- total number of baby wipes I had left to make it through this entire experience

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! I promise we are not doing drugs or drinking. We are high on life and hormones. Well, I'm probably the only one with raging hormones. Thank goodness. It's where I draw my super powers from. I am crazy hormone raged baby wipe-less mommy. Let's see.. one more number.

25,000- approximate number of baby wipes I'll need before this train comes to a stop at the next station in life.


Lucky pink

We're not superstitious about anything, really. Except clothing, I guess. Last week I went for my routine ultrasound for this pregnancy. You know, they measure everything and check out all organs. And, of course, they look between the baby's legs to see what's there. Or what's not. The morning of my ultrasound I had to wear this particular pink maternity shirt. I wore it when I found out Libby was a girl. (I also wore it when I found out Cash was a boy, but that was really just a last ditch effort. I was pretty confident I was carrying a boy.) I call it my lucky pink shirt and I accompanied it with some girly looking socks with flowers on them.

Well, it seemed to work because my baby is a girl. Libby was present and said, "She will belong in my room!" I told the technician doing my ultrasound that I wore my lucky pink shirt but she didn't really seem to care. Whatever. I think it works!

Jimmy has a shirt (a sports jersey) he wears when we're in the delivery room. He put it on when we were leaving to go to the hospital to have Jackson. He said, "I'm the coach, I need a jersey!" and I thought he was crazy. But he's worn it for every birth so far. Since I've had pretty easy deliveries, I'm sure I'll ask him to wear it just one more time. We should auction off our superstitious pregnancy and delivery clothing when we're finished with it. Pink shirts and sports jersey's. All you need for a baby girl and a painful (but relatively short) delivery.


Alley RoadTrip 2007

Here is the link to our trip blog. We are leaving for 2 to 3 weeks to visit friends. I will try to keep it updated.

Trip Blog
Alley Road Trip


AWANA Graduation- Celebration Baptist

Last night we had the last of Jackson's Awana meetings for the year and they closed it with an awards ceremony. The Lehman's were there to share in the fun. Here are some of the pictures

Early Morning Visitors

Ok I was going to post something else, which I will in a sec, but I have to say what just happened. First Julie took the two oldest to the doctor for a check up and Cash is asleep. I am sitting here fixing to blog some pics and I hear this crackling sound from the kitchen. The clothes are in the washer so I attributed it to that at first. But it became more distinct as I sat here and it definitely was not coming from the laundry room. So I proceed to walk out to the kitchen and what is in my kitchen, two birds eating the breakfast cereal off the ground. I have the doors and windows open because its such a nice day. Anyways I thought I would share. Please do not tell Cash because if he finds out someone or something has been doing his job he might be unhappy.


One big poop diaster after another

Sometimes Jimmy and I feel like our life is just one big poop disaster after another. Now I can't decide where to go from here. Do you want details? You might never come over again when you discover most surfaces in our house have probably had poop on them. Yet there must be some elaboration on my poop declaration. Sometimes it is hard for me not to see my diapered children (yes, Libby still can't figure it out) as ticking time bombs who may or may not hit their target. Jimmy and I keep telling each other that it's just the season we're in. That in three to four years, we could be totally done with diapers. Sometimes I'm not so sure. Will my kids be through with diapers before it's time for me to start buying them for Jimmy or myself?

And really, when I think about it, poop isn't really a disaster, right? I mean I should be thankful my children have healthy bowels and all that, right? But still...

When you sneak into your baby's room, so as not to wake your son, plant him on your hip, and feel the poop ooze through your pajamas, it feels like a disaster.
When your daughter calls out from her bed at night "I have poo-poo" and you discover it's all over her and her bed, it feels like a disaster.
When you say to your loving spouse, "I smell a dirty diaper" only to turn around and see a pile of poop on the floor, it feels like a disaster.
When your daughter takes off her diaper and attempts to dump her dump in the toilet, then proceeds to walk around with poop all over her bottom and her hands way to close to her rear end, it feels like a disaster.
When I realize that all of these events happened in a week, it really feels like my life is just one big poop disaster after another.


For the love of H2O

Last week I purchased a new 34 ounce insulated mug. This seven dollar and ninety seven cents purchase has enhanced my life in so many ways, I wanted to share with you the evolution of the mug in my life.

I can remember my first mug. I took it on a trip to Arkansas with my sister and her husband my senior year of high school. It was a 32 ounce, Aladdin brand. Mouth hole, straw hole, nice handle, stellar insulation. Purple all over with a ring of white at the top. On the way home from Arkansas my sister fell victim to some pork roast we had eaten before we left and she, in a pinch, used my precious water vessel to throw up in. Needless to say I never drank from it again. My mom, however, had no problem washing it and using it, so, she traded mugs with me. (We were a family of insulated mugs at the time.) Her mug was identical to mine, just pink with a turquoise rim. I used this mug for a long time. Into my first years of college. And the beginning of marriage.

In the summer after college, I worked summer camp, where they provided, much to my enjoyment, a new mug for us that, I believe, held an amazing SIXTY FOUR ounces. (I'm getting thirsty just writing about such things. I may not make it to the end of the blog. I might have to get a drink.) These mugs had a feature to close off the mouth hole, so as not to spill your water. Their insulation was not so great though, because my ice would melt before I had a chance to finish drinking. Somewhere along the way I decided it was time for a new one and I purchased the new version of Aladdin mug which was blue with a black lid. This mug lasted me for a while. I'm sorry for not being more attentive to the exact dates of my mugs.

Okay, this is getting a little old. Let's cut to the chase. The point is, I have not had a mug I could rely on for like the past 8 to 10 months (my latest broke in two different ways) and NOW I DO. Having cold water at my fingertips has made my life so much better I wish everyone would carry around a mug of cold water. Some of you have one. You know what it's like. There's no going back. Water bottles are for light weights. Give me the mug or let me be parched! (I have included some photographs of me and my mugs through the years. Click on the collage to see it full screen and you will be able to read the text better.)


No, I'm not kidding

Well, I'm pregnant again. (If you're not aware and you need a moment, please, be my guest.)

Last week we decided to break the news to Jackson. He didn't believe us. He kept saying over and over, "You're kidding me, Mom." I finally convinced him I was NOT playing a joke and his excitement and smiles seemed to move up his neck and face and come oozing out his dimples. I wish my reaction had been such pure happiness.

I have had a month for the shock and disbelief to wear off but had I written a blog much earlier I may have been tempted to insert symbolic curse words like $#*! and ... well, probably just that one. In the last month through the nausea and exhaustion I have decided what's done is done and of course we will be excited to add another J to the train.

Two weeks ago my sister Susan and her family came to visit and since I was not telling Jackson yet I didn't tell her kids either. We didn't want the information to leak so our code lingo was something along the lines of, "You know, when the Italian comes" or "The Italian is coming in November". I am so embarrassed at our inability to master any form of birth control, I was tempted to keep it up for as long as possible. Instead of telling people I am pregnant, I decided, we could say we were getting an exchange student from Italy. I guess the breakdown would occur when I get a big belly. But maybe I'm just getting fat from practicing my Italian cooking? Because you know, the Italian is coming, ready or not.

I started a journal:
Million Dollar Pregnancy


Swingin Jackson

Here is Jackson swinging on the disc swing. He's pumped!!!! I love this guy.


Random Pics

Here are some more pictures I thought were fun.

Jackson. He's growing his hair out.

Its a computer double team.

My lovely in her new thrift store

"Life at the Lake"

Yard Sale and a Waldo

This is Jimmy. Julie prefers I state that when I am contributing to the blog so as not to confuse people. Anyways I thought I would say what we've been up to since Julie is busy. Well we are currently visiting Julie's parents down in Waldo. This was a sort of unexpected trip since we did not know we were coming as of last week. But I made the executive decision since I knew after our garage sale last weekend we would have a free week. So we are here having a great time with Julie's parents. Its a tough life, we have watched basketball, pressure washed many surfaces (which I must say I have enjoyed), Jackson has been using the disc swing like crazy, feeding the goats (which are a blog to themselves), taking naps, thrift store shopping, and we got here Sunday night. Whew! Much more planned but I am too ADD to type it out.

Backtracking, Our Yard Sale went off without a hitch. We made 195 bucks which was coool. The night before Jackson and I decided he should sell some juice or something so we scrambled around and got it together. We made two batches of brownies as well as a gallon of lemonade for the adoring public. The Ice cold lemonade was left ice cold as the temp never got above like 45 that morning but we did sell out of the brownies. We've got big plans for the next garage sale. (cakes, pies, brats, you name it)

I am still on the job hunt if anyone hears of anything. Life is good.

Jackson and his concession stand.

How would you like us for your neighbors?


Chick Fil-A

The evening after Jimmy and I got married, we drove to St. Augustine for the night. Before even checking into the hotel we two unplucked innocents decided we needed some Chick Fil-A first. Priorities, man. Anyway, since then this fast food joint has been part of our life on a regular basis. We love going there. Jackson used to call it "Chick aways." Now Libby has her own version: "Chick a-lay."

This past Tuesday we went with Jimmy's mom and grandmother. (We try to go on a Tuesday because kids eat free.) As I was sitting there with Libby waiting for Dad and Jackson to bring the food over, Libby turns to me and says, "Mom, what's a Chick?" So I of course told her it was a baby chicken. Then she said, "What's a-lay?" And, with a bit of a pause to interpret her toddler-ese, I said, "A fillet is a cut of meat." She just looked at me and said, "Oh." And there you have it. That's my girl. Digging deeper than just fries and sauces.


i hate us

For the record and posterity, Jimmy's jobless. We are having a great time. It is just a season. I have always teased Jimmy about the time he said "i hate us" instead of hiatus. Whatever you call it, it's here and I think it's needed. I am excited about what will come next for us. We are going to be pinching pennies to give him the time he needs and wants. Last night he looked at me and said, "We're never going to have a lot of money." And I assured him we have SO much. Tonight as I nursed my baby before bed I was just overwhelmed with how full of life our home is. Every single day there is joy, pain, laughter, tears, revelation, and love. In case anyone out there didn't know, you can't buy that stuff with all the money in the world. Hey, would you like some crackers with this cheese?

And now I'd like to share three pieces of wisdom spoken to me by my mother, the queen, over and over again in my life. They've been running through my brain today...
"A lot of life is how you look at it"
"Life is just one adjustment after the other"
"If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right."

(That last one doesn't really apply to the whole hiatus thing, but it sure does inspire me to do a good job when I make the bed.)


3 valentines, 2 adults

Even though I have been a mother for over five years now, I have realized that isn't really all that long. I am just starting to realize that Jimmy and I are losing. We are out numbered 3 to 2 by these wonderful creatures. What tipped me off, you might ask?

Was it the discovery that I no longer listen to any music except Bible Songs, Veggie Tales, Baby Mozart or Raffi while driving in the car? Or maybe it's the fact that every time I go to a store I seem to end up walking up and down every toy aisle only to end up forgetting something "essential" like MAC and CHEESE or PB&J. No, it must be that I have become somewhat like Inspector Gadget...Someone gets snotty, sticky, or germy and it's "Go Go gadget WIPES" and out they come in a flash.

No, none of these things (though good evidence) made me realize how much things have changed. It all hit me tonight in the grocery store. Do you remember (or maybe, if you have not yet had kids, you still do this) when you used to shop for groceries and everything you needed would fit in the front part, the part where a kid sits? Then you get married, and, while you still use the kid seat, you now can fill up that and part of the largest part of the cart. Then you have your first child and are excited about the baby taking up the part intended for a child. All is well. You still have room for your food. But tonight, we didn't even get to the first aisle and I am already utilizing the BOTTOM of the cart. Yes, it's true, there is a use for the bottom of the cart for people besides those with a desire to buy 50 pound bags of dog food. It's there for me, the mom with enough children to fill up the cart in the parking lot before even getting in the door. It was at this moment tonight that I realized how outnumbered we are.

And now, I am having a horrible feeling of horror and anxiety because I think I may have written about this before. Is it de ja vu? Or did I just think about writing it? Or did I really write about it.

Well, I am too tired to peruse my own blog to find out. Just ignore it if I've said it before. Here is a picture of my cuties on Valentines Day and another picture that proves happiness is a four letter word. C-A-S-H. And not the spendable kind. The kissable kind.