This blog is just about my life and mostly revolves around my son, Jamie. This blog is a combination of everything, whether it may be a new recipe I tried, a good freebie I found, something funny Jamie said, or feelings I'm having about life in general. There's little rhyme or reason. I'll never win any blogging awards, but I enjoy writing about our lives and I mostly do it for my son. It's so easy to forget moments over the years. I've got all these little tidbits of our life in print and I hope that someday Jamie can enjoy them.

I called this blog Mother of Life, Mother of Loss because of my issues with pregnancy loss and the joy of finally bringing this wonderful person into the world. Truly, I feel the pains of loss, but you won't see too much of that here. I am blessed and I am, above all else, a mother of life.

After all the years of infertility and loss, Matthew and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We were pregnant with twins, but unfortunately, Baby A could not stay with us. Baby B grew into a healthy and happy baby girl that we named Bella Marie. We are so blessed to have two beautiful children.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Celiac Disease

Matthew's sister has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease. She recommends that Matt and Jamie be tested for it. Jamie's 4 year well doctors visit is on October 3rd and I think I will request testing for it. I've been reading some on it tonight. I think it's worth the test. I've looked at possible symptoms and I think it's very possible that he has inherited this.

I'm worried that we missed this and this is why he has had some developmental delays.

Autism or Celiac Disease?
By: Laura Roe Stevens (View Profile)

Autism is garnering a lot of media attention with the recent news that as many as one in 150 American children may be affected with the disease. (See our story on the recent CDC report, Is Autism Increasing?.) However, there is another disease that presents itself with similar symptoms and behavioral characteristics in children, yet is rarely known. Chances are you may not have heard of Celiac Disease—a completely treatable disease through dietary changes. So what is it? Laymen may refer to it as a severe allergy to wheat. I decided to chat with Jeffrey M. Aron, MD, a San Francisco–based gastroenterologist and leading expert on the disease to learn more.

Q: What exactly is Celiac Disease?

Dr. Aron: Celiac Disease is the only auto-immune disorder where we know specifically the offending substances—grain proteins—and the details of the body’s immune response to them. Thus, Celiac Disease is a “paradigm” disease—unlocking the interaction of the vast digestive tract and its immune, nervous, and endocrine components and the environment. (It is also highly associated with Type I Diabetes mellitus in children.) We know, for example, that the onset of an overactive immune response to the environment in the gut has profound effects on brain and nervous system function. This has enormous applications to other conditions such as the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Q: How does the disorder most commonly present itself?

Dr. Aron: While most physicians and laypersons believe that Celiac Disease most commonly presents with digestive symptoms; that is just the “tip of the iceberg.” The vast majority of symptoms (well below the surface of the iceberg) present with undiagnosed anemia (low hemoglobin count), osteoporosis and osteopenia, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, a vast array of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and dental enamel erosions. Many do not manifest any symptoms at all. They may be one of those “lucky ones” who can eat anything without gaining weight, eliciting the envy of others.

Q: What are the most common symptoms seen in young children?

Dr. Aron: In children, the most common presentations are behavior and learning disorders. Unexplained seizures, disorders of gait and balance (ataxias), failure to thrive, and various abdominal complaints: pain, bloating, abnormal bowel habits.

Q: Why are some children misdiagnosed as having autism when they have Celiac?

Dr. Aron: It is not surprising that, given the protean neurological manifestations of Celiac Disease, that there is considerable overlap with the diagnostic features of autism. However, there are no rigorous studies to demonstrate an increase of Celiac Disease in those diagnosed with Autism.

Q: Have you treated any children thought to be Autistic, who then responded and improved once on a gluten-free diet?

Dr. Aron: Being an adult gastroenterologist, I have not treated any children with Autism, although patients and their families have reported family members who have Autism and have shown marked improvement (when on a gluten-free diet).

Q: Would you recommend parents of autistic children to try gluten-free diets to see if their children improve?

Dr. Aron: Basically, the gluten-free diet is completely harmless. It’s not like giving a drug with dangerous side-effects. The only negative features are inconvenience and some added expense, two rather inconsequential factors where one’s child is concerned. Furthermore, there will be no interference with any other diagnostic test or therapy, so go ahead, there’s nothing to lose! At California Pacific Medical Center, we have major research efforts in Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and I am honored to be leading these endeavors.

The Making of a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Jamie wanted to make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the first time the other day. He did a pretty good job. He did the peanut butter himself, but ended up needing assistance getting the jelly out.

Meat Loaf Balls


2 lbs Hamburger Meat
4 slices of bread torn into little pieces
2 Eggs
1 large or 2 small onions
4-5 Potatoes

Recipe: Meat Loaf & Potatoes

Bake at 400ยบ for 30-45 minutes

Combine in large bowl
• 2 lbs ground beef
• 4 slices of bread torn into small pieces
• 2 eggs
• onions chopped into small pieces (optional)
• Ketchup

Use as much ketchup as you need for a good firm consistency. Form into tennis ball size portions. Place balls into skillet and cover tops with ketchup (amount to taste). I like to just make squiggly lines across the whole dish. My grandmother like to put globs on the individual meatloaf balls. Peal and slice potatoes into small/medium size chunks. Place potatoes around meat loaf balls in cast iron skillet(s) or cake pan(s).

This meal is a big winner with my whole family. It's pretty easy and great for guests, too.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dying Dreams

Matthew and I were watching a television special about a family with 17 kids (not the Duggers). At some point in the show one of the kids said something about it being nice to have brothers and sisters because you always have someone to fall back on. I wasn't paying attention to it and missed this sentiment altogether, but Matthew became misty eyed. He told me a little while later that he wished he could give that to Jamie. We never wanted 17, but we had dreamed of a large family.

A large family is not in the cards for us. We have many babies in Heaven, but only the one on Earth and it is very likely to remain that way. It makes me very sad and sometimes I just get angry at this body of mine. We have lost so much due to my body. We lost our chance for a large family, our financial security, and all the little things that come with both.

I was at my mother-in-law's house the other day and my husband's aunt asked me for the millionth time if we were going to have anymore. I said that I doubted we would. She said, "Good. God didn't intend for you to have babies. You'll probably die if you have anymore." I'm so tired of hearing crap like that. It really pisses me off. I'm tired of people telling me what God means and God wants. I've read it in magazines. I've heard it in so many different forms from so many different people. They just need to stop.

Pee Is In the Air

Ugh, Jamie has taken to peeing in our air vents. I don't know what possesses him to do that, but it's driving me nuts. I never catch him when he does it. I find his wet underwear in the floor and pee around a vent. I ask him why he peed in the vent and he says, "I don't." Obviously, he does.

Winding Down

I lay on the couch with my precious son laying across me. With one arm cradled around his body and his head resting on my arm, I watched him sleep so peacefully. His little hands were in fists like when he was a baby. One soft little hand gently gripped my index finger. His cheeks were rosy and his breathing soft. I felt the soft skin of his arms. I marveled at his fingers. I kissed the top of his head. The once downy soft blond hair is changing slowly to brown and is growing slightly more coarse, though his hair is thin. It smells vaguely of watermelon kids shampoo.

Midnight had come and gone, but I didn't want to move.

From my view above his head, he looks so angelic. I can still see my little baby in my growing boy. During the day I only get little hit and run hugs and kisses. He climbs on and off me. It's hard to get a moment to just cuddle him and relax. Our time together is filled with movement, noise, and rambunctious play. Once in awhile I get to just quietly enjoy this little being I worked so hard to get. He's so precious and so beautiful. The trials of the day melt away as I watch him sleep.

Kidisms 9/21/08 - Eating Balloons

I made chicken and dumplings tonight. This can be a hit or miss meal for Jamie. Tonight it was a big hit and he ate two heaping helpings of them. He said he was eating his balloons. I fixed macaroni and cheese, green beans, and stuffing to go with it. He didn't touch the stuffing. he said it was poop. He ate half a can of green beans because he loves to eat green worms. He didn't bother naming the macaroni and cheese because he was too busy shoveling it in his mouth to worry about what it was he was eating, I guess.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Bad Haircut and Backward Shoes

I took Jamie to the playground this afternoon to play. Right behind the playground is a wooded area and I decided to take him back there. I spent many a happy day when I was young wondering through those woods and catching crawdads with my friends.

The woods are not the same place they were when I was little. The big logs that blocked your path were gone. The overgrowth was gone. The little creeks where I caught crawdads in my youth were all gone, too. There is still a few pretty rocks and logs to the side of the trails, but it just isn't the same place and doesn't have the same feel. It didn't seem nearly as pretty as it once was.

As we were coming out of the woods I stepped in some sort of bee nest in a hole in the ground. I don't know what kind of bees live in the ground. Fortunately I was able to grab Jamie and run down the hill. Somehow, neither of us got stung, but it scared the beejezus out of me.

I got some good pictures of Jamie while we were out there. Rather, they would be good if it wasn't for his idiot mother. I tried to give him a haircut myself the other day. His bangs were getting in his eyes. I love his long hair and think it's very stylish, until my attempt at being a hairdresser. I definitely lack the ability to be one. I think I gave my poor precious boy a mullet. Oh my word. I think about the movie Joe Dirt and the kid who played him as a young boy when I look at poor Jamie. Please, please let it grow quickly.

As though I hadn't done enough to the poor little fellow, I got home and realized I had put his shoes on the wrong feet! I can't believe he didn't complain a bit, even when we were walking in the woods. Surely they were not so comfortable that way.

When we got home I got his shoes on the right feet and took him outside to ride his bike a little. He's been very frightened of it and is just now riding it again after his first attempt when he wrecked. He's catching on pretty quickly, though. He's still leery of picking up any speed whatsoever. I better treasure this time, though. I know he'll be zipping around scaring me to death before I know it. If he's anything like his father, he'll be popping wheelies and standing on the seat. Pray for me that I don't have a heart attack on the spot when he does.

Shots of him holding himself just complete the picture.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kidisms - 9/17/08 The Flying Cat

Jamie and I were sitting out on the front porch this evening looking at the sky. He was somewhat disturbed there were no stars or moon. In the distance we heard a loud car, but could not see it.

Jamie said, "What's that?"
I said, "It's a car."
Jamie thought a minute and said, "No, it just my cat flying."
I stifled a laugh, "You have a flying cat?"
He replied in a very serious voice, tilting his head slight to watch the cat, "Yeah, she has pink wings."
"Pink wings?" I asked, "What color is the cat?"
Still quite serious he replied, "It's just brown and pink wings."
Not bothering to stifle my giggles any longer I said, "Where's he flying to."
Jamie didn't miss a beat, "Over there" he said pointing up the street. "I put his house over there."

Speaking of Freebies

Here are some great freebies. I don't like the little sample freebies. I love a good deal.

This is to get free pictures of your child up to 3 years of age on his or her birthday.

This is for free books.

Sometimes this place has free magazines. You have to check in frequently.

Free DVD's from Fisher Price

Free Blood Glucose Meters

I'm a diabetic and luckily have found some truely free meters straight from the manufacturer. A lot of the adds on TV and the stuff you find online are for online pharmacies. They want you to make a purchase before getting a free meter. These are two I've found with no strings attached. If you are insulin dependent and test frequently, they will send you a free meter. Click on pictures to get yours.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bones Puzzle

With Jamie's new found interest in bones, how very lucky we were to be at a discount grocery store today and found this little foam puzzle naming the bones for just $1.00. He was so excited. He's been taking it apart and putting it together all evening.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jamie's Bones

Jamie has been really interested in anatomy recently. It really took me by surprise when he began talking about his bones, his brain, his heart, etc. Now I've grown accustom to it and am encouraging proper identification of bones and organs to the best of my ability. I can remember most of the major bones, but you can forget me remember what the names of bones in the fingers are. He somehow knew the veins were blood in his arm, too. He told me there was blue blood in his arm and fingered the veins running along the inside of his arm.

Jamie just amazes me all the time. He comes out with what I think are brilliant comments and I rarely can figure out where he's picked them up at. He's definitely a sponge with a fantastic memory. We watched the TV special about the Dinosaur Mummy and he was just amazed and it captured his attention quite well. He asked questions. He got excited. It was fun to watch him and listen to him.

Along with this new fascination with bones comes a realization that they can be broken. It's almost heartbreaking when the little fellow hurts himself and says, "Mommy, the floor broke Jamie. The floor broke my bones. See my knee is broken." These commentaries are becoming routine when he gets hurt now. I've been trying to explain that little boo boos do not break bones.

Passing on Our Childhood

Looking at my sleeping boy tonight I had to smile. He's been sleeping on the bed we got for McKalah to use when she spends the night for some reason. He's sleeping there right now. What's so sweet is that he's sleeping with his father's pillow case from his boyhood, a blanket my grandmother made for me when I was young, and both his Eeyores. It's a little bit of all of our childhoods surrounding my precious child. Wouldn't it be amazing if he had all those things when he has a child and they, too, can be surrounded by bits of all our lives. Maybe that's just profound in some way to my husband and I. It just seems really special.

The only thing that makes me a little sad is that he can't sleep with the baby blanket my grandmother made me when I was born. I loved it and cherished it for my entire life. My brother took it to his house at one time, not knowing what it was. It looked pretty new despite being used for so many years. His wife bleaches all blankets, sheets, and towels regardless of color. Besides fading the colors it also weakened the blanket and it developed holes and tears. I had been looking for it for a year and thought it was gone forever. I thought a cleaning company we had at our house that had taken our laundry off might have taken it and it didn't make it back. I was so sad about it. One day I visit my brother and there it is. I don't know whether to be ecstatic to have it back or furious that it is ruined. Anyway, I let Jamie sleep with it a few times. He loved it, but seeing that the damage was worsening with each wash I folded it and put it in the closet.

My husband has two sets of sheets that match the pillowcase that Jamie is sleeping with. He has bunk beds and we have used them for backup sheets a few times. The only problem is that the elastic on the fitted sheet is no longer functional. I think I can repair that, though. They are in surprisingly good condition. My husband is lamenting his missing lovey, himself, though. He had a Curious George when he was little that he took with him everywhere. Now he assumes his parents threw it away. It made him a bit sad when we were watching cartoons together and Curious George came on. Jamie got excited and said, "Yeah! It's George. I loooove George!" Matt said he wished he had his George to give him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Missing Egg

Jamie got the eggs out of the refrigerator and hid them under his bed. When we found the eggs one was missing from the new carton. We tried to get Jamie to find the egg, we searched for the egg, but simply couldn't find it. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what he could have done with that egg.

Last night I got the basket where we keep his dirty sheets and blankets and put them in the wash. When I pulled them out to put them in the dryer there was brown flakes all over the wash machine. Upon close examination I realized it was the egg. Little bits of the shell were scattered all over the inside of the wash machine. How I missed it when I was putting the stuff in the washer is beyond me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When Mommy Can't Comfort

I hate it on the nights that Jamie wakes up and you can't console him. Those nights have gotten fewer and far between, but it's so frustrating when they happen.

He woke up around 2:00am crying. I went to him and picked him up. He settled down and I took him to my room. He said he wanted to go up front with Daddy. He often goes to sleep on Daddy in the evenings when they watch TV together. I took him to Matt and he tried to settle in. It seems he could not get comfortable and soon started crying uncontrollably.

Matt brought him back to bed with me and I tried rubbing his back. He kicked and cried and said he was hungry. I offered him different light snack options and he said he didn't want any of them. He climbed out of bed and ran to his play room. There he stood crying. I tried to comfort him but he didn't want me to mess with him so I went up front to let him have some time to calm down. I kept going back to check on him every couple of minutes. It's hard to know exactly what you should do when this happens because you want to do something to sooth your child when he is so upset.

He ran down the hallway to his bedroom, then to the back door and hid behind the bookcase. I asked him if he wanted to watch a movie and he said no as he ran back down the hallway to the playroom. I went back up front to give him his space. He quit crying and I went to check on him. He was in the bed in the playroom asleep with both of his Eeyores. His little legs were pulled up and crossed. Poor little fellow was just so sleepy he didn't know what to do with himself.

If my camera was charged I would have taken a picture of him in the strange sleeping position. I covered him up, but didn't risk kissing him, though I wanted to so badly. He tossed a little when I did it and stretched his legs out. I thought he might wake again, but he didn't. He's sleeping peacefully. Hopefully he'll sleep good through the remainder of the night.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jamie and His Cars

Kidisms 9/8/08 Shadow Eggs

We were out on the back deck yesterday and Jamie was lining up shadow eggs (his term for imaginary) on the banister. He looked so cute with chocolate all over his face that I went and got the camera to get some shots of him. When I came back with the camera he insisted I take pictures of his eggs. That's how I got him to cooperate fully and get the fabulous shots of him with his chocolate goatee.

Chocolate Goatee

After eating chocolate pudding Jamie starts to look more like his Daddy than me with his chocolate goatee.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Little Photographer Strikes Again

Jamie likes to get up early in the morning when everyone is asleep and get into things. I usually keep the camera locked up in the office, but sometimes I accidentally leave it out. This morning was one of those times. Most of the pictures are what you would expect. I have pictures of the tops of doors, the floor, and some fuzzy unidentifiable pictures. There's always the incriminating shot that gives away the culprit beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But today there was this beautiful light picture. I can not identify it's source. I'm assuming the TV, but it really turned out quite pretty.

What Does It Take to Bring in the Light?

As I set of to make this post, I glance beside me and there is a hallmark card. It was part of a gift set that someone bought me so many years ago. I have sent cards identical to this to many people over the years and now it sits there for me.

I believe we are HERE for a reason. As each DAY
unfolds, we see less of the SHADOW and MORE of the sun.

But how do you get to believe this when days just seem drowned with darkness? It really doesn't take much. It takes kind words from people who love you, it takes understanding and compassion for those around you. You're life doesn't have to change for you to begin to see the light.

I have been going through such difficult time emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. I felt alone and hurt by those who thought caring was tearing me down. Then a friends came over with her mother and her sister. I have known her for almost 16 years, but in the last few years we have not seen each other a lot due to our varying lives. They visited for a very short while and I didn't expect to really be able to enjoy their visit much since I had spent the last month crying seemingly endless tears.

They came and talked to me, sharing their stories of being where I am at various stages of their lives. Talking to someone I need not defend myself to or explain myself to was like having the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. All I needed was a little understanding. As I typed out a heartfelt thank you to my friend I cried many tears. However, for the first time in so long, they were not tears of bottomless sadness, but tears of gratitude and joy.

The greatest surprise after their visit was how long the light in my home would last. Every day I awake with optimism. I'm seeing less of the shadow and more of the sun every day.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Foam Crafts

There are a large number of foam crafts out there for kids to do. I use a lot of them. A lot of them are perfect for toddlers and can be completed with little or no help from you. You can also find them everywhere and for very little cost.

Here's an adorable little visor Jamie made with no assistance from me. The Cars sticker pack came with stickers, glue and glitter. Jamie felt it necessary to glue the stickers on because he just loves playing with glue! He's so funny.

Kidisms 9/6/08 Butterflies In Your Stomach?

Ever had butterflies in your stomach? We all know that feeling. Apparently my son does too, as well as the feeling of having bugs, crocodiles, frogs, sharks, cars, birds, and elephants. He informed me that these various items are in his body. I asked him how they got in there and he simply replied, "I don't know." Then he hushed me and told me they were sleeping. Well, this definitely explains how he can eat so much and stay so skinny. He's got a lot of critters to feed in there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kidisms 9/5/08

It was such a nice day. I played with Jamie and we had a good time. He's getting to be such a little jabber mouth and his imagination is just so funny. We must have dyed imaginary eggs for hours. It's amazing how many color variations he can come up with. After we were done we threw them in the floor and "hatched the eggs" and lots of colored baby birds were flying around the room. Of course, we had to open the door and let them outside so they could find some worms. It's a good thing, too, because we had no sooner got them out when the room flooded and sharks were everywhere. We had to keep our feet on the furniture to keep them from biting our feet. Luckily, the sharks didn't really want to eat us. Apparently they actually live on a diet of peanuts and water. That is sure a relief.