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, November 29, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I put the Christmas tree up. I'm not sure who is more excited about it, Jamie or the cats. I think maybe the cats. They keep playing in it, much to my dismay. Ornaments are flying all over my house. Last night one of the cats got so tangled in the Christmas lights that I was afraid we would have to cut them to get him out. Usually, I would have done it without much thought, but this tree is pre-lit and would permanently destroy our tree. We managed to twist the cat until we could dislodge him from the lights. I'm just glad he got them wrapped around his rear. If it had been his neck we would have been forced to ruin the tree. After we got the little booger untangled he went right back to his mission of destroying the tree. I wish I had some way of keeping the cats out of our living room.

We decorated the tree with garland made from pipe cleaners and there's lots of little salt dough ornaments. I also put the usual balls and trinket ornaments. I put an old star on top. It was one that my grandmother had. I have no idea how old it is, but it's probably older than I am. Putting up the star was a challenge. I finally accomplished the feat with pipe cleaners.

I always put apples on the tree as a throwback from my own childhood. When I was little my favorite book was Johnny Appleseed. For the first few years that I could talk, I called the Christmas tree my apple tree. I was delighted when Jamie saw the tree and the first thing he exclaimed was, "Look at the apples!" I need to find that book. I can't believe I've never told him the story of Johnny Appleseed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jamie's Salt Dough Ornaments

I finally got more salt dough ornaments done. I ended up making way more dough than we had the time and patience to make ornaments with in one setting. I put the extra dough in baggies and pressed out as much air as I could to try to preserve the dough for more ornament making later. I'm not sure how effective that will be in keeping the dough from hardening, but it was worth a shot. I put the dough in the baggies yesterday afternoon and so far they still feel pliable.

Matthew, Jamie, and I made decorations together last night. I fell asleep before they were done baking and Matthew pulled them out of the oven for me. They are not quite done. You can tell by the dark areas. I will have to bake them some more later.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Great Flood

Well, we decided to get a used washer because a new one just isn't in our budget right now. Big mistake. I was so excited to get all the laundry done at my house and happily put in the first load. I went to check on it and it never stopped running. Our entire garage was flooded! There was a shoe box gently floating in the middle of the garage. Jamie was very excited to see a swimming pool in the house. He was sorely disappointed when he couldn't go out there and play. We ended up having to completely empty our garage. This was no small task because my husband and I are notorious pack rats and we had soooo much junk piled in there. Not only that, we keep our cat litter boxes in the garage and the cats kick litter into the floor frequently. That created a nice swampy mess. It took us many hours to empty the garage and vacuum up the water with a shop vac. My husband took off work early to help me. We were both frozen to the bone and wet. The temperature was only about 30 degrees. We got another washer and around 9:30pm I was finally able to start doing laundry, albeit nervously. The washer is noisy but everything seems to be working fine. I think I'll spring for that new front loader when we get our income taxes in, though. We'll see. There's a lot of stuff we need and we may get used to this noisy little addition to our household. I just thank God that our washer is in our garage and not in the house. Could you imagine the mess on our hardwood floors???

Despite the chaos I kept a promise I made to Jamie and we made our first set of ornaments this evening. I'll post them tomorrow because I want to make more in different colors before I put up the pictures.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Eek in the Walls

For the last few weeks Jamie has complained about "sounds in his wall". At first I thought he was dreaming, imagining things, or just plain making something up so he doesn't have to go to bed. Tonight he said there was an "eek" in his walls and he obviously was hearing something that I am not hearing. He had his fingers in his ears and said he was scared. I listened as hard as I could, but I didn't hear anything. He insists it's there and I believe he is hearing something that bothers and scares him. I just wish I knew what it was.

I remember that my little brothers used to complain about that room. They used to think there was ghosts and my parents were convinced of the same. I've lived in this house my whole life and it is not haunted. I'm sure of that, but now I wonder if there is something in that room that makes a sound that the boys heard when they were little and that my little boy is hearing now. Further investigation is certainly necessary.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Three Types of Ornament Dough

I think it would be really fun to make ornaments with Jamie this year. I could try all three recipes and see how they turn out, then he could make gifts for the family with the best recipe! I'll post pictures when we do it.


White Ornament Clay

- 2 Cups Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 ¼ Cups Water

Cook ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture is too thick to stir. Let dough cool until it can be handled, then knead dough until smooth. Keep wrapped in plastic when not being used.

Roll dough out to approximately 1/8 inch thick (dough that is too thick will crack as it dries). Cut ornaments out with cookie cutters. Make a hole for hanging using a straw. Dry on a cookie sheet for two days, turning periodically. Rough edges can be sanded using fine sandpaper or an emery board. Finished ornaments can be painted.

This white Christmas ornament clay recipe has replaced the old stand-by salt dough recipe in many homes and craft projects. White ornament clay dries to a matte white finish which is ideal for snowflake Christmas ornaments. Glitter can be mixed into the Christmas ornament dough when it is kneaded, for a shimmering finish that requires no more care or painting when the Christmas ornament dries. Food coloring can be added for colored Christmas ornaments.

Finish these craft dough Christmas ornaments with a length of shiny colored thread or twine that coordinates nicely with the white finish and added glitter. Children can also glue shiny embellishments, beads and more to their finished Christmas ornament gifts.

Cinnamon-Applesauce Craft Dough

- 1 ½ Cups ground Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Applesauce
- ¼ Cup White School Glue

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Add water if the dough is too stiff, a little at a time (be careful not to overdo it). Knead mixture for five to ten minutes. Return mixture to bowl an let sit for about half an hour. Roll dough to a thickness of ¼ to 1/8 inches. Cut with cookie cutters. Make holes for hanging with a straw.

Cover a wire rack with a paper towel and place ornaments on the towel to dry. Ornaments can also be dried by baking them on a rack (without the paper towel) for two hours at 200 degrees.

Sand dried ornaments with fine sand paper or emery boards. Wipe sanded edges with a damp sponge to relieve discoloration.

Salt Bread Dough

- ¼ Cup Salt
- ½ Cup Boiling Water
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ Teaspoon Vegetable Oil

Food Coloring (optional)

Pour boiling water in a bowl and add salt. Add remaining ingredients. Knead dough to desired consistency for crafting. If coloring dough with food coloring, work it uniformly into the dough as you knead the craft dough. Keep slat dough wrapped in plastic when not in use.

Model Dough as desired. It may be helpful to keep a bowl of water nearby while crafting to smooth dough and attach pieces.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Ornaments will puff a little when baked.

Completed ornaments may be painted, or brush with beaten egg and water mixture prior to baking or a darkened, shiny appearance.

A benefit of making Christmas ornaments with salt dough is that it can be colored with food coloring when it is made, and so does not have to be painted when it is finished. On the other hand, if you enjoy painting your Christmas ornaments, salt craft dough can be made plain and painted when it is dry. Salt dough is easy to work with and makes a lot of inexpensive Christmas decorations.

When crafting your Christmas ornament from salt craft dough, you may choose to cut the craft dough with cookie cutters or go for a more personal keepsake Christmas decoration. This salt dough recipe works well for baking handprint keepsakes; make handprint plaques, or with little hands, make a handprint Christmas ornament that can hang from the tree.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Anniversary

Our anniversary was quite a day. I fixed a good lunch with the steaks I thawed. They were great. Then we loaded up the laundry and headed to my in-laws house. Our wash machine is still broke and we can't get another one until tomorrow (pay day). On the way to their house we had a blow out. The tire actually blew out the side. We were on a busy hill and it was kind of scary trying to change the tire, praying we didn't get run over. We managed to get the spare on and got to my in-laws. We did laundry and hung out there for a few hours. When we were finally done, we loaded the baskets in the van to head home. We didn't get far before that spare came right off the rim. Arg. Matt's dad managed to get it back on and aired up properly.

While all this was going on, Matt's friend called and offered to come pick us up and take us to the movies. We decided to take him up on his offer. We went and saw The Haunting of Molly Hartley. I wanted to see The Secret Lives of Bees or Changeling. We originally purchased tickets for Changeling but the girl at the counter used to go to school with Matt and she talked us out of going since that movie ended last and she could leave work early if nobody went to see it. The Secret Lives of Bees started later and we didn't want to wait forever. I begrudgingly changed our selection and I wish I hadn't. The build up of the movie was good, but the ending was a big let down. It kind of felt like the writers didn't know what to do so they just ended the movie. We had the theater all to ourselves and that was kind of nice. There was one small problem. I had to use the ladies room about every 30 minutes. I had to get up from the movie twice and thought I was going to have an accident trying to get to the ladies room when it ended. I also went just before we went in. I don't know what's going on with that. I didn't drink much. I didn't even finish my drink at the movies.

We got back to my in-laws house around midnight. My in-laws stay up very late. Jamie was asleep, of course. I stayed a little while and had a piece of leftover cake and coffee. We got home safely in the van. After we got home I did a little work around the house and went to bed.

So perhaps it wasn't just another day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Day

My eighth wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I was hoping this year we would be able to go on a vacation, or at least get a cabin for the weekend in Gatlinburg. Not this year. We have no plans. The biggest plans I've been able to make are the four steaks I have thawing in the fridge. We're not even getting a sitter for Jamie. I'm not even sure my husband is going to take off work. Just another day.

Happy Birthday Brianna & Dynisha

October 14th was Dynisha's 9th birthday and November 9th was Brianna's 12th birthday. On October 14th I baked cupcakes and took them to my in-laws house so that Dynisha's birthday would not go uncelebrated. Her Mamaw and great-grandfather were visiting, so it was a little bit of a party. Yesterday (October 9th), they threw a joint party for the two girls. They let them invite one child from school each and all the neighborhood kids they wanted. Brianna decided she didn't want to invite anyone from school. Her budding preteen years have brought about an ability to be easily embarrassed. There was family there as well. I enjoyed getting my hands on some new born twin cousins who were only 2 months old. My husband enjoyed them, too. He said he wanted to use our income tax return on fertility treatments. Yeah, right. That money's going to pay bills off. I really wish it didn't have to, though.

There was hot dogs, chips, and cake for the party goers, except the two littlest participants who enjoyed a bottle of formula. Coffee and complaining were served soon after. The other adults complained of noisy, messy children. Dynisha complained that she didn't really get a birthday party. I really thought it would be Brianna complaining because Dynisha kind of got two while she only got one. Go figure. Honestly, I thought it kind of sucked for them, too.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Jamie just says funny things all the time. Last night when I picked him up out of our bed to move him to his own he startled awake and said, "Where is it? Where is it?" I could never get him to tell me what he was looking for he just told me, "I want to do it myself." and went back to sleep on my shoulder.

Today he turned on the calculator. A little while later he came back into the office to find it was turned off. He said, "Hey, who turned off my calculator." I said, "It turned itself off." He turned to me, looking a bit offended, and said, "What did you say about me?"

When I tell him to go to bed he usually tells me, "I'm not sleepy. I'm just waking."

He's become a master negotitor, as well. I'll ask him if he wants me to make him a sandwich and he'll say, "What about candy?" I tell him no and he he'll put a finger to his chin and say, "Hmmm, well... what about popcorn?" We'll go through this with several items he can not have until he comes to an item that can be on the menu, "Hmmm, what about sandwich?" Okay buddy, I can do that.

For most things now days we are in the grasp of the "me do phase". Somehow dressing himself isn't a priority for his growing independence, though in my opinion it should be on the top of the list. When I force him to try to put on his own clothes he says, "I'm too little." I tell him he's a big boy and he says, "No, I'm just little." He can do it. He just doesn't want to for some reason.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Battle of the Shoe Strings

The battle of the shoe strings has begun. For the first time today he put on his shoes with laces and he wanted to tie them himself. Since it is his first time I had to help him make the loops and everything. Now he's really mad because he didn't do it "all by myself". I'm so glad he wants to do it, but it's going to take some time for him to learn. He kept pulling the laces back untied. When I finally got his shoes tied he threw a big old temper tantrum, though he helped me do the whole thing. I guess tonight we'll practice tying his shoes until he can do it all by himself. Wish me lots of luck!

Online Caution

You know what I really hate? I really hate that I can no longer share whatever I want online. I learned my lesson the hard way. Even so, I have things I want to say and want to share, but you just don't know how people online are going to take the things you say and what they will do with that information.

For so many years I took for granted the ability to share my thoughts and feelings freely among people I thought were friends online. We warn our kids to be careful about sharing their information online, but here I am an adult and I broke the cardinal rule myself. In a world where people are often connecting online and then meeting in real life, whether it be dating or friendship, it's so easy to forget the dangers. The people you think are friends may not be the people you think you know. You assume you know them and that they know you. If you are lucky, you will never find out any different. I was not so lucky. I am fortunate that the damage was mostly emotional, though much greater damage was attempted.

Please be cautious when sharing of yourself online. It is not the safe world it may appear to be.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Washed Out

Our washing machine crapped out on us. Great.

We think the transmission has gone out so we have to buy a new washing machine, right here at the holidays. This happened to our last washing machine while I was on bed rest with Jamie. When we looked up the problem it seems that everyone on the planet has this problem with this particular Whirlpool washing machine. Well, I've wanted a front loader for a bit so I think we'll go get one tomorrow. I really don't want to spend the money right now, but since I have to, I might as well put out the extra bucks to get the type I want.

We could really use a break in the finance department, though.

A New Little Pumpkin and Treats Gallore

I got a new little nephew for Halloween. He is McKalah's new little brother. He weighed just over 8lbs and was 20 inches long. He's a chubby, adorable little thing. When I finally got a chance to go see him my sister-in-laws mother was there holding him. The moment I walked in the door she informed me that I had to wash my hands and use hand sanitizer before holding him. Duh, I've done this before. I had a preemie in the NICU, I think I can handle a healthy newborn. After I finished washing my hands she made me sit down like I was a child before she would hand him to me. That was a little irritating. She probably would have had a heart attack if she had seen me kiss his chubby little cheeks. You'd think this was her first baby, but she has seven children and this is her second grandchild.

Jamie had a good Halloween. My uncle came by and took us out for the day. It was nice to get out and do something. He tried to take Jamie for a haircut but Jamie pitched a huge fit and we were not able to do anything more than a slight trim. Now he looks very girly to me. After that we went to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch. It's right across from my husband's work so we called him to join us. Matt had some big old double bacon cheeseburger, I had the Sonora chicken pasta, and Jamie had the little mini burgers. It was good and it was nice to have lunch out with my family, especially my uncle. After we went to my uncle's house for awhile and then to the grocery store. On the way home my uncle stopped by the butcher shop to pick up an order he had placed and he gave us some steaks. I'm saving them for my anniversary dinner that's coming up soon.

He dropped us off shortly before night fall. When my husband got home from work we dressed Jamie up as a pirate. At first he did not want to wear a costume and we thought we would have to take him out in plain clothes, but he warmed up to it. Once we started Trick-or-Treating he really warmed up to it. We tried to coach him to say "trick or treat" when he went to the doors and say "Thank you" when he was given candy. He wouldn't do it. He told us, "I just be quiet." On the way away from the houses he would say, "I loooove treats!" By the time we got home his pumpkin was too heavy for him to hold. This is the first time he's ever filled that pumpkin to the rim. I was amazed. The down side is that Jamie knows there's tons of candy and he wants it all day long. I've limited him to 2-3 pieces a day. At this rate there may be candy for the next several months.