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, February 28, 2009

Meaningless Scam Artists


I am not confused by criminals that commit crimes for personal gains. I don't like them, but I understand their reasons for doing it. I can't wrap my brain around the criminals who commit crimes for the sole purpose of doing harm to other people. I guess it gives them a sense of power or perhaps they just find it entertaining in some twisted way.

My mother was almost the victim of a totally meaningless scam. Luckily she talked to me before falling for it and no harm was actually done. She received two postal money orders out of the blue in the amount of $950.00 each. She didn't know what they were for but called me quite excited, "They are real postal money orders made out to me with my address on them and everything!" I advised her to call the post office. Nobody sends money to people for no reason. She called and sure enough they were fake. She would have been forced to pay that money back. I've thought long and hard about this and can't see what gain the perpetrator would have for doing this. The person would gain nothing him or herself. I don't understand the point. It's the same with people who make computer viruses for the sole purpose of messing up someones computer. It's just so senseless to me.

Hamburger & Salsa

I ate the best lunch today. I didn't take a picture, but it's easy and you should definitely try it. I didn't feel much like cooking, but I had a half pound of hamburger meat to cook. I threw it in a skillet and fried it, breaking it up as it cooked. When it was done I added 3 spoonfuls of medium salsa, big chunks of onions, and green peppers. I cooked it just a little bit, leaving the onions and green peppers slightly crisp. It was just so good. I wish I had more.

We've got to run to the grocery store tonight. I'm definitely going to pick up more hamburger meat.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Be it Ever So Humble



I haven't written a lot lately. Mostly, it's because life has been routine and there is little to write about. I guess I could complain about the house falling apart. The refrigerator sprung a leak and the floor soaked it up. The water was soaked up by the sub floor. When you walk in our kitchen, water seeps up between the linoleum tiles. Now I am forced to replace the floors, but I don't know how we're going to afford to do that right now. I simply am not going to replace the floors with linoleum again. This time I am going to lay tile.


That is not the only home repair begging for attention. We also need to replace our five year old central heat and air unit. That really makes me angry. We paid a lot for the unit and have had nothing but problems with it from the beginning. Later we learned that the wrong size unit was installed so the darn thing has been working overtime to try to heat and cool a house beyond it's capacity. Of course, the place we purchased it from disappeared shortly after we bought it. We have unloaded tons of money into that unit starting just months after purchasing it. All problems not covered by our warranty. I'm not sinking any more money into it. We'll replace it. For now we're using our back up ceil heat. Again, it's a big financial burden to replace the unit.



Then there's the million and one things that need to be done. We need to replace windows, refinish the hardwood, repaint, replace gutters, replace garage doors, etc. Being a homeowner is not all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes I wish we rented so someone else could worry about these kinds of repairs, property taxes, etc. In the last eight years we put in a new roof, replaced flooring, fixed numerous leaks, remodeled the kitchen and both bathrooms (which were done very shoddy), painted more times than I can count, replaced doors, bought two new water heaters, a new central heat and air unit, replaced the washer, replace the refrigerator, and numerous little things. Once you take care of one thing, something else is always cropping up.


With all that, I'm still grateful for it. I came home from the hospital to this house. I grew up in this house. If I was struck blind today I would know every inch of this house by heart and would have no trouble navigating it in complete darkness. There's little footprints in the garage in white paint. They belong to my brother, Jackie. He got into the paint when he was two. Nobody has removed them. I'm sad that they're are fading away with age. I might seal them in. My husband and I share the room that was my room as a child. I remember my friend, Barbara, and I having a "party" one time. We carefully brushed the shag carpet with hair brushes to make it pretty. A couple of neighborhood kids came. We sat on my bunk bed and listened to music. The shag has been removed to reveal lovely old hardwood, but the memories still linger in there. I have had sooo many birthday parties here. The Kerns Merry-go-round was here for all my childhood parties. My grandmother always had a little garden in the back yard where Jamie's swing now sets. I, myself, have a black thumb. If you climb into our attic you will find that little has changed since I was a child. My old dolls are still bagged up there. Baby clothes and baby toys practically block access completely. A new artificial tree has replaced the artificial tree I grew up with. The artificial tree I grew up with replaced the Aluminum tree of even farther past. All of them reside in the attic.


Sometimes I dream of selling this house and moving into a nice new one with a better layout and bigger closets, then I look around. This is just home.


Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka


Jamie brought this book home from school today. It's such a simple message on becoming friends. With just a few easy words (which is great for a beginning reader), the bonds of friendship begin. Jamie really likes it.


This is a scholastic book. It has received the the Coldecott Honor award.


There's a "mommy bonus" with this book. It's short, simple, and to the point. If you only have a minute during your day to spend reading to your child, this one just takes a minute. I'm a strong believer that you should find the time to read your child at least one book a day. This one makes that simple when you have a lot on your plate.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Red Red Red by Valeri Gorbachev


Red Red Red, what Red thing does Turtle want to see? The town follows as they find all kinds of things that are red, but what is it that Turtle is trying to find?


Jamie really likes all the animals in this story. It's lots of fun to find all the things that are red.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shame On Me

It's time for a little "shame on me" moment. I've been giving in to sleeping with my son every night. I must admit, I love sleeping with him, but I should be sleeping with my husband in my own bed. Last night I slept in my own bed and it was nice until crying began in the wee hours of the morning. "Mooooommmyyyyyy!!!" Matthew actually dragged himself out of bed instead of me. I was just so tired. He returned to our room, "He wants you to sleep with him." I grabbed my pillows and went. I didn't get to go back to sleep. Jamie kept telling me he didn't want me to sleep with Daddy and that he loved me.

So, it's past bedtime. Jamie's asleep and I've finished watching American Idol with Matthew. I asked Matthew what he thought I should do and he said I should probably sleep with Jamie. We all lose sleep if Jamie wakes up crying. So I think I've started something that's going to be hard to fix. I know what I have to do to fix it, but I just don't feel like it right now. How horrible is that?

I'm going to bed... with Jamie. Good night.

Haircut Woes




I can not wait until Jamie will let a real hairdresser touch his hair. My sister-in-law cut his hair last night. I decided to let her give it a shot since I'm certainly not proficient with the scissors. It wouldn't be quite so bad but while she was cutting McKalah reached over to try and help. She made my sister-in-law's hand slip and she cut it really high in the back. I had to even it out when we got home with the clippers. Ugh, another disastrous haircut.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Easter Egg Wreath


This craft is a super cute Easter Wreath, but I might not highly recommend it. It takes two days to complete. This is one of those ideas that fall under "It seemed like a good idea at the time." If you want to give it a go I'll tell you what I did.

First lets get our supplies together...


Paper plate with the center cut out
Easter basket grass
Egg shapes cut out of card stock
A heart shape cut out of card stock for bunny head
Bunny ears cut out of card stock
2 pink fluffy balls
3 cotton balls
small, thin strips cut from black foam paper for whiskers
large googlie eyes
Various colors of poster paints
String or ribbon


Glue grass onto cut out paper plate. This is more challenging than I originally anticipated. The grass does not like to stay in place. Perhaps paper grass would be better suited to this project or perhaps sticking grass to the back of the eggs after completion would have been easier.

Paint the eggs different colors. Paint bunny parts. We used brown for the bunny. You could use blue or pink and that would be cute, too. Once the eggs and bunny parts are dry (which will probably take many hours since kids use gobs of paint) you can glue the bunny together (see picture).

Glue eggs, bunny, and flower petals to the paper plate wreath with grass on it. This will probably be the following day since it takes forever for the glue holding the grass to dry. Attach a piece of string or ribbon to hang wreath.


Some fun additions would be glitter on the eggs or pasting shapes to the eggs. I didn't want to make the craft too long and tedious for Jamie, so I kept things relatively simple.


The Personal Schedule

I took Jamie to school today and checked out his personal schedule. It's a paper with velcro on it. Each activity during the day has a card that attaches to it. There is a large card beside the chart labeled "NOW". As the day goes on Jamie picks off the card matching the activity that he just completed and puts it in a little cloth pouch beside the chart. Then he puts the current activity on the big card labeled "NOW". It's really cute. He was so proud to show me how it worked this morning. When he put his backpack in the cubby he picked off the card and put it in the pouch and moved the "Play time" card to the NOW position.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lazy

I feel so lazy today. I did get the dishes done and a load of clothes, but little else. I should be doing something, but I just can't get myself motivated today. I think I'm going to lay off the cleaning for today and see if I can find some cute Easter Craft to do with Jamie when he gets home.

Just after finishing that last sentence, Matthew called. He's sick and coming home. His throat is sore and he just doesn't feel good. Darn it, I bet we're passing strep around. With a sick husband home I might not be able to be as lazy as I just planned on being.

Where Did Dynisha Go?

Dynisha decided to go back home. I waited to post about it until I knew what was going on. Brianna told her that her mother didn't love her anymore because she left her. Dynisha believed it and didn't want her mother to be mad at her. I think she also got confused because my mother-in-law called me to bring her stuff home. I bagged it all up and Matthew took it to her. She asked why we brought all her stuff back. Matthew told her he thought she wanted it. I wish I had been there to talk to her. I think it gave her a message that we didn't want her anymore, too, no matter what we say now.

About a week ago my father-in-law brought her by because she wanted to spend the night. He didn't call before coming. I had contracted strep throat from Jamie and spiked a fever of 104. When they got here I told them about my fever and said that Dynisha was welcome, but she'd probably be better off not coming that day and possibly getting sick, too. My father-in-law agreed and made her go home. I really do think it was the best decision, but I'm afraid it could have reinforced the idea that I didn't want her here.

She came last week with her sister when her Pap was put in the hospital. I didn't get a chance to talk to her alone and I regret that. She spoke on her blog like she was forced to come here and I certainly don't want her to feel like she shouldn't be here. I want her to know that I love her and I want her. I just couldn't really talk to her with Brianna here. I did make it clear to both girls that they are both welcome here anytime. I just think I need to sit down and talk to Dynisha one on one.

Jamie cried for her for several nights. He really had a melt down the night that we packed her clothes up. Jamie's been sleeping in "her room" since she left. I think it makes him feel closer to her. The poor little guy keeps getting attached to girls living with us, first McKalah and now Dynisha, and then they are ripped away and he hardly ever sees them. I think he's lonely.

Out for a Walk

I wanted to do something nice today as a family. First I tried to get my husband to get up and go to church. That was a no go. Then I talked him into going on a walk with Jamie and I. We needed butter so we walked to the little store that is about a mile away. Matthew complained a little because he was cold. In his defence, there were snow flurries and his jacket is pretty thin. Jamie and I enjoyed the walk to the store. We jumped cracks on the sidewalk and he pointed out a million things to us.

We got to the store and got the butter. Of course, there was candy at the checkout line and Jamie started to fuss for some. We said no and he persisted. We didn't cave in and began the walk home. Matthew insisted we walk down the Turnpike because it is shorter. The problem is that there are no houses and trees to block the wind and the traffic made me nervous. The traffic also made so much noise that we couldn't hear ourselves talk, only the constant crying of Jamie, who cried the first third of the walk because he wanted candy and two thirds of the walk because he was cold and wanted to go home.

I will never agree to walk on the Turnpike again. That was awful. I don't think it would have been so bad if we had taken the back roads home.

It's That Time Again

Well, it's that time of year again. Twice a year I put myself through an indescribable amount of torture. It's time to sell my sons clothes from the previous summer.

I'm pretty confident that this isn't torture for every Gymboree mom. I know there are thousands upon thousands of us out there. So why is this such torture for me? As I get out the boxes of clothes from the previous year to take picture, I find that nearly every single item of clothing has some stain or defect. I want to throw up. As though that's not bad enough, my washer leaves mystery lint on my clothes. So now, while I'd like to taking pictures and posting the clothes on ebay, I'm washing them again in a last ditch effort to maximize the profit I can get on them. However, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact I will have to throw these clothes into "play clothes" lots and take whatever I can get for them. I'm trying to tell myself that it's okay. Kids play and they get dirty. Kids ruin their clothes. That's why so many parents won't buy their children name brand clothes. Whatever I get from them is more than I would have if I just tossed them in the garbage.

Jamie's wardrobe is important to me. It's become important to him, too. I like people complimenting us on how cute his clothes are. As he gets older it will be important to his peers. I like dressing him up and just enjoying how good he looks for myself. I also know that he is a reflection on me. I want people to take one look at him and know immediately that I care about him. I hate that his hair is a mess, but he won't let a hairstylist touch him and I am certainly NOT a hairstylist!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cornbread

"I know what kind of food you cook at your house," said one of Jamie's teachers. "What?" I asked, confused. "We had beans the other day with lunch and Jamie asked for cornbread."

Toilet Paper Roll Bunny



Since Easter is coming up, I though I better get to making some decorations for the house. We started with the toilet paper roll bunny.


Get an empty toilet paper roll and glue cotton balls to it, covering it completely (or as completely as your little one can manage). Cut ears out of a piece of white foam. Cut out the inside of the ears with white paper and color the paper pink. You could use pink paper, but kids love to color, so why not let them? Glue ear pieces together and then glue them to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Add googlie eyes. Add two pink puff balls for the nose/cheek area. Cut a mouth out of black foam and glue it, too. Add another pink puff to the back for a tail.

Clean up was a breeze since I had him work on newspapers.


Egg Carton Caterpillar


I'm way past due for posting a craft so I'm posting two today.
This one is the classic egg carton caterpillar. You simply cut out the bottom half of an egg carton and then cut it in two parts. Punch holes in the top of the "head" of the caterpillar to string pipe cleaners through for antennas. I like to curl the ends of the antennas because I think it's cute. Glue googlie eyes on. Jamie made two, one with big eyes and one with little eyes. Then let them loose with the paints. Easy peasy.
Jamie is so funny. When he works on anything he has his little tongue sticking out. I can't help but smile at these pictures.
After he was finished with his crafts I let him use the leftover paints and paint a picture. Then I threw him in the tub to get clean.




Daddy's Day

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There was a big event at Jamie's school last night. I couldn't be there. This time, it was Daddy's Day, literally. The school had a Daddy's Day where children brought the significant men in their lives to school for a party. Matthew actually took off work early ON A FRIDAY (if you knew Matthew you would doubt that this was possible)!

There were snacks and games. Matthew reported that Jamie had a wonderful time. I don't have any pictures of Jamie with Matthew since Matthew was taking the pictures. Matthew said he wished he had even more pictures. He took so many that he ran out of room on the card.

My brother was supposed to be there with McKalah, but he wasn't. He forgot. How sad for McKalah. Jamie wore his "My Daddy Rocks" shirt, but he wore his coat the whole time so nobody could see it. I think Matthew really enjoyed having this moment with his bugaboo.









I took this little MPEG a few minutes ago. As you've seen me post before, Jamie always says he doesn't like Daddy and he doesn't love Daddy. No amount of coaxing can get him to say it. I think Matthew will be really happy to see this when he gets home from work.

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