Friday, June 15, 2018

CAMP NO LIMITS all booked!

This picture was taken just last weekend while we were camping. Bella and I were walking around the camp ground just the girls. Dirty from camping all weekend, hiking, biking and exploring... BUT living our best life, in nature, with the ones we love.

Camping is one of our favorite things to do in the spring, summer and fall. It means disconnecting from life, phones, electronics. It means building bonds and making memories. That's what summer vacation is all about in my eyes.

Summer last year meant exploring Camp No Limits Idaho for the first time. We've explored others but we fell deeply in love with Idaho, the people, the location, the rustic cabins. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Camp No Limits and every single location we've attended. Idaho camp just felt like we had found our home. While I totally realize that it's NOT a location for everyone, it was the prime location for us. It's rustic, like really rustic. We were "warned" if you will by other families and staff and I swore it was right up our alley. We got some side eyes and some laughs. Really though, it was. I barely got cell service, yay me! I was able to really focus on connecting with my kids, the other families there. One of my favorite pictures is a picture of a sibling at camp that's slathered in sunscreen that's not fully rubbed in. It was the first camp that we left that Bella cried, like body shaking cries.

We saw old friends and we made plenty of new friends. We literally can't wait to go back. We are counting down! Tickets were purchased, application was accepted... now to book a car rental and we are good to go! A little over a month to go, but who's counting? Oh that's right WE ARE!!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stand up for yourself

A couple of weeks ago we had a bus incident. I debated sharing or not but here I am typing so I've decided to share. I'm sharing Bella's side of the story because that's what I know. I also know that we've had a history with this child so that plays into my mind as well.

Bella got off the bus in hysterics. Her face was beat red and her eyes were bright red. The driver motioned for me to come closer so I did. 

"She got smacked by a kid at school while we were still at school and the principal came out. The child isn't on the bus but she's clearly upset. Has the school called you?"

"No the school hasn't called" I said as I tightly wrapped my arms around my daughter. 

"Do you know who it was?"

Bella interrupted and said "Benny T (name changed to protect privacy) did it"

"Thanks for letting me know" I said to the driver. 

"What happened Boo?" I said as I was walking back to the house. 

"Can we talk in private?"

So we got home and we went right into the bedroom to chat. She explained that the child did something sexually inappropriate on the bus in the morning and her and another child reported the behavior to the teachers. When she got on the bus that afternoon the child was angry and said he "knew that she told". Whether he actually knew or not, who knows and it doesn't matter. He proceeded to "tap" her on the face then open handed smack her. The principal was called and apparently according to the kids on the bus it was a disaster to get the kid off the bus. His parents were notified. I called the school IMMEDIATELY. The VP was meeting with the other parents so I had to leave a message. To say I was fuming was an understatement. 

While waiting I talked to my kids about self-defense and what we view as "good self-defense" in our house... while it may not be okay with everyone else, here is what I believe. If someone puts their hands on my child inappropriately, my child has every right to punch, kick, pinch, bite, hit to keep themselves safe. While you might not all agree with that, that's my thought... We can agree to disagree. I'm all about you doing you and I'll do me. For me, keeping my kids safe is a high priority and this is one way I encourage them to protect themselves.

The VP called back shortly after. Our school has a "We can't discuss the consequences for other kids policy"... which I think is complete crap. It involved MY child and I feel like I have the right to know what the consequence is. I may think it's fair or not but I do think that I have the right to know, just like if my child did something, the other parent has the right to know the consequence. Yes, I understand FERPA and no I'm not asking for NAMES from the school. I've even asked "What happens if MY child did that, what would the consequence be?" and was told they'd discuss that if it happened... well out of my control so I opted to do what I could control... which isn't much.

Here's what I asked for: I asked for my child to be moved on the bus so that she was no longer sitting across from this child any longer. That was granted the next time they were both on the bus. It was a stretch but I also asked for them not to be in the same class for next year, as we've had multiple incidents with this child this year... we'll see if that's granted. I don't think that my requests were out of line.

What do you do to teach your kids to stand up for themselves? Are there books you've read with them? How do you teach them to avoid kids that are constantly causing problems? A big issue at our house is that Bella thinks she can "help others learn to be nice"... we've talked about this but she still wants to try. I value that she's a strong, stubborn kid and wants the world to be a better place. I want to protect and cherish that her heart is not hard to the world. But there's a part of me that wants to help her realize that we can't change others... I'd love to hear your suggestions or words or wisdom! This parenting thing is no joke! 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

"Did you date other guys...."

Bella hopped in bed with me this morning and said "Did you date other guys before you married daddy?"

My eyes were BARELY cracked open, like my alarm had JUST went off. Where does this kid come up with such things?

"Yes I dated other guys before I married daddy. It helps you decide what you can put up with for the rest of your life" We both laughed, though it's kind of true!

"That's how you figure out what you want for the rest of your whole life, you date people and decide what you like and don't like. Someday, you find the guy that you love most everything about."

"Why did you pick daddy?"

Okay let's be real, my brain wasn't even awake yet... my eyes were still BARELY open! Why was this child asking deep questions at 6:30 am and where does she decide she wants to know the answer to this question. Where did this come up before?

"Really, why did you pick him?"

Okay that might not be his best angle :)

"For lots of reasons, he's kind and thoughtful. He's funny and fun to be around. He likes adventures. He's supportive of me and the things I love and makes me happy. I knew he'd make a great dad too, was I right?"

"Yeah you were right" and we both smiled. 

"He's actually a LOT like Papa John too. Someday I hope you marry a guy as great as your daddy."

"Well girls can ask boys to marry them right because I'm not waiting forever. Like when I'm 27, I'm asking the guy if we've been dating awhile. I'll get a ring or something."

"You can do whatever you want! If that's what you want to do then you can."

"Yeah and you and Dad will be old like Tutu then." Thanks for the reminder kid!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Limb difference facts

The cost for an upper limb prosthetic varies by vendor and your insurance coverage. According to my research, they can cost 3,000-90,000. Bella's cost about 8,000.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Glasses update!

This little dude is rocking his glasses! He is wearing them during MOST of his waking hours and has really embraced them fully. I'm a little surprised. He has asked "Mom I need a break, is that okay?" I fully remember getting my glasses for the first time and needing a break from them. The pounding headaches initially because my eyes were not used to seeing so clearly.

We had  a little mishap with his initial order. Initially we ordered from the eye doctor for a hefty price tag of almost $550. Yikes! I didn't know better and ordered them without hesitation. Then they got lost in transit after 14 days so we were told it would be another 10-14 days to get a new pair. I opted to cancel the order and order elsewhere. I picked up his prescription and went to walmart. He picked out a great pair that he loved for his frame, polycarbonate lenses and antireflective for less than $100. They have a one year warranty so that's great too. I'm still working on ordering a cheaper backup pair online, just in case! It's always good to have a second pair because you never know!

We are still working on responsibility and glasses. He takes them off when he's kicking the ball in the backyard with his brother or jumping on the trampoline. While that's great, I found them in the middle of the hallway on the floor NOT in a case yesterday. We had a little chat about the cost of glasses and the importance of being responsible with them. Not only are they costly but if they break due to his irresponsibility, he'll have some consequences. I stressed set them in the case in somewhere that he would remember, his drawer or his backpack. I imagine this will continue to be a work in progress. 

Yesterday while getting ready for school he was reading before school! First off, finding a book that interests him is SO important. He's completely uninterested in first reader type books. We found that if he has a book with facts about animals in it, he's all over it. Yesterday he was reading "Fangs" which is all about animals with fangs. Ugh, not my thing but I will tell you I learned all sorts of interesting facts! I'd like to think the reading is easier too since he can see better and BOTH of his eyes are now doing the work instead of one. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018


According to the CDC, each year about 4 out of every 10,000 babies will have upper limb reductions. Do some simple math and that's 1 in 2,500 babies. While it might not seem common to you. It's part of our life every single day and there's a resources out there to help you. Some of our favorites are Born Just Right, Lucky Fin Project and Camp No Limits. If you know of someone with a limb difference, please share with them these resources! Share our blog and pass along a little education to help them feel supported. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Birthday Girl

Am I still a girl if I'm pushing 40? I'm going with yes!
I'm determined to make this year my best year yet. Not that I've had bad years in the past... it's just that I haven't made me a priority since giving birth to those three little loves you see in this picture. I'm determined to figure out a way to continue to find balance and peace within myself. I'm getting control of my diet. What goes in must come out... it comes out for me in the form of emotions, sluggishness, crabby attitude, exhaustion, tears... If I fuel my body with good food, it comes out in a more desirable way. So that's what I'm doing. 

I've been working out and I love feeling strong. I'm continuing to work out, lift heavier weights, really push my cardio. Yes there's the benefit of looking good, but there's the bigger benefit of feeling good. Feeling good in my own skin, feeling comfortable and confident. It's about getting control of me and what makes me feel good. Pushing my body just past my comfort zone feels great. I feel proud and accomplished. 

I'm finding grace, not perfection. Thanks to a great friend for sending me the book in the mail and supporting me in the journey to find me, embrace my life as it is and the journey that we are on. I'm learning to say no when I need to. I'm learning that saying yes can mean I compromise me and my happiness, which in turn effects those around me. 

So as I turn 38 today, do me a favor. Take care of YOU. Do what makes YOU feel good. If you feel like you want to do something for me, I'm asking that you donate to our goal of heading to Camp No Limits this summer. There's a paypal link on the right. Camp makes me happy and camp makes the people that I love happy too. Here's to my best year yet and to you living your best life too! 

CAMP NO LIMITS all booked!

This picture was taken just last weekend while we were camping. Bella and I were walking around the camp ground just the girls. Dirty from...