Showing posts from 2013

Thanksgiving came and went

It seems as though the days are whizzing by! I guess that's bound to happen when you have 3 little ones in your home. Our house is filled with lots of love and madness... and giggles and all of that other fun stuff that littles bring.

This year, we have so much to be thankful for. There's no way I could possibly list all of the things I am thankful for this year. It seems as if the list is endless. I want to reach out to all of you and tell you each how very thankful we are that you are in our lives. It means more to us than you know. We've encountered so many people that have welcomed us with open arms. I'm thankful for you welcoming us into your lives, into your hearts. I hope today and every day you have a tiny bit of time to think about all of the things that you are thankful for in your life.

New things on the horizon

Since Gary's bike ride for Bella, she's been asking for a "snapping hand" like Gary's. She doesn't know much about prosthetics other than the few that she's seen. Gary's being one of them and the only other one was at our Hanger Prosthetic appointment a few months ago. She didn't want a "plastic" hand and said it looked weird. Because it wasn't in use by someone, I think it was hard for her to understand how it could have been useful to her. Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe it just looked odd to her. She kept saying it just looked like a "baby doll hand", when I put myself in her shoes, that's exactly what it looked like except on a larger scale.

We were very lucky to have networked with Shriner's Hospital prior to Bella's birth and get into their system even though we have never utilized their services. We've been seen at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin up until now... By being seen, I mean we've…

Gary's Ride for Bella

What a success!! There were at least 63 bikers that came and registered and rode for Bella's Camp Fund. Here are how the events of the day played out...

All 5 of us showed up at the American Legion at 9:45 am. Bella and I sat at the registration table. She was a little celebrity. It was so cute, she sat there so big and shook hands with complete strangers. She thanked them for riding. She used her manners and was on her best behavior all day long. I am so proud that she does in fact listen to the things we tell her. Manners are important and on Saturday, it showed that she knew that. We helped with the raffle ticket purchases and kind of did a meet and greet with every one that came in.

Gary walked in the door of the hall and Grayson our shy little 2 year old ran up to him and hugged his leg. Bella calls him Grandpa Gary and she calls Kathy, Grandma Kathy. It's so adorable. We are the parents that want our kids to be able to love anyone they want. It's clear that they bot…

Loving life

We've been busy loving life at the Zizzo house. With 3 little kids, there are never any empty moments, constant laughter, occasional crying, tantrums, bumps, bruises, endless giggling, hugs, kisses, singing songs, dancing, making up songs then laughing about their silliness, snuggling, messes... the list goes on. It's crazy love over here! I can't imagine it any other way!

There's been a lull in the blog because of everything going on. Sometimes computers, cell phones, electronics must be put on hold so that life can be lived. Usually I have times in the evenings to update the blog but lately with a baby that cut four teeth in month, that lull of quiet time hasn't happened. Babies grow up, I've been busy snuggling babies!

Things are happening here. Life is in high gear. Camp is approaching quickly! Our application has been accepted and our spots have been reserved. We're sorting through sleeping arrangements for camp with the director. It's a little bi…


Fox 6 news ran our story with Gary. Click here to watch I didn't get to watch the story on the news, life as usual was busy. I honestly forgot it was even scheduled to air. Being parents of three kids sometimes makes your mind wander to the daily tasks and lose track of other things. The interview was so impromtu. I met Gary and Kathy to pick up some flyers about the bike run and a Fox 6 reporter was there with a camera man. We chatted then they asked if they could follow us home to talk more. My first thought was "holy crap, our house is complete craziness right now". I figured what the heck, why not talk to them a little more if they were interested.

I found the article online without the video. I emailed Mike, the awesome reporter. He responded that it was live so I found it. I watched it during a break at work. I cried. I was emotional during the interview. I was emotional again today watching and reliving it all again. I get attached, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I…

Bowling for Bella takes Wisconsin

There was already a Bowling for Bella in Missouri and it was so much fun for everyone that we decided to do one in Wisconsin too. Part of the fun is that everyone can bowl! Big kids aka adults, little kids and everyone in between! Bella loves bowling or "bawling" as she calls it. We've worked closely with Hank at Bluemound Bowl to get everything in place for a bowling event. So here are the details:
Where: Bluemound Bowl
When: Sunday September 29th
Time: 4pm
What: 2 games of bowling and shoes for $10 if you pay by this Wednesday or $15 at the door
Extras: A raffle (tickets are $1 each) lots of great prizes have been donated by generous local businesses!
We are super excited to get everyone together to have a great afternoon family friendly event. Bring yourself, bring your kids, bring your family, bring your co-workers, bring your friends. Anyone that you think will enjoy an afternoon of bowling and hanging out. We'll be there with our little family of five and can&#…

Tina Fey's prayer

(Too much flash but what a sweet picture of Bella and Luca)
A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage thatdraws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any ki…

Embracing moments

Wrapping up summer has been busy! Wait, who am I kidding, it's still in the 90's in Wisconsin... so it's still summer then right?!
We've been lucky to have lots of visitors this summer. It's been jam packed with fun. Our most recent visitors were Tutu, Papa Mark and Halana came for a visit from Missouri. Tutu and Papa Mark are Sarah's mom and stepdad. Halana is our niece, Sarah's brother's daughter. Papa Mark and Tutu think our little babies hung the moon and the stars, well and the whole sky for that matter. We were up early and out late, going non-stop from the minute we woke up until nap and then again from naps until bedtime. It was fabulous and I'm sure the kids would agree!  The last visit we were met with a little challenge during Tutu and Papa's visit. We were at a McDonald's play place after getting ice cream. Bella and one of her brother's were busy playing in the tunnels and climbing around. After a short while, another child no…


A couple of weeks ago we were at our family cottage playing in the yard. It was a beautiful, sunny day with perfect weather. We had all played in the lake, got super dirty in the sandbox, balanced on the edges around the sandbox, layed on a blanket and giggled, tossed bean bags and were having an amazing day. Bella wanted to play "tennis". Which basically meant tossing around a waffle ball and hitting it with tennis rackets that were hanging around. I tossed up the ball and lightly hit it with the racket. Bella was standing across the yard waiting for the ball to come her way. She tried to hit it and missed. We both giggled and then she looked at me. I could tell by her face that she was stewing, the wheels in her brain quickly turning. 

"MOM, I can't hit it like you!" She said sounding frustrated and a bit sassy.
"What do you mean you can't hit it like me?"

"I can't throw the ball like that and hit it too."
"Sure you can! It take…

Tiny girl, Big heart

Tonight, while tucking our sweet girl into bed she said "Mom, when I get bigger, I want to take care of sick kids like you and make them better like you do. And Mom, when I get bigger, I want to be a mom like you too"

I told her "that's a great idea, I would love if you took care of sick kids like mama does and if you are a mom someday when your older, much older! That would make me so proud to have you do the same things I do. Being a mom is the BEST thing ever."

"Yeah but if I'm ganna work, I'm ganna need to learn to drive. If I drive, I'm ganna need a car"

And so it begins, our four year old thinking about her future.

Bikers for Bella- update

I have pictures that Tutu (Bella's grandma and my sweet mama) sent that I'll have to upload soon, I promise! Until then...

The Kansas City, Missouri version of Bikers for Bella was fantastic. It was small but still fantastic. People were very generous in doing what they can for Bella. They all had a great time and the ride went much longer than everyone expected. It was a beautiful day for Kansas City (aka not 100+ degrees in August!)

We're appreciative of my brother for heading up the whole thing and taking charge! We're appreciative of all of those that came out to show their support. We're thankful everyone stayed safe and enjoyed the ride.

After all, life is all about enjoying the ride!

Bikers for Bella

My brother is heading up a motorcycle run to raise funds for Bella's camp this saturday. My brother may look rough and tumble but he's the guy that would give you the shirt off of his back. He's more reserved than I am but he's also a lot funnier than me once you bring him out of his shell.

It's starting at my dad's old hang out, Tool Shed in Independence. I'm sure he'll be proud to see his son doing something for his niece and bringing my dad's friends into play too. We're all hoping for a great turnout! I know my dad will be watching down laughing at all the madness that ensues with his buddies and other bikers. My dad was no fair weather rider, he rode his Harley in rain, sleet, snow, you name it. My step dad is the same way.

It's a poker run, driver costs $25 and passengers are $10. Of course, prizes at the end for the best hand. Register at 9am, kick stands up by 10:30. Spend your Saturday morning raising funds for a good cause and st…

Growing our community

I have big plans for this blog in addition to raising funds for Bella's Camp No Limits experience. I hope to raise awareness about limb differences. I hope to help other parents teach their children about differences in others and ways to embrace them and not be afraid. Parenting is the most difficult job I've ever had in my life, I'm pretty sure my husband would agree. Ultimately, I'd also love to create a community in the greater Milwaukee area for kids with limb differences. I would like to have meet ups. I would love to have a community locally for parents and children to utilize.

I remember being pregnant with Bella and finding out about her limb difference. I could tell by the look on the ultrasound techs face that something was wrong. She kept running the ultrasound probe across my round belly and her eyes were darting around. I remember her pausing and saying all in one big breath "It's a girl but she doesn't have a left hand". I remember my…

Bowling fundraiser

Sunday, July 28th Bella's "Tutu" and Papa Mark organized a bowling fundraiser in Blue Springs, Missouri at Blue Springs bowl. It was a great success! Thank you to all that came to support her and our goal! Many people came and bowled and had a great time according to those that attended. Some people even came and didn't bowl but cheered on bowlers and donated. Thank you to all that attended and showed your support. I know my mom worked really hard to organize this event! If you are interested in more events, we have a facebook page that I'll link up to later or you can email us at and I can put you on an email list. We plan to have future activities in the Kansas City, Missouri and Milwaukee, Wisconsin areas.

Happy Birthday Bug!!

Four years ago on July 24th, we were waiting anxiously for our Bella to be born. We should have known from the get go that she would be full of spunk since my water broke 5 weeks early! I remember crying because I was so nervous that she would need a NICU stay. Instead, she came out calm and collected, weighing a whopping 5 lbs 10 oz, big for a preemie.

Four years ago, our lives were forever changed. We became parents. It would bring a world of love, challenges, learning, happiness and joy. We both fell in love with our daughter and fell in love with each other all over again.

We are blessed beyond measure. Thank you to all who have helped us meet our birthday goal of $500, we've raised over DOUBLE our first goal and it's only the beginning of this journey. There are many other fundraisers and activities waiting in the wings. Today is a day to be thankful, to be happy.

Bella Kailani,
Thank you for blessing our lives. For chosing us to be your parents, I honestly believe th…

Meeting with the prosthetist

Say that 10 times fast! Today, we went to Hanger Prosthetics in Milwaukee for the first time where we met Scott. I thought there would be pictures from our visit but there was nothing really to take pictures of. Yesterday, I felt overwhelmed and almost a little sad about the whole thing. We think Bella is perfect just the way she is, so modifying her in any way made me feel a way that I had not felt before. Life is about change and growing and learning. As a mother, those things are constant in our lives.

Our visit at Hanger went well. It was full of information. The reason we just now pursued a prosthetic is because when Bella was first born we wanted her to learn to live life with what she was born with and make the most of what she was given. I'm not saying early intervention with prosthetics is a wrong choice or a right choice, it's just not the choice that we made for our daughter and our family. She has been asking about fingers for her other hand so we wanted to find ou…

Where there's a will...

Our strong willed girl is just that, strong willed! When she sets out to do something, she does it all of the way. There's no backing down once she puts her mind to something.  She always amazes us. We remember when she was first born, so many questions fill your head as a parent.... How will she wear a wedding ring? How will she tie her shoes? How will she button buttons on her pants or her coat? How will she hold things or carry things? How will she zip her coat? What about holding a sippy cup? How will she crawl? The questions flooded our heads. There are still days we have questions but so many of those questions have already been answered...

Tonight, I was lying in bed with her and she wanted a bow on her bunny's ear. Her bunny is her "lovey" and she sleeps with her every night. The bow on "bun buns" right ear is tattered and torn, it's very well loved. The bow on bun buns left ear fell off a couple of years ago. I replaced it with a new bow and s…


Welcome to our first blog post! We'll try to give you some background here about Bella and about why we are starting this journey now.

Who is Bella?

Bella is a spunky, sweet little 4 year old first born. We found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our daughter would be born with left hand limb difference, meaning she was born with her left forearm and wrist but no fingers on her left hand. She has grown to not know life any different. Bella has never used a prosthetic. We encourage her and embrace her at every turn. She has more recently started to question why she was born this way and why we can’t plant seeds in her “little hand” to grow fingers. She does everything other kids her age do, she adapts things to her. She makes things work in a way that work for her, often without any guidance from us.

Why did we start this blog now? 
With Bella starting to ask more questions about why she was born this way. She's started to notice the stares and looks that people give her. Sh…