Friday, September 20, 2013

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't wait to see all of your sweet faces!

Please drop me an email at bellacampfund@hotmail.com if you need anymore information. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

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 that draws 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 kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.”

-Tina Fey


My Aunt CeeCee posted this on her facebook today and it's true for the most part. I don't care if she choses to get tattoos but pretty much everything else in this prayer, it's something I wish for not only Bella but her two brothers as well. It brought tears to my eyes so I figured if I felt emotional about it, I should document it. Where better to document it than right here. 

I remember becoming a mother for the first time and calling each of my parents to thank them for raising me. Parenthood is no joke, it's like being thrown into the trenches without being told how to get out! As a child you don't know all of the things that your parents do for you, nor should you. The middle of the night feeds, though seriously exhausting, are moments to embrace. They pass so quickly. The baby blowing raspberries with a mouth full of milk, I love that little raspberry blowing dude, even if it means I'm covered in milk. The 2 yr old with the big heart melting eyes that says "Pick me up Mama" when I'm trying to prepare dinner. I'll pick that kid up because soon enough, he won't want to be held or picked up. That 4 year old who stomps her foot and says "UGGGHHHH" when I ask her a question or tell her no to something, she's the spitting image of her mama. I hope that determination and spunk will take her far in life. 

The days, sometimes they drag by. The years, they fly by. I remember nursing her at 11 months in the middle of the night and wondering "When on earth will this child sleep through the night?!" The answer was right around the corner, she slept through the night at 13 1/2 months. Yep, you read that right, she was over a year. She taught me patience. She taught me that things can wait, babies grow up and the cobwebs and dishes will remain. She continues to teach me as do the boys. I'm lucky to have them, we're lucky to have them. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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 noticied Bella's limb difference. I was nursing the baby so I didn't hear what was said between Bella and the other child. Tutu, however, did. Since she's not here all of the time and she hasn't encountered situations like this, I'm not entirely sure she knew how to respond. She was on Bella like white on rice! She kept saying "Bella come out of that thing and get down here by Tutu" over and over again. Bella had other plans. She continued to play while Tutu kept saying "Get down here by Tutu".

Ryan (Bella's daddy) was watching a little closer than I was. He leaned in and said "Sarah you better go over there and take care of that". I handed over the baby and went over to figure out what was going on.
 
I first asked my mom what was going on. She explained that the child had noticied Bella's hand. He was staring, checking it out and calling the other kids over. They are kids. Kids are curious. As long as there's no meanness or Bella's not appearing uncomfortable then we needed to let things be. Bella is strong, she's outspoken. She's pretty good about telling kids she was "born this way" and then going about her business. Bella played, the kids played and within a few short seconds, no one was paying attention to her limb difference. Everyone was having fun. Fun is good!

I had to put my mom in check a little bit. I explained that we have to let them play and "do their thing".  
It was a moment that I had to teach my mom about how we chose to deal with things. She was worried about Bella and I know looking out for her (all of her grandkids) was her first priority at that moment. She wanted to be sure Bella was comfortable. I'm still learning how to deal with things and so is my mom. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Obstacles



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 takes practice, lots of practice. Sometimes I throw the ball up and I miss it and it falls on the ground. Then I try again until I get it."

"No, Mom. I CAN'T hit it like you do!" Her frustration growing.

Then it hit me, I could see in her sweet little angelic face that she meant she couldn't throw the ball up with one hand while still holding the tennis racket in the other hand because she only had 5 fingers instead of 10 like me. That's when as a parent, you have to think fast! So I sat the ball on top of the racket, popped the ball into the air with the racket then hit it again.

"See you can do it just like that!"

"No, I can't! I'm done!" frustrated and angry, she walked away.

No, she didn't cry. No, we didn't talk any more about it. I opted to let it go. It could have been a teaching moment but I opted to leave it be. Like the song goes "Know when to walk away, know when to fold"... or something like that. It was a fold 'em kind of moment for me. I felt sad for her, sad for me. Sad I didn't do it in a way she could have done it in the first place. It's moments like that, I find myself fighting the tears. It's the little moments like that that sometimes I beat myself up over later. I think why didn't I just do it the way that she could do it in the first place. In all honesty though, there are many times I forget about her limb difference. I have to remind myself, she's four. She's stubborn, she's strong, she senses your emotions in an instant. It's important to me that she doesn't sense that emotion from me about moments like this. At least not yet. Some day we can talk about my feelings regarding situations. At the young, impressionable, innocent age of four is not that moment.

You have to know your child. Know when to take the opportunity to teach and know when to take the moment to just let things be. I know my Bella, in the midst of her anger and frustration was not the moment to teach. We often talk about how you have to work hard in life. When she says "I can't do it" about ANYTHING, we say "you CAN do it". It's important to try to give it your best and that's what I want to teach her. Sometimes it's ok to feel frustrated and walk away. We'll try again another day, another time. I'll do better next time. I'm more aware of her feelings about the whole thing. Now that I know it was a challenge, I'll work harder to show her a different way to start. Maybe she'll remember the way I showed her the second time. Until then, I won't beat myself up about it. She's four and she has plenty of time to play with tennis balls and rackets if she wants!

On being thankful...

Each November I try to write on Facebook some of the many reasons I am thankful. This November started out with a bang. So far it went like ...