Showing posts from 2015

I was an aunt first

Before I became a mother, I became an Aunt. I title that I was thrilled to take on and meant something more to me than my siblings probably realize.

My niece graduated today, a semester early from high school. I'm thrilled beyond belief for her. She dreams of going to nursing school and becoming a nurse. It makes me a tiny bit excited to think she could follow in my footsteps! Nursing is my passion and it has allowed me so many opportunities. I hope she realizes that this could open a world of doors for her. I am so so so proud of my first niece... and a little sad that it makes me feel super old to have a niece that's graduating from high school!

 My nephew is killing it in drama and free style rapping. Did I mention he's taller than my brother (who's well over 6 feet) and towers over me? I've been watching his raps on Facebook and I love how he pours his heart and soul into them. I have no doubt that he will continue to reach for the stars and excel in all that h…

Christmas cookies

Before school, the kids and I were talking about how we bake cookies every year and take them to the neighbors. A few of our neighbors are grandma and grandpa ages (most 70 or older). Each year, we take them a plate of cookies near the holiday. We've done this for as long as I can remember.

This morning I mentioned that we should make them this weekend since Christmas is next week. I said we should also take some to a homeless shelter. Bella and Grayson asked what that was so I explained that it was somewhere people can go to be warm and safe when they don't have their own home like we do. The kids started coloring pictures for the people that we would take cookies to. Bella and Grayson both colored houses. Bella said "So they can have a house too, can we just get them a house?" Grayson said "so they can have a family too". Grayson is ALL about family.

We talked about how we would make cookies and deliver them so they could have something special for the ho…

It's Christmas time in the city

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! I would attribute a lot of that to my Grandma Tootie's traditions that trickled into my family when I was a child and now into my adult life. She LOVED christmas. She loved her family and boy was she a spit-fire... Bella may have inherited a bit of that from her.
This year with school finishing up for me and the changes in our jobs and lives, I had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. Right after graduation and Thanksgiving, it started to hit me that Christmas was coming and like a freight train, it hit me and the spirit came over me! We set up our tree as a family, one of my favorite traditions as a child and still a favorite. Bella loves it as much as I do, this year she made me promise not to put up ANY decorations until she was home from school. Our house is decorated and ready to go. 
One of my favorite things about Christmas is figuring out the perfect gift for each person on my list. It's not about gifts but I…


Welcome to a short morning in my shoes...

Mom these pants are iiiittchy! 

That's ridiculous! I can't wear that! 

I lost my shirt and I'm not wearing one if you don't find me another one. 

My toes are squished. 

No hat, mess up hair, no mess up hair, no hat. 

I'm not wearing a coat. I'm cold, where's my coat? 

This is NOT comfortable! I don't like that at all! 

Are you serious, I'm not wearing that. I'm wearing short sleeves. 

Me pick, notchu. 

Me wear that? Me NOT wear that one. 

MOM I need a pony, ugh a SIDE pony!

And that was only FOURTY FIVE short minutes of my morning, at 6:15 am. Did you hear me? AT SIX FIFTEEN AM PEOPLE!!! It's no wonder why I feel like my butt has been handed to me by 7pm! A number of you on my Facebook page thought this was SO hilarious. It's super funny, right? Until I drop them on your door step for the weekend!

It's entertaining for sure. Many times, I'm laughing (laugh or cry are my two choices here folks!) Som…

Death and birthdays

This is my dad. Today is his birthday. He died 4 years and 9 months ago suddenly from what was said to be sepsis...  I was 9 months pregnant with Grayson at the time... yes you read that right. Grayson was due one week after my dad died. Death is something that is talked about frequently at our house. My eyes get "watery" from time to time. My kids ask about my dad and although he may not be here with us, he is a big part of our life. He's a giant part of who I am, why I do the things I do. When he died, I'm positive that a part of my heart died with him.

Sometimes I cry alone, sometimes I don't hide my tears. It's okay for my kids to see that I'm sad or that I miss him. It's okay for them to understand that I wish he was here to share in our life, our experiences and the memories that are being made today. Today, I fought the tears until now... it's nap time at our house. I know he wouldn't want me sad, he wouldn't want me to cry over hi…


It's not uncommon for parents of kiddos with limb differences or limb difference adults to be a part of many online communities. I posted about a controversial topic the other day. Today, another one arose. Are kids with limb differences disabled? There are two sides of the fence. Which one do you stand on?

Here are some of the things parents of kiddos with limb differences said that feel that their child with a limb difference is entitled to social security benefits or disability. "My child is entitled to it because they are disabled". "There are people who get it and shouldn't so my child should get it because he's entitled to it". "He needs a special keyboard at school so he should be entitled to the benefits of disability due to that". "The surgeon thinks he should get it". "I get it so I can get my son's clothes altered and he cries because he can't jump rope". "It's the principle, he should get it be…

"Seester you have one hand"

We were all sitting at the table talking about our day and Luca said while proudly holding up his hands "Seester you have one hand, me have two, daddy have two, brudder has two, mommy has two, you have one".

Grayson quickly jumped in "She was born like that, we are all born different, like some people have different eyes or some people have different hands or different hair".

Bella said in the sweetest voice "You are right! I only have one hand and you have two. That's like when we go to Camp, lots of people are different there".

I explained to them all that when Bella grew in my tummy that she only grew one hand. "Then we she got bigger and bigger, her eyes turned a green color! Grayson's eyes turned a brownish color and your eyes are blue Luca!" They all looked at me like I had just lost my mind.

"Mom that's funny that he just said that" Bella said to me.

"Why is that funny Boo?"

"Because I've only had …


We just wanted to say how thankful we are for all of you! We are thankful for the love and support of this community. We are thankful to be able to voice our thoughts and opinions here. We are thankful that we have the opportunity to influence and impact others and show others that there is so much to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Happy Haligration!

That's how Grayson says Happy Graduation. "Happy Haligration mom!"  I swear, I'll miss this stage someday. I tried to post a video but it didn't upload. Bella jumped in bed with me yesterday morning and said "Happy Graduation mom, good job!" Ryan told them that it was my graduation day. It's hard to understand when there's no real ceremony here. That's the downside to going to school all online. We opted not to go to the actual ceremony and save the time and money for a real family vacation later.

Anyhow, yesterday was the big day! I graduated from my Master's in Nursing with an education emphasis. My goal is to teach nursing, which I'm kind of already doing now. Two years of struggle, homework, late nights, early mornings, sacrifices for the whole family, study days, homework days, naptime study sessions and paper writing. It was all worth it! I still can't believe that I finished and it's done. How is that possible?


Carrie and Ponytails

Last night Bella asked to put my hair in a ponytail while we were playing in her room. I hesitated and then agreed. I hesitated because I remember the days of getting my hair done by my mom as a child and getting wacked in the head with the bristles of a hair brush when I squirmed away. "Beauty suffers" she would say and I responded "I don't want to be beautiful!" Maybe now I know where my children get their stubborn streak! Bella didn't have a brush so I let her.

I had NO idea what was going on behind my head but I did feel my head get yanked a time or two. I sat quietly and she handed me a ponytail holder "Hold this mom". "Ok I'm ready" she said as I handed her the holder. She finished and just like that, my hair was in a ponytail. "Look in the mirror!" She squealed. Just like that my hair was in a ponytail. I took a photo that I'll post later. She did a great job! I'm so proud of her. I never once questioned her …


In the limb difference community, things come up that I sometimes have certain "feelings" about. Sometimes those feelings are hard to explain or put into words. The following can be summed up by the feeling of sadness...

There was a post today in one of my limb difference Facebook forums that discussed a gofundme account for a little girl. The account was set up by the mother of the child because she wants her child to have a hand transplant so she can "make heart shapes in photos like her cousins, to play baseball with her cousins, to tie her shoes, to do back bends, cut out her artwork, ride her bike without leaning forward, and hold two Barbie’s and have them talk to each others" Those are the mother's words, not mine.

Following the post on this page, parents of children with limb differences and adults with limb differences posted their views. One things I have learned and love about our community is the mass amount of support and love that surrounds us. I …

How do you make your kids feel special?

I came across this blog yesterday. I don't usually link to other blogs but I instantly fell in love with this woman and her thoughts. Being a parent is the hardest job I've ever had in my entire life. Did I mention I've been working since I was 15? So yeah, I've had a variety of jobs in my life.  I've been a cashier, worked at the mall, McDonalds, nanny, a waitress, a beer tub girl, a secretary, a chiropractic assistant, a bagger, babysitter, a checker, a lab assistant, an intern, a charge nurse, a pediatric staff nurse, learned a new hospital system in one shift, women's health nurse, a clinical instructor, a classroom instructor... yeah I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting one... or ten! Whatever, regardless, being a mom is HARD!

This blog spoke volumes to me. When we decided to have 3 kids, I struggled with how I would love each one. How would I make EVERYONE feel special? loved? important? Was there enough of me to go around? Would I still be a good wife?…

I may have lost my mind

This year, we've had a lot of transitions, like a whole lot. Ryan started a new job. I resigned from my job of seven years. I got a new job and a second new job. I'll be wrapping up graduate school in about a week. The kids started a new daycare. Bella started first grade. Yeah so we've had a few transitions. I'm now home every evening and get to spend the evenings with our little family. Remember that saying "the days are long but the years are short"? It's SO true. It was a really long day just the other day when we did a ton of yard work, cleaned out the garage and Luca flooded the bathroom... yeah that's an entirely different story.

I've opted to take the kids to Kansas City on my own... without Ryan... on a train...that takes 12 hours... shoot me now? Wine? Drink and ride? Baby leashes? Sedatives? Benadryl? Whiskey gums? Oh wait... all my kids have teeth and I don't drink whiskey. Yeah so I may have just lost my mind... or was it gone lon…

A glance into my daughter as a teenager...

We've been knees deep watching the World Series and rooting for the Royals (my hometown team). I let Bella stay up late and watch part of a game with me one night. She's curled up under my arm, cuddled tight into my body, rubbing her bunny just like any tired little six year old. Then she says it...

"Mom he's SOOOOO handsome" talking about Gordon, one of the Royal's players.

"I thought you said the Royals were SOOOO gross!" I responded and we both laughed.

"Well the Brewers aren't playing and I do kinda like em" she's trying to support her local team while her mom brainwashes her about the Royals and Kansas City :)

"I mean he has face stuff like daddy and that's so handsome" I couldn't argue with that. I like the few day old scruff too. It is handsome and manly. Wait, she's six! What the hell! We talk about how daddy or the boys look handsome or they comment how we look pretty or beautiful. I think it's im…

Parent Teacher Conferences- Oh my!

Last night were parent teacher conferences at school, I might be the odd ball parent because I love them. It gives me insight on how things are going at school, academically and socially. It's important to me that my kiddos are respectful and get along well with others and that others see that.

Bella's teacher does a self-report tool with each child. They grade themselves on how well they are doing in certain areas. I was so proud to see that Bella seemed to really pay attention to the questions and provided rationale to the teacher as to why she rated certain things the way that she did. She rated "I participate well in class" as middle of the scale because she said "sometimes I just sit and listen and don't raise my hand to participate". Mrs R agreed that sometimes she just is an observed and not an active participant. We both agreed that there are times when it is ok to observe instead of actively be participating.

Bella had warned me that she &quo…

Who wouldn't want 11 fingers?

While Bella was reading Dr Seuss' one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, she came to the page "One, two, three four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. He has eleven! Eleven! This is something new. I wish I had eleven, too!" We both giggled.

Then she said "Mom I wish I had eleven fingers, wanna know why?"

"Yeah why?"

"Because eleven is my favorite number EVER! Duh!"

Of course, who wouldn't say that. This girl surprises me every single day!

So proud

Today and always, I'm proud to call my mama mine. She's been through a lot in her life and to say she's a strong woman is a bit of an understatement. Three years ago, she worked to raise money for Bella to go to camp through something she called "Bikers for Bella". She did a poker run and it was nothing short of incredible. A TON of work and she didn't bat her eye once about it. She was excited to be involved. Well through that, relationships formed. She's became close friends with Harley and her boyfriend, Chad who own a bar in Missouri. It's called Charley's Roadhouse. Last year and this year, they once again raised money for Camp No Limits. I'm so proud of my mom, Harley and Chad for continuing the efforts.

This year was ultra-special. They raised money for another family to go to Camp No Limits. Brandon was born with a limb difference and he's the little guy that we supported this year through Bikers for Bella. Not only was enough mone…

I see you staring...

In one way, I get it, people stare, they are curious and not sure what to say or do. When it's kids, I'm more understanding. Kids are growing and curious. It's our job as adults to educate them, to talk to them about why they are staring and get them engaged. I find myself often saying "Hi, I'm Sarah, Bella's mom, how are you?" Usually it pulls the child's attention away from my child and onto me. Usually that's when I get "What happened to her hand?" My response is always "She was just born that way. What questions do you have about it?" Sometimes kids ask more questions and sometimes that's the end of the conversation.

Today is Bella's last day before starting first grade. We went on an adventure to a park she loves that's about 30 minutes from home. We packed lunch and were ready to enjoy our day. The kids were all playing and I could tell by Bella's face she wasn't comfortable. I stayed close by. I noti…

"That's cool"

The same day we were at the park and the incident happened, something positive also happened. Bella had been playing with the girl who was scared and another little girl came up.

"What happened to your hand?" she asked.

"I was born this way" Bella responded

"That's cool!" she said and her and Bella went to play...

Just like that something negative had happened and then this happened. I try to be more of an observed and let my kids handle situations on their own. Then if I need to, I can step in.

As we loaded into the car, Bella said "Mom a girl at the park called my hand COOL and that's NEVER happened before, it was AWESOME! That's the first time anyone has every said my hand was cool!"

"Wow, seriously?! that is AWESOME! " I looked back from the front seat with a smile. I was fighting the tears. This little girl had no idea how she made my daughter feel. She had no idea that she left a print on my daughter's soul that w…

Back seat blogger

I have no excuses, only reality. We've had an insanely busy summer and the blog for Bella has taken a back seat. I'm a mom first and foremost. I'm also a pediatric nurse, a clinical instructor, a full time graduate student, a wife, a dog owner, a crafter... wait I was a crafter... well anyhow, it's been busy! I'll catch you up on the rest of that stuff later!

Bella starts first grade in one week. We had a meet the teacher night tonight and I loved her teacher. I'm excited that she is in class with some of her best buds. I'm thrilled that she's over the moon about going back to school, learning more and seeing her friends again.... her words, not mine! Her first grade teacher said her kindergarten teacher described her as "super confident and does everything the other kids do". I loved her kindergarten teacher too. Kindergarten went off without a hitch, no major issues with her limb difference camp up. Her first grade teacher and I decided it w…

Happy Birthday Lady Bug!

This girl made me a mother exactly six years ago today. I longed for the day I would have a child of my own. I remember being a young girl, about the age she is now, playing mama and babies. In my heart, I knew the thing that would make me happiest would be to be a mother. I wanted her before she grew inside me. I loved her from the second we discovered we were having a child. Nothing could change my mind, nothing could make me love her more or less.

A little piece of my heart walks outside of my body with each of my children. I remember rubbing my stomach and talking to her when she was growing in my womb. I remember reading to her and singing songs to her. I wondered if she would recall my voice when she came into the world. I remember telling her how I loved her and would protect her, how I would be her best friend and her biggest cheerleader, how I couldn't wait to hold her in my arms.

When my water broke five weeks early, I knew she was in a hurry to meet us. I knew she woul…

Father's Day

This is us a few weeks ago on our first camping adventure as a family of five. The only mishap was a small hole in my newish tennis shoes from a toasted marshmallow. This is us at our finest, all squished together with food in mouths and hands, dirty faces, unwashed hair, smelling of bug spray and sunscreen and sweat! We are happiest together on adventures. This is my life that I love. This is the man that made me a wife, that gave me these children. This is my husband and the father of my loves. I knew something was different about him when we met but I didn't know exactly what it was. I'm still not sure what it is about him that still gives me butterflies.

Ten years later, many moves, four states, a baby girl, a miscarriage, two baby boys. This is the man that I call mine. He pushes me to be the best me, the best mother, friend, nurse, teacher, student. He encourages me to reach for the stars, to soar through the skies. To embrace life at every turn. I loved him years ago, …

Karma at it's finest

I'm not sure that is the appropriate title for this post but it is what it is for a reason. I was recently told that maybe Bella's fingers didn't develop due to "bad karma" or something I did or didn't do in my past. I held back wanting to slap the person in the face (with a chair) and instead left them with a website with more information. It's hard to refrain sometimes but I gave myself a pat on the back for educating them instead of spending the night in jail away from my family.

Let me share that education a bit here. There's nothing I DID or did NOT do during my pregnancy to cause this. Trust me, I researched more than I care to admit. I talked to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon... okay but I didn't talk to one, I talked to multiple. We did see one during my pregnancy and after Bella was born. I talked to a pediatric plastic surgeon. I saw our pediatrician. I asked on multiple limb difference boards... I spent HOURS upon HOURS researching. Wh…

Things you should know...

While cutting cilantro the other night, Bella said "Can I do that?" 

"Sure, go ahead" and I passed her the scissors.

"Mom, I can't do it like you because I don't have two hands, I can't hold the cilantro with one hand and then cut it with the other" something I rarely hear her say... she can't do something because she doesn't have two hands....

"Wait, I can do anything I put my mind to" and away she went, she pushed all the cilantro into a pile and used the scissors to cut it and then pushed it again and kept cutting... and so it went. 

"See mom, I can do it just like you said. I can do anything if I put my mind to it."

She's five and she sure can. She can do anything she wants! She might do it different, she might not do it just like you, she might not do it the way you would think she would. There's nothing I can say that she can't do... ok wait, that's a lie, she can't do monkey bars... YET! She&#…


It wasn't until I became a mother that I truly understood or appreciated how my parents felt about me. I don't think it's something you can ever fully understand unless you become a parent yourself. I have a different appreciation for my parents and the decisions they made. I remember rolling my eyes at them and many times thinking they were nuts for the decisions they were making. Truth of the matter is that they were just doing the very best they could in that moment. Could they have done better? Maybe, but who am I to judge. Could they have done worse? You bet! I'd like to think that I turned out okay and I'm sure they think they did a decent job too.
I can tell you this, that each time, my newborn was put into my arms, my heart exploded with the love I felt. I remember driving to work and talking to Bella in my stomach about all of my hopes and dreams for her. I remember being thankful that my body had the ability to carry a child. I wouldn't trade carryin…

The middle child

This blog initially started out all about Bella. I once made a better attempt to keep it that way and continued to keep my own private blog. I still do keep that blog but I also think it's important to realize that my other children do not get neglected because of Bella. I debated writing this but this is us, this is real, this is our life.

Four years ago today, our second child, our first son entered this world, who is also now a middle child. I have a hard time admitting that I can't remember much about his birth. It was a world wind time in our lives. I do remember crying during my labor and yelling that I could not do this and I just wanted a c-section. That was not the way he wanted to enter the world. He came in at a whopping 8 lbs 11 oz, 3 whole pounds more than his sister! I remember is brown hair, and them plopping his little body onto my belly, something that didn't happen during Bella's birth. I remember the immense amount of love that filled my heart. I reme…