Friday, May 22, 2015

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's working on it. She's a little nervous when it comes to hanging from a bar too many feet from the ground (she *might* get that from her mama!)

Things I want you to know about her:

She was born like this! 

Symbrachydactyly occurs in 1:30,000 to 1:40,000 children. 

She does not have amniotic band syndrome. 

She can do EVERYTHING other kids her age can do, she does them her way. (Don't most kids do things their way?)

She can cut paper. She holds the scissors in her right hand and moves the paper where she wants it with her left hand. 

She can use a fork and knife.

She can cut paper with scissors.

Her hand doesn't hurt her.

You can hold her hand. 

She doesn't have a disease and you won't catch anything from her just because she doesn't have fingers.

She's working on riding a bike (she's a little nervous about falling off and hurting herself, but I was the same way).

It's not heriditary or genetic (meaning it's not passed down from her parents to her). 

She doesn't mind if you ask questions. She doesn't like when people continuously stare or continue to ask questions. A few questions is okay but then it gets to be too much. 

She doesn't like people to grab or examine her hand. Would you want someone grabbing a part of your body and examining it without your permission?

She's a normal 5 year old kid and she wants to be treated like one. 

She doesn't want to be known for her limb difference. WE don't want her to be known for her limb difference.

She knows about this blog and she likes it. She likes that it helps her get to Camp No Limits! 

She knows that people have raised money for her to go to Camp, she knows that strangers have donated money. She likes to hear about the people who donate and what they say. She gets card from one man that has donated and she LOVES it :) Nothing like snail mail to make a kid's day!

She knows that the goal of raising money is to go to Camp No Limits AND to raise awareness ("tell people about") limb differences. 

She talks about her friends that are born like her. 

We don't like to say "God made her this way" because we don't want little kids to be angry with God. It's just our thing. We just say she was born that way. 

She doesn't want you to be afraid of her or her hand. 

She loves making new friends. 

She loves getting on Facebook to see her "friends that were born like her" and her "camp friends".

She's loves Facetime! 

She gains confidence from Camp and knows that people there help her. 

She can bathe herself without any help from us. 

She loves climbing and parks.

She loves glue and crafting and card making. 

She doesn't like people to talk about her hand without her as part of the conversation. 

She can zip a jacket.

She can get herself dressed. 

She can ALMOST do her own ponytail. 

She can fasten a belt. 

She's just like any other 5 year old girl.

What do you want to know if she can do? What else can we do to help you understand or answer questions for other kids or your kids? 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Motherhood



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 carrying those kids inside of me for anything in this world. As a parent, we have high hopes for each of our children. My hopes and dreams for each of them is happiness. I don't care if they chose a specific religion or career path. I don't care if they chose a same-sex partner for marriage. I do care that they are happy. That they are kind and considerate to others. That they are compassionate and open-minded and respectful of other's beliefs. It is not our place to judge.

I know for a fact that my parents did the very best they could in each of the moments they were given with me. They have encouraged me and supported me. I pray that my children find me supportive and encouraging of their endeavors. I hope that when they become adults they will still love and cherish our relationship.  I hope that they will someday understand that I am making the best decisions that I can as a mother for them. 

Today, I'm thankful that I was chosen to be the mother of these three gems. Some days (MOST days!) they push me to my limits. I would be lying if I said there weren't days I was counting the hours until bedtime. I would also be lying if I didn't say there were days that I didn't miss snuggling their tiny naked little newborn body against my bare chest. Someday, I will miss the messy faces and floors. Someday, I will miss the madness and craziness. Today, I'll embrace it! Today, I'll be thankful that they each want me to crawl into bed with them and "Nuggle" or talk about our day. Today and every day, I'll be thankful that they are mine and I am theirs.

Successful 504 meeting

Last week, we had the official 504 meeting. It happened at 7:30 am on a school day. This made it easier for all the parties involved to be t...