Friday, October 23, 2015

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 "had a really messy desk". The only thing she rated herself poor on was organization. I laughed when I saw it because I she had already told me. Mrs R and I looked in her desk, GROSS!!! Her room is typically messy too if it's up to her. So I went home and warned Bella that her "job" friday was cleaning out her desk. She thanked me for bringing home a few tupperwares that had snacks in them. Silly girl!

She is most challenged by literacy or reading. She says that sometimes "tough words are hard for me". She's one of the youngest kids in her class and she's reading right on schedule with the others. We both would like to see her reading a little higher level books. She choses F level books but they are very easy for her. We talked about both encouraging her to pick G books so that she can advance her reading. Mrs R said "you guys must be reading a lot at home". We do read a lot and I'm glad it shows in her classroom. All of the kids love reading!

Mrs R described Bella as a good listener, friendly, gets along well with others, has lots of friends, social, respectful and confident. I was thrilled by hearing her description of her. Not only was it nothing negative, it is all qualities that I hope to see in my daughter. Even though we have three kiddos, they are each very different and unique in their own ways. Bella is very confident and secure in who she is and I'm happy that we can continue to allow that to thrive and develop. I hope those are traits that continue to stick with her throughout her life.

We briefly discussed her hand. She said that quite honestly it isn't an issue at all and it's never mentioned or talked about. The kids just don't really care about it. This is what I'm most excited to share with other parents. I want you to know that your child's difference does not have to define who he or she is! They are their own little person who just happens to have a visible difference. Bella is so much more than her limb difference. I'm thrilled to hear that it's openly accepted and a non-issue for her or others. I was worried when I was pregnant that this may be something that could define her as a person and I did not want that. All of the things mamas and daddies worry about! So many of them seem so significant at the time and later we look back and laugh at it later.

Monday, October 19, 2015

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!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

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 money raised for Brandon to go to camp, enough money was raised for his ENTIRE family to go to camp. My mom cried. She's SO excited to share the love with someone else.

My mom seriously has a heart of gold and there's a special place in her heart for children. She fell in love with Brandon and his family. Not once did she say she wished we would've done this for Bella. She knows how special Camp No Limits is for Bella and our family. I've said since we first went two years ago that camp is life changing for kids and their families. I have no doubt that Brandon's experience will be the same. I have no doubt his family will come back changed from the experience. I'm thrilled that our family, my mom and Harley and Chad are involved in making changes in the lives of others.

Bikers can appear rough around the edges to some people. Riding in with the load pipes, leather jackets, chaps, long hair, tattoos, cussing, dropping f-bombs (as I always told my dad), drinking... There's often a stereotype related to bikers. My dad fit the stereotype pretty well, my stepdad fits the stereotype in some ways too. I will tell you right now, any of those men would do anything for you. They are the most gentle souls on the planet. I want you to know it was BIKERS that worked with my mom to raise this money for Bella in the passed and Brandon this year. The bikers are "my bikers" Bella says. She loves them all. Bikers for Bella was successful for Brandon this year and I'm thrilled to see what they will continue to do in the future.

Mom, I'm beyond proud of you. Harley and Chad, you have a special place in my heart and in our family. We are blessed to know you and have you be so dedicated to our goals. To all the riders in this years ride, THANK YOU!!!

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...