Showing posts from August, 2016

Adventure Day

I don't even know where to begin with Adventure Day... So I'll keep the words to a minimum and share a TON of pictures. So far, only the Maine Camp No Limits has this type of activity. It's all about sponsorships and availability of a business of this sort to do an activity of this nature. If you know a business that would be interested in sponsoring something like this at Camp No Limits, please reach out to me and I'll put you in contact with the right people.

The two Bella's

(Having your tongue out helps you run farther and faster)                Peyton and Bella

Who will take who down? 
Or will you take yourself down? This might be my favorite video from all of camp! 

Luca even took a try at the rock wall!                        And Grayson too! Bella refused ;) 

Until next time... 

The Camp No Limits Maine variety

This year, our Maine vacation ended with five glorious days at Pine Tree Camp in Rome, Maine. It was off the beaten path a little bit and secluded from all of reality. Just what we needed at the end of an action packed trip! We were in the cabins because God knows that no one else wants to be tortured  hang out with our three kids 24 hours a day. We pulled in to find the Camp No Limits RV!! How excited were the kids to discover this? They thought it was super cool. Bella even asked if we could put the sign on our travel trailer. The kid doesn't love camp if you can't tell!

The camp location sits RIGHT on the water. Outside of our room you could hear the water. We even had a little patio that Ryan and I enjoyed at night. All of the camp activities take place in a big common area that has an amazing view of the waterfront as well.
(Right outside of our window) Camp No Limits has an "itinerary" each day that guides you through the activities. You can chose to be involve…

Why cousins make the best friends

We are lucky to have Ryan's siblings living close by. We are also lucky that we all had kids near the same time. There were EIGHT kids in 3 1/2 years, four boys and four girls... could it get much better than that? Pretty crazy but mad fun and lots of love. It's always action packed when everyone is together and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

This week, two of the girl cousins stayed the night. They are six and seven. While eating dinner they were talking about going to State Fair. They talked about all of the rides they rode, the stuff they ate and the things they saw. Their conversations are so funny. Bella, L and S sound so grown up when they talk now!

"Hey we saw a kid with a hand just like you at State Fair! He was like older than you, like 8 or 9" S

"No for sure he was 9"- L

"Ok he was probably 9"- S

"Cool, I saw a guy with two prosthetic legs"- Bella

"Yeah that's awesome!"- L

What I love about this is that it…

It happened... again.

Today we went to Nixon Park, if you haven't been and you are in the Milwaukee area of visiting, I highly suggest it! It's awesome! There is a great playground with a place for bigger kids and a set for smaller kids, there's a spider web and a merry go round. Do those things make anyone else want to vomit? There's also a great splash pad that's open Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10am-7pm. It's a perfect place for all three kids to burn a ton of energy. Bella, in particular, has been begging to go! With only a few weeks left of summer and me off work for a couple of weeks (yay teacher schedule!) we have to live it up!

All parents know that the very first thing kids ask for when you get anywhere is food. Like seriously, breakfast 1, 2 or 3 didn't fill you up? Oh and the two snacks before we left didn't either? So we packed lunches AND snacks to take along.

I sat on the side and let the kids do their thing. Bella is all about making new friends so she'…

When do I jump in?

We booked a "fancy" camping trip to the Wisconsin Dells months back... then a family emergency came about and I had to emergently cancel our trip. So we rescheduled for a couple weeks ago. By fancy I mean, this place had a pool and tons of kid geared activities. It was the Yogi Bear Jellystone. (Review to come later!) It's a couple hours from us so we could easily be all loaded up the night before then hook up when Ryan got off and head out, with hopes to arrive before dusk!

One morning we opted to hit the pool before it got packed. We hit the pool around 930 and Bella was dying to go down the slide. 955 came and she was the first in line. While her and I were swimming just prior to this, I watched as two girls looked and whispered and then looked our way again.

Waiting patiently, she watched for the lifeguard to come to the slide. We made silly faces at each other while she stood in line and I stood in the pool. I noticed the two girls standing behind her, looking, then…

Flying with kids: How to keep you from losing it!

We travel as far as we can, as often as we can! Sometimes, that means camping nearby and sometimes that means traveling to Maine for Camp No Limits! Here's how we stayed (semi) sane during flying with our three littles.

1. Check the car seats if you can. I refuse to rent car seats, I've seen what my car seats look like and there's no way I want a rental. It's between $9-$20 a day to rent a car seat.  You can find a booster seat for around $20 at any big box store. Besides the ew factor, I KNOW how to install my seats safely. If there's one thing I'm a complete freak about, it's car seat safety. I want to be sure that my kids are safe so the best way to be sure of that is to take a seat that I'm confident that I can install securely and safely every single time.

2. Hand sanitizer, don't forget it!

3. Have each kid carry their own backpack if they can. Our kids are 3, 5 and 7. We made them each responsible for their bag.

4. Now is NOT the time to limi…

Our favorite school lunch supplies

With school gearing up and now Bella AND Grayson going to school, we have lots to do and buy. Bella has taken "cold" lunch four days a week or more since she started school. We do "cold" lunch for several reasons:

1. Have you seen what's on the trays at school?
2. Kids get to pick and chose what they want. Which leads to....
3. Strawberry milk and a scoop of peaches. which leads to....
4. $2.85 for something I could have packed for less than a $1
5. Ugh the choices, the look and smell not so great.
6. Allowing her to pick ONE day, allows her to decide what she really wants and have an option
7. We talk about budgeting and money when discussing "hot lunch"
8. She gets a LOT of say in her "cold" lunch
9. She takes things she actually eats in her lunch
10. She gets a groovy lunch bag :)

Here are some of our favorite things for packing lunches:

1. Ziploc containers- These are our all time favorite containers... Ziploc has discontinued them *inse…


We had our appointment with the prosthetic company a few days ago. I'm still trying to digest things. I think Bella is filled with excitement. I'm still trying to process it all. Insurance, myoelectric, body powered, occupational therapy, cost, time, learning, exploring, deciding, attempting. Never once I have I doubted my daughter's ability to figure things out in her own way. I can't tell you how many times I've practiced one handed shoe tying, zipping and buttoning. I've thought about how she'll open makeup containers, curl her hair or paint her nails.

Our appointment opened a few doors. Bella is dead set on a hook, she does NOT want a hand. She initially (a few years back) said they look "creepy". Currently she said "They aren't really creepy any more it's just not what I want". Fair enough, her body, her decision. So we discussed "hook hands". We have a couple of options. A body powered hook that would strap around…

Maine vacay

When planning our time off for the year, we revolve it around Camp No Limits. Since Ryan takes a week, we added a few days on to the front part of our CNL trip so that we could explore Maine a little bit. Man was it action packed!

The first few days we stayed at the Ramada in Portland, Maine. It was a good location near the things that we wanted to do. There were tons of food options within 10 minutes of our hotel and a grocery store too.
Day one, right off the plane, we stopped at Fisherman's Grill. Ryan's the big foodie so he planned many of the places that we ate. Apparently according to his research this was one of the best lobster rolls around. So, we ordered a bunch of stuff, lobster rolls being one of them. $80 later and we were set! This place was TINY on the inside and had 4 tables outside. It was HOT but we opted to eat outside anyways. The lobster roll had some sort of mayo on it and we both agreed that it was only ok, none of the kids would even try it!
Hot, sweat…

Traveling with 3 kids...

As if traveling alone isn't hard enough, add 3 kids, 3 car seats, a husband, myself and all of our luggage. Did I mention luggage? Holy luggage!

The number one thing I recommend when traveling with this many people is a good packing list. I have a running packing list that I add things too and modify it on my computer as we take trips or vacations. I have one that's camping specific as well. It helps me stay on track. This year I forgot NOTHING! So yeah, the packing list works for me.

Each kid (ours are 7, 5 and 3) uses their own backpack for travel. What's in the backpack? Their kindle fully packed with movies and shows. We stayed up until 11pm the night before making sure everyone had enough stuff on the kindle. Tip: If you plan to watch in flight, you need to DOWNLOAD the shows, wifi does not work for the kindle well and then shows cut out and kids freak out. Save yourself some freak outs and trust me on this one. We also pack crayons, paper, stickers, tons of snacks …


Multiple times at camp Bella mentioned "trying a hook". Why I asked her? What can you do with it that you can't do with what you already have?
"Mom, seriously?" 
"Yes, seriously!"
"I could pick things up, I could ride a bike, I could do lots of things with it"
"Well why don't you want one with fingers? Why a hook?"

"Because then I could REALLY use it for a lot of things. Please mom, can we make an appointment?"
How can you say no to a child that's asking politely for something she feels will make her life easier? Something that each of us take advantage of every single day... So, I called our pediatrician for a referral to Hanger Prosthetic clinic. Yes there's a Shriner's in Chicago, however that means a 2 hour drive each way for each appointment. Then that means driving there for occupational therapy appointments to learn how to properly utilize the prosthetic. Why not give it a try locally first? If we …

Missing our friends already

Man, I'm already missing our Camp No Limits family. This morning at 4:50am when my alarm went off I could have really used our morning routine of breakfast (that I didn't have to cook!) and energizers. I'm going to have to talk someone into posting a video so we can continue to do the energizers as a family, they bring such a positive outlook for the entire day.

Grayson went to bed last night asking for Emily and saying he was missing her. Emily is a beautiful 12 year old who was born without her right lower arm and hand. Grayson fell fast for her! He even asked her to be his date for the dance and she was sweet enough to say yes. I love that her limb difference didn't phase him a bit. I also love that she embraced his sweet 5 year old crush and gave him lots of attention. He's since asked for a picture from the dance to be printed and put in his room. I guess I better get on that!

Bella's already asking about "next camp". I mean, who wouldn't? …

Join us in Kansas City, Missouri!!

Are you in or near the Kansas City, Missouri area? Please consider joining us for the 4th annual Biker's for Bella motorcycle ride on Saturday, August 27th at 10:30 am! Last year, we raised funds to send the Kellogg family to Camp No Limits. This year our ride will benefit Hudson, a 3 year old boy born with a left arm limb difference. Charley's Roadhouse has sponsored the ride each year! We have an incredible partnership with them.

Who: Hudson
What: Biker's for Bella ride
Where: Charley's Roadhouse- 112SW Eagles Parkway Grain Valley, Missouri
When: Saturday August 27th at 10:30am
The fee is $25 a rider and $15 a passenger... so what if you don't have a motorcycle? Consider participating as a car rider!! Any amount helps Hudson and his family get to Camp No Limits.

There will be a poker run going to 4 different locations AND a 50/50 raffle. I promise a day filled with fun. Hudson will make an appearance at the event. Bella, Grayson, Luca and I will also be there! W…