Monday, October 18, 2010

I really do understand...or more than you know

I took the opportunity that Mother Nature gave Rem-dog and I and we spent the entire morning at the park after dropping Bella off at school.
This is Penguin Park in KC. I used to go to this park when I was a little girl and would beg upon endless hours to go as often as possible. They have a giant penguin which used to be a big slide and is now closed up and has a little slide off to the side and a giant kangaroo that also has a giant slide inside of it, but always smelled like pee. Hmmm, wonder why?

I like to take Monday and Thursday's and have a little one-on-one time with Remington. This is something he has never had before and it is such a blast for the both of us. Of course, I feel guilty, because it is so much fun and non-stressful. Oh wait, I think the word I am looking for is "Normal". Good thing Bella was my first or the ease of Remi would've had me a true baby-making machine. Arooga!

Anyway, since my "normal" kid is running around and acting like a normal kid, I am able to people watch. People watching is one of my favorite things to do, but unfortunately we are usually the ones being watched.
This morning there were a few handicapped children at the park. Actually both of them had down syndrome and seemed to be around Remi's age. One little girl was super cute, but reminded me of Bells, licking everything before or after she touched it, even the ground numerous times. The Mother, of course was beside herself. Yelling and screaming at her to stop, that it was icky.
The other little boy was so excited to be at the park, that his excitement was contagious. Except his Mother kept apologizing for his excitability.

I have been in both places. The mouthing thing is gross, but I have learned after almost five years that it won't kill'em. It might actually work opposite and make their immune systems like Superman, at least Bella's is.
The second Mom overly apologizing. I get that, there have been times after an outing that I wonder to myself If I could've said, 'I was sorry' any more than I did. And really what was I sorry for? Sorry that my kid stuck out like a sore thumb or didn't play like the other kids? Yeah, I guess pretty much. I have learned from this too. Unless Bella is harming another child, I don't apologize for her behavior. Hey, everyone is different in their own ways, even the "normal" kids. Like the one that refused to wear shoes and the grandma threw up her hands or the little boy with blue tiger stripes in his hair. Weird! ha And yes, Remi now wants tiger stripes in his hair, but you guessed it, they have to be YELLOW.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stop being so's my turn

Crazy weekend. That being, I was a tad crazy this weekend. If you were within 2 feet of me, we probably got into a fight. I can't blame PMS, although isn't that handy when you can? I just think I slipped off the rocker for a few days and now I'm good again.
Part of my problem is the holding it all in until I explode! Yep, anyone familiar with that one?
My life is super stressful right now and instead of finding a way to work with it or around the stresses, I just keep taking them in and letting them build up on one another. Remember that game Tetris? I hated that game,even the music got to me, because anytime the screen became over half full, I would freak out and make more and more mistakes until eventually I would lose the game. This is kind of how I deal with my life.

On a positive note, I ran a total of 16 miles last week (5 days) and strength trained 3 days for roughly 30 minutes...

I insert this information at this point, because I have figured out this is my saving grace, exercise. It clears out my head, makes the weight on my shoulders feel less heavy, reorganizes the crappy pieces to make them fit together again.

I do have a problem though, on the days I didn't run (ex:this weekend) I was a mess. What do I do with this pent-up energy when I can't run?

Friday, October 8, 2010

VOC with children

So a few of us Mom's from school have given ourselves this special name,like a sorority of sorts. We are God blessed with our special angel children (read sarcasm), so we are allowed to do such things. And today was our first outing with our children included.
We went to Weston's Red Barn Farm. It was gorgeous and the animals smelled ripe and ready for petting. So we did just that, along with four other bus loads of children from various schools. Yikes. I thought I would be cleaver and dress Bella, Remi and myself all in red(it also is red friday)so we would be easy to spot, but one of the four groups had also choose red today for their color, along with groups of blue, orange and yellow. Oh how Remi wanted to be with the yellow group.

I was a little hesitant for this trip anyway due to Bella and outings, but I figured we would all be dealing with the same kind of issues. Ha I was quickly proven wrong. Bella didn't want to be at the farm the first second we got there. Rolling on the ground, kicking and screaming and often found sitting alone in the dirt somewhere. The hayride was the only calming factor for Bella that seemed to regroup her senses. This hayride took place at the end of the excursion, minus all but one of the other families. How was I to know that the others hadn't purchased hayride tickets? The lady at the gate told me my group had purchased these tickets. Really?

When we were done with the ride we had lost the group, which we found out later, had left us to go to the next place, lunch. Um, okay, thanks for the heads up. Glad we didn't spend 10 hellish minutes looking for you, before dragging the kids back to the car so I could use my cell phone.

So I packed the whining, hungry, thirsty children into the van and drove the five miles down the road to get to the cafe we had all planned to meet at.

Lunch was worse. Bella refuses to sit in her seat, rolling on the floor, licking the air vents on the floor, smashing her food, screaming when told to sit and using the bathroom as many times as I would allow her. *I would love to blame this on the pure exhaustion from the farm, but this is typical Bella behavior at a restaurant.*

Please someone tell me what I am doing wrong? Please someone help me understand and deal appropriately with Sensory Intergration Disorder? Please someone tell me it will only get better and Bella will be able to handle daily life one day without trained professionals following her every move?
Please tell me I am not selfish for wanting the VOC to never again include our children in our outings?
Please tell me I wasn't a bitch when one of the other Mom's said, "this was fun!" and I didn't reply?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Eat, Pray, Love kind of day

So the original plan today was to go bowling or batting cages while both kids were in school since Joe has Wednesday's off and we have 3 wonderful kid free hours to do what we like, but after chit-chatting with other parents in the parent room at school till 9:15 that only left us a little over two hours. Poop.

We ate breakfast at Eggtc. A cute, hip little cafe downtown. We had never been to this breakfast joint and it was really tasty. That's my eat part.

Then with only an hour left before we went back to pick up Remi. I had this fun, quirky idea to head over to this house that we have passed many times with a sign in the front yard stating palm readings for $10.Bucks. Sweet. Cheap and funny, perfect way to waste an hour.
We walk up to the front door and the sign instructed us to ring bell and wait. So we did, long enough, that I begin to wonder if anyone was actually going to open the door.
Then this old Indian woman opened the door as she hung up from her cordless phone. I immediately began to doubt my idea, but what's ten dollars?
She informs us that she tells no lies and has been doing this for 50 years and many generations past along their knowledge to her, oh and that the ten dollar one was for kids. We had a choice of $25/50/99. The first option was for just palm reading, the second was for palm and card and the last was for complete reading with crystals and cleansing.
Since she didn't have a Visa machine, I sent Joe on his way to an ATM while she started on my palm. My palm disturbed her so much that she went on with a tarot reading too.

I know, what your thinking, I was thinking the same thing.

Then she started talking and that's when I had to work hard to keep my poker face in place. !!Holy fireballs!!
First thing she said to me (and I won't even try to imitate her accent) 'was that I want to run away, every morning, but I always come back, I will always come back'. This is a deep secret that probably only a handful of people know about me. Mostly because it sounds sad, selfish and small of me. I do want to run away. I've cried many of nights on Joe's shoulders telling him that this (being my life) is too hard and I just want to run away from it all. Whether, that be for a week or months or years...not that I ever really could run away, but it's there. Gnawing at me like a wild beast trying to escape from my chest.
Second she went on to tell me that 'I was a fixer, I like to fix too many people, give problem to me and I fix'. Um, yeah, dead on. I will stress over a friends problem just like my Mother does and want to take it on like my own to make them feel better.
'big worry lines, worry over everything, so sad on inside, breaking apart, but smiles on outside'. Guilty. I have been so sad lately that I can cry on cue.
She wanted to know what I worry over. Lover,child,money? "No" she says "Lover,but husband, he work wrong work and leave family, you two drift apart, no good, no fix lover only bring you down, you too many fixes, absorbed too many bad aura's, I fix you, I pray for you, you meditate? no. need to meditate. . Um, I have been talking about trying meditation to ease stress and anxiety every since I read that book(Eat,Pray,Love) a few months back.

She tells me to pick up three cards scattered on this table next to the couch. And at first I pick up the first three I see, then laugh and say something about mixing it up a little, so I dig around and find three cards and hand them over to the Indian lady.

Ready for it to get even weirder?

First card is of a sad lady that she tells me is me, "see you so sad, lady in picture is you and you go on trip to sea on boat?" I reply that only in my dreams, but in truth, I am trying to plan a Mom's trip and just last week I sent an email to a few of them with cruise options and was super excited over the prices and thought that the cruise would be a perfect choice for all of us..."no" she said "you must go on big boat at sea and be happy, you must.
Moving on to the second card...It's of a baby with a small star in the background or something. She asks, "you have have sick baby? no baby walk or talk, trouble baby? no worry over sick baby she be fine, you worry too much over baby. she good, no?" This is when I might have shed a small tear. It's not like I have a sign on me that says, Mother of Disabled Kid.

Now, Joe comes back from the ATM at this time and she rushes him in with great urgency and insists on reading his palm. She is dead on with him too. Yo-yo thoughts, bad job, worry, feels like he failed his family, should own your own business, not make right choices, not to trust friends and family. She goes on to tell him to make a wish and she says she grants it or tells him that she will make it true, then since he didn't have any more money, she was done with him.

Then she looks at Joe and tells him to go away, that she needs to speak to me in private. Poor Joe heads out the door and I'm a little nervous about what she is going to tell me, but she goes back to looking at my hand with her little wand waving over it.
"oh I pray, you two much love for each other, but jealousy in house not good for you two, he mean to you with words some days only since he yo-yo and not know better, bad aura you soak up, no fix him, he fix himself, due time he will" Just at breakfast I had told Joe that he was being mean to me with his snappy remarks, something that we are both bad about.
Then she goes on to tell me that "all friends I have, be careful, they no like me behind my back but smile to face, very jealous of me, no good for me, someone has such bad aura around you and you are hidden, let me fix you soon. How soon?"

Third card is of an angel. Someone close to me or someone that meant something to me, very dear to me. That could be two things either my Grandmother who I did adore or my miscarriage, but both of these are so broad that I don't mention either and she continues on.

I tell her that maybe in a few weeks we could try a little of this crystal cleansing that she kept talking about and she refused making me promise sooner. I told her I would try, then she gets a phone call, but no one is there so I take that as my chance to stand up and leave. She stands with me and gives me a big hug. I sort of hug her back. She tells me once again that "she fix me, she like me a lot, I am happy, but sad now, I be happy so soon again" and that she 'likes my big man and to remember to love him and share with him everything'. "Come back even if you no money, I help. Call me anytime with questions, I help you".

Wow! That's the pray and love part of my day.

Really I was astounded with her and greatly intrigued. And if she is full of baloney. Then call me Oscar.
Maybe she is suppose to be my Guru

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No, it's not hot as hell!

So after a really crappy morning, in more ways than one, I pass this Church sign that reads, "God is hidden in our daily lives". As much as I understand this to be true and even get where they are going with this saying, I can't help but chuckle to myself. If this was true in my world (okay morning), then God would be covered in shit and spilled Root-Beer. Just saying.

I do love a clever Church sign, but this one didn't make the grade today.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New School Year

So the new school year is under way, week two for Bella and day one for Remington.

Bella is now going all day (8:30-3:00)four days a week in Preschool 4. We were so lucky to have remained with the same Teacher as last year, but we have lost a few of our favorite Therapists. As always, my little girl seems to rise to the occasion and meet new challenges head on. She follows directions well, plays with her new friends, eats lunch with the other students and rests at nap-time without a fuss. It's the after school that seems to be our new issue. Bella is so wound-tight that after school that she is like a ticking time bomb.
The good news in all of this, is that bedtimes seem to be less of a struggle since she is so exhausted. We'll give her time. It's always been up to Bella to adjust to things in her own time frame, and I believe she will in this too.

Like I said before, today was Rem-Dogs first day of school. I know he is young, but the social setting will be good for him. He will be a sighted-peer at CCVI (Bella's school) in Preschool 1. He will go Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (8:30-11:30). Remi was so excited today as we got ready to go and packed his little M&M backpack up with spare clothes and diapers. He practically ran to class, but was surprised when I redirected him into a different class. Remi thought that going to school meant he was going to be with Bella and her Teacher (whom he might have a little crush on), so this was his first shock. Then when I kissed him goodbye that was shock number 2 that sent him over the edge.
Rumor has it that he cried most of the morning, but I guess that was to be expected since he has been attached to my hip since day one. He told me on the drive home that he cried all day and ate yellow waffles and that they were "Mmmmm". What more could you ask for on a first day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Party of Five?

It's been a well known fact that I love kids, with the thought that the more the merrier. Joe, on the other hand, was happy with one and surprised over the second one. Yet, this past Friday he comes home all giddy and says he is ready to have another baby.

This is the part where I feel like Mel Gibson, "WHAT?".

So, what do I do but doubt him and try and talk him out of it, when in reality this has been what I have been wanting, oh since Remi was a day old. I want that big family with it's crazy days (done) and family get-together's when they are older, and grand babies galore.
I love being pregnant. I think it would be so much fun to add another cute little Riddell to the mix. Bella and Remi would be awesome siblings!

So why am I trying to talk him out of it?
Well, first there is Bella. With her many complications that seems to be more challenging as she ages. It's nice to have two parents with two kids. Trust me, Bella takes one person easy.
Second there is Remington, who couldn't be more sweet and loving. Would being a middle child change that in him? Would having Bella take up so much time and a baby take up the rest, make him get lost in the shuffle?
Third there is the money/car/house issue. Then as they age, it's the soccer, piano, baseball lesson's
Fourth-Our family's help in near to none. In four and half years, Joe and I have had one overnight without the kids. And to ask either three sets of grandparents to watch them is like pulling teeth. My Mother who, thankfully does most of the watching, can only handle a few hours. My In-Laws don't like to be bothered with watching them, since they never had that luxury when they were raising their three kids (actual words). And just forget about my Dad and Step-mom or the kids' Aunt's and Uncle's. The fear of Bella has kept everyone stuck in this mentality that she is breakable and unmanageable. When really she is fun, funny and a joy to be around. She just takes a little extra time, patience and love then most "normal" kids.

So, back to the big question. Should we go for broke (bad humor) or stick with what God (that's for you Joe) has given us?

I asked Joe for six months to decide, but it has only been a few days and I think I am pretty sure of my decision.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clear as Mud

Another birthday party this weekend equals tears for Mom at night. You see it's these times when we are surrounded by "normal" kids does Bella's weaknesses really show.

Don't get me wrong, we know how blessed we are for the progress she has made and the journey she has traveled so far in her life, but when your child is sectioned by herself because she can't keep up or communicate or even play correctly with the other kids her age, it breaks my heart. And the older she becomes the more even she notices the differences between herself and the other kids, including her own brother. When faced with social outings such as birthday parties or trips to the Zoo, my outgoing social butterfly becomes a complete introvert and lives in her own world ignoring all things around her, usually wanting to seclude herself someplace quite and dark and if she is unable to find this place, she just craves movement. Constant walking, sucking on toys or crying uncontrollably.

So yes, I am so happy that my Daughter is lucky that she has learned to walk, run, swim, etc., but as her Mother I wish for her more. I wish she could talk sentences and ride her bike with her cousins and "see" the animals at the zoo. I wish for her that everything wouldn't have to be so challenging for her, like stepping off a curb or climbing stairs or that the smallest bump wouldn't cause a terrible bruise(s). I wish for her that she could be just a boring old normal four year old with struggles like learning how to tie her shoe, instead of having such difficulty with finger isolation, that at this point, it seems impossible to even slip the shoes on.

I wish and hope each day that my darling, endearing little girl doesn't become lost inside herself from the constant struggles she faces and that one day she is able to live a 'normal' life that she deserves and only becomes stronger from the trials that was so unfairly given to her.

Remi turned 2

Wow, March? Really that's the last time I wrote a blog. I write so many in my head throughout the day that I forget to actually sit down and write them on a computer. That's the next great invention, an internal recording device. Or maybe that's the same as a recorder, minus the internal part.

My little boy turned two on the 13Th. It's crazy how fast time can go by, yet I think about individual times or memories and remember them lasting so long. Like Remi not sleeping through the night until he was 9months old. That was the longest nine months of my life. Or his colic for the first 3months, that almost had my stuffing him back where he came from. Then I think about this last year in particular and how much he grew and changed each day. The first time he sang "Twinkle, twinkle" in the car or told me he "wooved me" or his obsession with yellow items; cars, bananas, clothes, toys,etc. Or just like this morning when we woke up his sister (tables turned-rarity)and he curled up to her and grabbed her arm to lay across his body and said, "Hi sissy". Boo-hoo I just wanted to freeze time right then and there.

Received news last week that Remi would start Preschool, two mornings a week, at his sister's school (CCVI) this fall as a sighted peer. It will be with the same teacher that Bella started with and for that I am super excited. I can't wait to watch him grow and change even more as he is introduced into a social setting.

My little man is so special, with his sweet brown eyes and happy-go-lucky nature, he is a joy to be around and brings smiles to my life every day.

To the Rem-Dog

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Spring break next week for the kids? Yikes, forgot. What shall we do with ourselves??? Hopefully the weather decides if "spring warm" should be something it should test out or not. That's my vote anyways. I still don't always feel like I've mastered the art of parenting to two children. Maybe frazzled and sweaty is something that is a normal feeling and someone just forgot to clue me into this. Because I swear, take the kids into a store and no matter how calm I am or they are, we usually leave with someone mad, someone crying and someone feeling worn-out. You can guess who is who on each emotion.

Saint Patty's Day Parade at Bella's school. Guess who forgot to dress their little girl in green today? Yep, me! And I love Saint Patrick's Day. Since I'm 'mostly' Irish, you'd think I'd be all for this one and place it right up there with the other important ones; like birthdays and Christmas. Oh well, there is always next year.

Can't seem to find the energy for the gym!? Trolley Run is coming quickly (7weeks) and I am in sad, sad shape. Did I mention that I've signed up to run? Holy Sh*t!!!
Went to the gym Monday and ran pretty well for 2miles stopping only for a tenth of a mile to catch my breath, but then skipped last night due to bad mood. What? Bad mood, really?
Then here's the real kicker. Joe has been going to the gym in the mornings waking up at 5:30.
(Read: I'm a grouchy bear don't make a sound or I'll bite your head off 5:30am. I can be such a total B sometimes, mornings mostly.)
Anyways, he gets home this morning and climbs back in bed to tell me that he ran 3 miles straight without stopping and at a 5.5 clip. His personal best. I really was happy for him, but also jealous. Jealous? It's like a secret competition between us that we don't speak of, but both know that it lies there like sour milk only with chocolate bunny sprinkles* added to it to make taste a little sweeter. Maybe competition is okay to have among spouses, but jealousy? Not so much. I hated that he reached this mark before me. I hated that I didn't go to the gym last night and instead feasted on Popeyes Chicken for dinner topped off with Andy Caps fries while watching the dvr'd show, Biggest Loser

*Nestle Quik-Remi calls it "BunBun", which is his yellow bunny that he adores.

Looking for my motivation to eat well!? I think it found a super hiding spot and is not showing itself...Like a game of Marco Polo. Only when I scream "Marco" it never screams "Polo".
You get my drift.
Each week I arm the kitchen with only good food and have great hopes of "getting back to it", but somewhere around day two or three of healthy eating, I slip then start thinking "ah, what the hell, there is always tomorrow". I know nutty, yet it somehow makes since at the time.
I've went from 10 pounds to go until my goal to now 20 pounds. Yikes. And if I'm honest with myself and the numbers, I should probably adjust my goal to make it read thirty pounds to go until healthy weight is reached. I figure I'll play that trick on my mind when I'm in closer range of reaching the first goal.
I hate to say this, but I do believe I am setting myself up to fail before I have ever allowed myself to succeed. We have all watched enough Biggest Loser's, Jillian, to know that there is emotional issues playing into this and for the life of me, I swear I cannot figure out why I am doing this.

Thinking of hiring a personal trainer!? Still thinking on this one. I have this gym fear. I get all reserved once my time is up on the treadmill. Like, "well, now what?" I look around and at our gym it is 95% men and 2% fit women with the remainder (myself included) falling into a category that would probably be described as the Tries Hard group. You know the ones that seem to give it all they've got, but for some reason unknown by all, they just never seem to change their god-giving body shapes.
So maybe if I had scheduled appointments set with a trainer that would push and punish and make me accountable, this would help me turn a corner. Then again, it could just be a really expensive letdown?!?

More to come...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

KC Trolley Run

Trolley Team ~ Bella’s Barracudas 2009

The IncrediBella’s

Dear Family and Friends,

It is Trolley Run time-the four-mile run/walk that we participate in each year to support Isabella’s school, The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI). The race is on Sunday, April 25, and we would love it if you would come walk with us. If you cannot walk with us, please consider making a donation to our CCVI Family Team, named The IncrediBella’s. We realize it is a tough economic time for everyone, but this is the time when CCVI needs us the most. Every donation, regardless of size, makes a difference.

You can donate directly through our personal website, listed at the bottom of this letter, or make a check out to CCVI and mail it to our home address at 1702 NW 63rd Ter in Kansas City MO 64118. CCVI is a 501(c)(3) so you can write off your donation.

CCVI has done so much for Isabella and our family, that it is hard to even put those things into a letter.

*They gave us information and education to help guide us along this very foreign path to assure Bella is able to live a life to her fullest ability. Not to mention, along the way becoming our “Rays of Sunshine” when things seemed so dark and life altering. CCVI has been a part of our lives since Bella was 3 months old.

*CCVI has been responsible for teaching Bella to walk, run, climb up and down stairs and swim. The last being Bella’s personal favorite, jumping off the edge and swimming to the top, scaring her Mother to pieces and keeping her Therapist on their toes!

*CCVI has awarded Bella with the tools for communication, something in which she still has great difficulty. To not only participate in classroom activities, but also call the Grandparents on the phone. Isabella has been taught American Sign Language (ASL), Verbal speech and computer skills. In the last twelve months her verbal words have increased from 6 to 56!!! With attempts at placing two and three words together to make sentences. Isabella has become quite the little four year old with attitude to boot, yelling at her Brother, asking for more of a certain item or activity, saying “Momma”, or pretend playing with friends and toys.

*Isabella knows her colors, shapes, days of the week and ABC’s. Bella loves music with Mr. Mac on Mondays and circle time in the classroom.

*Now that the potty-training issues have been tackled, CCVI is working on independent activities, such as buttons, ties, snaps and successful washing of the hands without flooding the bathroom. Something Bella has been known to do from time-to-time.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the therapy from CCVI. She gets physical therapy, aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology/augmentative communication therapy, speech therapy , orientation and mobility and vision therapy. Because vision plays such a huge role in nearly everything we do, it is important for Isabella to get all this therapy through CCVI. There are a lot of things that have to be taught to these kids that sighted kids would learn just by watching others.

So, you can see just how important CCVI is – and this is just to one little girl. There are more than 300 other children that CCVI serves annually. We appreciated your support last year and hope to have your continued support this year!


Joe, Rachel, Isabella and Remington Riddell