Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday Wish

Remington and I went to shop for Miss. Kitty's (Bella's teacher & our friend) birthday present today and along the way Remi was spouting out ideas of what she might like...or more like, what he might like...until he said,
"I think Kitty wants mice."
Why buddy?
"Because kitties like mice."
True, very true, but I doubt this Kitty would like mice very well.

Smarty pants~Gotta love 'em

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The IncrediBella’s 2nd letter

When You Give Help You Give Hope.

April 17th, 2011. Put that date in your calendar for that is the day of the annual Trolley Run, a four mile race that benefits The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Last year, racers big, small, fast, and slow alike lined up to support CCVI and raised over half a million dollars. This is where I ask you, my friends and family to help me in reaching my goal this year.

My name is Isabella Riddell, and I am five years old. I have curly blond hair that bounces when I run and bright blue eyes that sparkle when I smile. Mommy says I could be a model because I am so beautiful. I go to CCVI four days a week and my classroom teacher, Ms Kitty and her assistants Ms Eliza and Ms Andrea help me do things that I was never sure I could do. You see, CCVI has provided support and assistance for children like me and their Mommy’s and Daddy’s for close to sixty years. I have a condition called Cortical Visual Impairment. My brain doesn’t let me see very well. I also have epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and afibrinog-something or another. At CCVI, I receive not only therapy for my vision, but physical therapy, orientation and mobility therapy, assistive technology, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. I even get to swim once a week in the pool for aqua-therapy. Mommy and Daddy tell me that I have continued to amaze them, my teachers, and my therapists by what I have been able to accomplish. Just this year alone my speech has increased literally tenfold.

The expert therapies and classroom education I receive are not cheap, as each child costs approximately $30,000 per year. This is funded primarily through generous private donation and charity fundraisers such as the Trolley Run. This is where I ask you, my friends, my family, my neighbors, and my community, to help and support a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

CCVI is an amazing organization and enough great things cannot be said about it. CCVI has been the greatest influence in my young life. I have been able to overcome adversity and conquer obstacles that most none of you could even dream of. I have been able to do this because of CCVI’s tireless dedication and efforts.

Any amount of monetary donation is greatly appreciated as CCVI will continue to play a role in my life for several years to come. You can mail your donation in check form, made payable to CCVI to:

Isabella Riddell

1702 NW 63rd Terrace

Kansas City, MO 64118

You can also visit my web page and donate electronically at

Our goal this year is to raise over $2000! Please help us meet our goal and I’ll buy you dinner, okay probably not but I will give you a hug and a sloppy kiss.


The IncrediBella, aka Isabella

& Family

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The IncrediBella’s


When you give help, you give hope!

Dear Family and Friends,

Many of you know our Daughter, Isabella’s, story or most parts of it and are usually astounded by the progress that she has made. Most the time I enjoy taking full credit for her gains, but this would have me leaving out a very important part of our story.
Isabella’s story began on December 4, 2005, when the cruel reality that everyone is not given a perfect bundle of joy, became our reality.
Isabella was born with so many complications that after eight weeks in the NICU, Joe and I were patted on our backs and sent home with well wishes from Nurses and Doctors alike. The Doctors never did quite have a handle on what exactly Isabella’s issues were, but they were certain that she would never crawl, talk, see, walk or most likely even live to her first birthday.
I spent the next couple of weeks in a quiet existence, just rocking my little girl, singing and promising things, that I myself did not know if I could even grant.
Then at 3 months of age, two beautiful women from the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) campus came into our home to perform a visual evaluation on Isabella and our lives changed almost instantly. They assured me after the evaluation that Isabella, could in fact see and that she was not completely blind. They went on to explain that we would take the vision that she did have and would improve upon it. We were set up with therapists with visual impairment backgrounds, that would come into our home on a weekly basis, to not only work with Isabella but to teach and instill confidence into a very lost Mother.
At two years of age, Isabella started two mornings a week in CCVI’s preschool program and from there her truest potential was only highlighted.
Isabella continues receiving early education with CCVI in the preschool 4 class, four full days a week. In these four days of school Isabella receives occupational, physical, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, speech, vision and aqua therapies.
For 58 years CCVI has had the mission statement to prepare children with visual impairment, including those with multiple disabilities, to function at their highest potential in the sighted world.
That is why our family, along with 400 other families, trusts CCVI to play such a significant role in our Daughters life.
Each April, we are allowed the chance to give back just a small dose of our gratification to CCVI through the Trolley Run. With this fundraiser we have fun setting goals and creating family team names. Our goal this year for The IncrediBella’s is $2,000!!!
We ask you, our family and friends, to contribute to the 23rd annual Trolley Run on April 17, 2011, by participating in the 4 mile walk/run, sponsoring our family team, The IncrediBella’s, or both.
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.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Joe, Rachel, Isabella and Remington Riddell

Trolley Team 2009

Trolley Run Website ~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Had to share

I was driving around the city today, like always, we make it a practice for the kids to watch the lights and tell me their colors. I have two very good back seat drivers!

Remi tells me green is for GO ~ yes that's right
Then I ask what means STOP ~ they both yell red
Then I ask what the yellow means...silence...
Remi pops up and say's, "Orange means go faster!" ~ good I say, really it's called yellow, but looks a lot like orange and it's meaning is to USE CAUTION. Mom just likes to say it means go faster.

Remi once again, pipes up and says, "Careful Mom, don't get a ticket!"

Oh, you little turd :D

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just one of those days.

Remember that song by Monica titled Just One Of Those Days? (and I probably just dated myself)
This way my day from the get-go.
We had made a 9:30 appointment for Bella's five year/Trolley Run picture. Which means rush, rush, rush, wait, wait. Somehow being the second appointment, they were already running behind, not good when you are waiting with Bells.
Our turn pops up and disaster hits. Bella kicks, screams, hides in a corner, licks the backdrop,etc. You name it, she did it...that would be all but smiling...
Thirty minutes later and threats of no T.V. for the rest of the day, I threw in the towel.

The photographer was aghast and really I'm not sure if it was directed towards me or my five year old that was acting like a child who had severe autism (which she does not).
I would love to say that I frankly didn't care what the photographer thought, but I did. I wondered what she was whispering to her follow co-workers. I tried to think that she was commending me for not breaking down and keeping my cool while I calmly collected my heaping, mess of a screaming child off the floor and told her we were done for the day. When really she probably thought I was a push-over with a super spoiled child on my hands.
Or maybe that's what I wonder. How much of this episode was caused from her C.P., S.I.D, C.V.I., etc, etc. and how much of it is that she is an out of control, spoiled child?

I have tried very hard to never coddle Bella or make excuses for her, but I do feel that if Remington had pulled this stunt today, I might have acted differently.

I made Joe stop at Starbucks so I could douse my anger/disappointment into a cup of steaming mocha. Then I proceeded to run off to my happy place for an hour.
Otherwise, known as TARGET.

Do you know that Bella never asked for T.V. once today? That freaking blows me away. That also means she get's it and maybe it's time to take off the kiddie gloves.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


June 2008

The subject of another baby has come up before, in fact, it has been consuming my thoughts since Joe proposed the idea early this past summer.

Am I crazy?
Can I handle it?
Wonder if it would be a boy or girl?
Remi needs a play buddy.
Can we afford it?
Third kid means staying with the mini van instead of the cute car I would rather have.
Baby feet.
I should lose more weight before another pregnancy.
I should run a marathon this year.
Soft wispy hair against my lips.

I know, so wishy-washy. I worry that this moment in time may never come again. Will I regret the decisions I have made, based on circumstances that are beyond my control.
Having a third is tough, but having a third when you already have one that consumes you so wholly, will be extremely difficult.
Then I start to think about the future and not just mine, but Remi and Bella's too. Siblings are always there for each other no matter the differences. What happens when Joe and I are gone? Who will take care of Bella? Should this be placed on his shoulders alone?

On and on and on I could go with my thoughts.

So sitting today in Bella's room with the sunshine glistening through the window warming my legs (and obviously my ovaries), I turned to Joe and said.

"I want another baby. At least I'm 99% sure."