About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active eight year old (Robby) and an infant (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Non Stop Energy

I love this weather! Timmy and I have thoroughly enjoyed spending the afternoons outside, playing in the leaves and jumping on the trampoline. (Apparently exercise and fresh air do not improve his sleep patterns. He continues to be an obscenely early riser.) I think we are both going to be sad when the weather becomes too cold to play outside without multiple layers.

My little book-licker is definitely an action seeker. He's constantly on the go and seems to have no fear. Robby was always so cautious I rarely worried about him getting hurt playing on the playground or in his tree house. Timmy climbs up the tree house without hesitation, and loves nothing more than zooming down the slide as fast as possible. He stands on swings, jumps higher than I wish he would on the trampoline, and leaps freely into piles of leaves. He is my rough and tumble kid, shaking off bumps and bruises without pause.

Sitting by and supervising Timmy's play is out of the question. When we are outside, regardless of how I am feeling, I am forced to be an active participant.  I always have to have him within arms reach so that I can pull him out of the stream, away from teetering logs and off of the ladder. At the first opportunity he will take off running after a squirrel or across the street to visit Mr. Bill. He has boundless energy. Unfortunately I do not. Keeping up with him is exhausting!

Today we are going to the Hopping Halloween Toddler party at the trampoline park where his activity will be confined to a designated space. I'm hoping that he will jump jump jump[1]  himself into exhaustion, leading to a nice long nap. Even if he doesn't nap, I know that he will have fun so at least one of us will be happy.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Book Licker

Looking back, I have come to believe that we made a mistake by not socializing Robby more when he was a toddler and preschooler.  For a variety of reasons (primarily financial) he did not regularly interact with many kids his age. He certainly wasn't unsocial, but he definitely struggled to separate and to make friends when he started school.  I want to learn from this experience by encouraging Timmy to interact with peers on a regular basis. 

From going to the toddler playgrounds to the trampoline and bounce parks, Timmy is constantly around other children his age. Children his age don't necessarily play together, but they are learning to take turns and to socialize. Timmy loves nothing more than climbing, sliding, running and jumping. He is definitely a rough and tumble kid who is in near constant motion. Figuring that we had the physical side of his socialization covered, over the weekend I began to look for opportunities for him to participate in a more structured activity.

I was delighted when I discovered a local toddler story time at our library. I knew that sitting quietly with others would be a stretch for him, but I was optimistic that the experience would be beneficial. After all, certainly the librarian was not expecting perfect behavior and attentiveness from the young toddler participants, right?

Wrong! When I arrived, I was a tad concerned that Timmy was (by far) the youngest participant.  Although it was advertised as a toddler time, all of the other kids were between four and five.  There is a difference between a two year old and a four year old. While all of the other children sat quietly on the rug waiting for class to start, mine was jumping around the "listening circle" happily entertaining the young audience. When the librarian began the session, I ushered Timmy over and tried to keep him still. I was hoping that he would follow the lead of everybody else. Again, I could not have been more wrong.

He squealed with delight at every opportunity. When the class began to clap their hands to a song, mine leaped from my arms and began to dance on the table. I can tell you that the librarian was not amused with my little table dancer. 

The librarian pulled out a Halloween book, read the first page and quietly began to circulate it among the audience. The kids were instructed to smell the scratch and sniff pumpkin sticker that was put on the first page. Every child took their turn smelling the book. When it was Timmy's turn, I first smelled the sticker myself in the hopes that he would copy my behavior.  Instead he grabbed it from my hands, licked the page and threw the book across the room. 

It was then that the librarian politely suggested that he was not ready for story time and invited us to come back another time. In other words, we were expelled from class. I picked up my little book-licker and was forced to do the walk of shame out of the the toddler time circle. Sigh. I really hope that this isn't a precursor to his academic career.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Week Fun

Thank goodness Robby Rotten- Tween Edition took a leave of absence yesterday. The weekend definitely took a toll on me, and I was left feeling like a parental failure. I know that snarky Robby Rotten will return, but in the meantime I am going to enjoy the calm of having my sweet Koopa in the house.  After our tumultuous weekend, it was nice to have a relatively quiet and uneventful Monday.

Timmy shared his brother's good mood, filling the day with nearly nonstop giggles. Sometimes I think his cheeks must hurt from smiling so much! It is wonderful to see him feeling healthy and strong again. We are nervously optimistic that he finally kicked the pneumonia and strep. 

With Timmy healthy and Robby reengaged with the family, we are in full blown Halloween mode. This week is filled with spooktacular activities and adventures. None of our plans include anything particularly frightening  (neither boy enjoys to being scared and this Momom doesn't particularly relish getting up the middle of the night to soothe nightmares.) When it comes to celebrating Halloween, we are definitely more of a happy pumpkin and corn maze type of family. 

Hopefully the stars will continue to align throughout the week and both boys will remain happy and healthy. I'm looking forward to some quality fun time with my boys. With all of the stress and anxiety that I have been battling, I could use some fun.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Robby Rotten- Tween Version

Oh my goodness, Robby Rotten returned over the weekend with a vengeance. I thought that his toddler antics were terrible. Apparently his pint sized misbehavior was only the warm-up for the tween years.

Our typically peaceful house became a battleground, pitting team Robby Rotten against his family. His snarky attitude paired with fatigue created an absolute pre-teen monster. I really miss my sweet little Koopa. 

Somehow Scott and I manage to hold down jobs, pay the bills, and maintain the household despite the fact that we are wrong about everything. How have we survived so long without a know-it-all ten year old to point out every perceived mistake! Robby Rotten, tween version, has an opinion about everything. Here's the abridged version: He is right and apparently wise beyond his years. Everything his parents do is stupid, nonsensical and just plain wrong. In short, he is a genius and we are idiots. 

Although he has eaten the meals I prepare for over 10 years, apparently what used to be one of his favorites is now a "bowl of hot horse diarrhea." Our Halloween decorations are "lame" and he shouldn't have to put down the toilet seat because there are three males and only one female in the house. Being outnumbered, he should be able to "pee like a man in a castle."  (It is a good thing that Snarky Robby Rotten was able to enlighten me about how men in castles pee.)

Scott's beloved Ohio State Buckeyes lost on Saturday because he always picks "stupid teams." The internet is slow because our house "sucks."  Somehow his dying in a video game is the fault of a pizza roll that I managed to ruin. Who knew  I so many talents!

Over the weekend his attitude escalated to a full blown war. I understand that this is a stage, but I'm not going to be disrespected in my own home by my ten year old son. It just isn't going to be tolerated. He isn't enjoying his restrictions, but it was necessary to reassert our authority. I'm not loving this stage, and I hope that Robby Rotten- Tween Edition doesn't stay long. I really miss my sweet little Koopa, and I hate being a mean Mom. (By the way, I am apparently the meanest, most horrible Momom in the world.)

Friday, October 21, 2016


Despite rather vocal protests and pleas from Robby, I signed him up for Cotillion classes. While he is not happy now, I firmly believe that he will be grateful for both the experience and the knowledge when he is older.  Scott and I both believe that pairing social skills with proper etiquette will give Robby a competitive advantage, both professionally and personally, when he is older. An intelligent and kind young man with impeccable manners is a strong combination.

A strict dress code is enforced for the classes which forced us to go shopping for a suit jacket, dress pants and nice shoes. Robby, impressed by the texture and sheen, immediately picked the dark blue velour suit jacket. I vetoed his selection, directing him towards more traditional attire. He then chose a black suit. I reminded him that black was typically reserved for funerals, and suggested that he go with navy instead. He lobbied hard for the black suit, claiming that Cotillion was close enough to a funeral to make it appropriate. I'm so glad that he is embracing this experience with an open mind.

Last night Robby had his first Cotillion class, and needless to say the preparations were less than graceful. He complained about having to attend, whined about the suit that he was being "forced" to wear, and lamented about the time wasted that he would "never get back in his whole life." By the time he left for class I was even more assured in my decision that he needed this experience. In fact, he was so frustrating that part of me was smiling as he walked out the door, slightly gleeful in the fact that he was going to be uncomfortable for the next two hours. 

Upon arriving, the instructors asked Robby if he was nervous. He confirmed that he was feeling scared and uncomfortable. The instructors, probably hopping onto the "teachable moment," asked Robby what he usually did when he was feeling uncomfortable in social situations. Without missing a beat, and obviously without thinking much about his current situation, he responded.  "Well, usually when I'm feeling nervous around people I just like to imagine them pooping. Thinking about it. You can't be scared of anybody if you think about what they look like sitting on the toilet." 

Yep, that was my kid's first interaction at Cotillion. He informed his instructor that he was imagining her having a bowel movement. Well, at least he made an impression? 

After his not so delicate first impression, Robby was able to rebound and quickly found his stride. He spent the class learning how to escort a lady, how to properly sit in a chair and how to do the Fox Trot. He was paired with a girl who immediately relaxed when my little fashionista complimented the velvet texture of her dress jacket. He then proceeded to fill her in on his shopping saga, complete with my refusal to purchase the velour jacket he chose. Apparently she took his side and agreed that the textured jacket would be nice, and that if he wore one that they would be better dance partners because they match.

Sigh. I guess I'm going back to the store this week for the jacket that could only appeal to a ten year old. On the positive side, he no longer equates Cotillion to going to a funeral. I'll take that as progress.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Election Overload

I cannot wait for this election cycle to come to a close. I used to love politics. In fact, in college I was known as "Political Peggy" because of my love of debating the issues and candidates. With time my passion has mellowed. A combination of maturity and frustration has led me to avoid political discussions. Too often, what used to be understood to be friendly banter now quickly escalates to vicious personal attacks. There is so much negativity in the world, I don't feel the need to invite more into my life with political discussions.

I still feel passionately about the issues, but I no longer feel the need to explain or debate my stances with anybody. I have learned that, just as I am set in my beliefs, others are as confident in their viewpoints. Arguing statistics, nuances and platforms becomes an exercise in frustration for everybody involved. Instead of changing political views, these discussions are now more likely to result in hurt feelings and fractured relationships.

This election cycle has been repugnant. The nonstop coverage has been flooding everybody with a level of negativity that I am sure is unhealthy. It feels like everybody is on edge and in a bad mood. I have yet to meet anybody who is enjoying this election.

As a Mom, I resent the fact that I have been forced to explain crass terminology to my ten year old boy. Not only did we have to sit him down and explain why he shouldn't use the term he was mimicking from television, but we were forced to explain why somebody in a prominent position of respect would choose to utilize such language. Thankfully Scott took the lead and succinctly told Robby that he shouldn't disrespect anybody, regardless of the situation or location. Scott calmly explained to our son that demeaning an individual, or a group of people, only makes the speaker look uneducated. He continued by explaining that we send him to a good school so that he can learn a variety of ways to communicate and to express himself. Reverting to crude descriptors does a disservice not only to himself but to his teachers and family.

I suppose the only upside of this exposure has been the opportunity to enlighten Robby about the longevity of his words and his communication choices. Without the constant bombardment on our television, we probably would not have had the discussion about crude and demeaning language. Hopefully we will be able to skate through the next few weeks without anymore conversation prompts from current events.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Learn from My (Stubborn) Mistake

Looking for a silver lining has been difficult, but I think I finally managed to locate one. Between the bed bug feasting on my extremities and Timmy being ill, the past three weeks have been considerably different than our norm. I have been forced to slow down and take it easy. Instead of running around and shuffling between activities and play areas, we have been playing quietly at home. While I certainly miss interacting with the world and I'm feeling stir crazy tethered at home, my limb has been able to finally heal from the sores that developed from both the bites and an ill fitting socket. 

I have been dealing with limb sores for almost a year. The sores have fluctuated from being open and oozing blisters to merely raised reminders of an abrasion that has finally closed. Over the past year, the pain has also varied between nagging discomfort to excruciating agony as my leg rubbed with each step. Despite my trying just about every topical remedy recommended (and a few that I invented on my own), the sores never completely healed.

With our schedule drastically impacted over the past three weeks, my leg has finally healed. The skin over the sore has completely healed and the area is no longer tender. I don't have to stop to adjust my socket when I'm walking, and my skin is intact when I remove my liner at the end of the day. Finally, after a year I feel like my leg is healthy and back to normal!

I knew that complete healing would require my slowing down and minimizing my prosthetic use. Of course that is easier said than done, especially when I am chasing around a toddler all day.  Admittedly, my refusing to let my leg issues dictate my activities was a detrimental choice. If I could turn back the clock and take better care of my leg when the sores first presented, I would make different decisions. Please learn from my stubborn mistake: slow down and allow yourself to completely heal before continuing with heavy prosthetic use. I know that it is both inconvenient and frustrating, but having a healthy limb is worth the sacrifice.