About Me

My photo
I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Although we didn't do anything grand, the Cousin Crew had a great time yesterday.  We had planned on visiting the pool, but (per recent trends) the weather failed to cooperate. The threat of thunderstorms kept us close to home and indoors most of the day.

The clouds broke for a brief period in the afternoon, allowing us to play outside. I pulled out some white t-shirts and the color filled water balloons. After splashing themselves with dye, we introduced another variable by showering them with color run chalk. Soon everybody was running through the yard, squealing and laughing while surrounded by clouds of colorful chalk plumes.

It was fun to see everybody, including my mom and my sister, get into the colorful spirit. My sister was colored with chalk and my Mom had a great time dousing the kids when they ran by her.  Timmy was ecstatic to be participating with the big kids and, since he is by far the smallest, seemed to be the most colorful. 

After the chalk packets were gone I had everybody run through the sprinkler to clean off. In the evening we went outside and tie-dyed our white shirts before spending the rest of the time playing games. 





Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quick Trip

Although Scott is technically on summer vacation, his school system has required mandatory overtime for three days this summer. Receiving compensation for the overtime is some solace for delaying the start of his vacation, but I know he would rather be home than sitting in a school cafeteria for eight hours a day.  Because he isn't going to be home until late afternoon, the boys and I packed up and headed to my Mom's. The Cousin Crew is delighted to be reunited.

We don't have any great plans, but that doesn't seem to have impacted their fun. Last night they stayed up late playing Truth or Dare. Squeals of laughter and commotion filled the house into the wee hours of the morning. I just love hearing them all so happy!

Today I think we are going to an Escape Room in the afternoon. (The kids have been dropping not so subtle hints about a new one that opened in town.) Weather permitting, we are going to go GeoCaching at the local park. It should be fun for all!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Staycation Getaway

Between the last day of school and Father's Day, our family was motivated to celebrate Scott this past weekend. Saturday morning we packed a bag and headed into DC for a quick family getaway. Scott has been wanting to take the boys to the Air and Space Museum and we were looking forward to playing tourist in our home area.  

After we checked into our hotel we headed out to the museum. As we approached the Mall, it became clear that we were not the only family with this idea. The area was wall to wall people, all jockeying to gain an advantage in the security lines forming outside the museum. 

Although I tried to make the best of the situation, the museum trip did not go as planned. The crowds were overwhelming, making it difficult to see any of the exhibits. Timmy quickly became bored and was difficult to manage. Tired of his lying down, whining and acting out, I finally ended up abandoning the exhibits altogether. He and I spent our time riding up and down the escalator in the center of the museum while Robby and Scott walked around.  

Thankfully the remainder of our getaway was more relaxing than the museum. After walking (and riding) through the museum, we headed back to the hotel. We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing in the pools and playing silly games. Not wanting to risk taking Timmy back into the public domain, we ordered delivery from a local pizza shop for dinner and spent the evening watching a movie in our room.  

Yesterday ate breakfast and headed back home. With the sun (finally) shining, we were able to go to the pool. The water was frigid, but that didn't seem to stop the boys from splashing for hours. All-in-all, I think everybody enjoyed our beginning of summer/ Father's Day adventure.  


Friday, June 15, 2018

Father's Day

At noon today everybody will officially be on summer vacation. With massive shifts in both his class schedule and curriculum, this has been a difficult year for Scott. I know that we are both looking forward to to this much needed respite from the school year stress.  Hopefully year 25 will be better than year 24!

This weekend we are celebrating both the end of the school year and Father's Day. Although I try to remain upbeat, Father's Day continues to be tough for me to navigate. I struggle between trying to make it special for Scott while fighting my own grief for my Dad. 

It is hard to believe that this will be my 4th Father's Day without my Dad. Grief is weird. Sometimes feels like I just spoke with him yesterday, but at other times it feels like a lifetime since he died. My goodness do I wish I could call him right now.  

Despite my missing my Dad, I want to try to make this Sunday special for Scott. This has been a rough year and he deserves to be spoiled and celebrated. I have some plans up my sleeves, but out of fear of snooping eyes I'll keep them private for now.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Punch Card Playdates

Yesterday was overcast and muggy. With thunderstorms in the forecast for much of the afternoon and the mosquitoes holding a convention in our front yard, I packed up my computer and Timmy and headed towards one of our favorite toddler indoor playgrounds. He was excited to spend the afternoon running, climbing and sliding with new "buddies." I was able to camp out at a table and work on some projects for a few hours.  If you ask me, indoor playground with free wifi are a working parent's salvation!

I am grateful to have so many play options in our area. When the weather doesn't cooperate, Timmy and I can rotate through the playgrounds so that he doesn't become bored. Always excited to explore and play, he doesn't seemed phased with my need to multitask.  My purse if stuffed with enough punch cards and admission passes to last four childhoods. Over the past few months the weather has been horrendous, giving us ample opportunity to take full advantage of our punch card supply. 

Even though Timmy has been occupied and happy, this dreary weather is wreaking havoc with my emotions. I am vacillating between feeling anxious, depressed and claustrophobic from the unfavorable skies. I feel out of sorts and I hate it! The older I am becoming the more I find myself needing the sun to stay emotionally centered. 




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hero

It has been no secret that this school year has been difficult for Scott, and by default for our entire family. On his first day back after summer vacation he learned that his program, which he has poured his heart and soul into for the past 15 years, was eliminated. Instead of working with the special education population to obtain real-life job skills, Scott was reassigned to co-teach Algebra. The transition has not been smooth.

Scott struggled with hurt feelings and resentment over the loss of his program. He also dearly missed the core group of students whom he met with every day during "Eagle Block," which was akin to a mandatory study hall. He had cultivated relationships with this particular class and was looking forward to overseeing their Senior year. Along with the demise of his program, his Eagle Block was dissolved and the students were assigned to other classes. 

Even though he was not technically their teacher anymore, most of his original Eagle Block kids kept the routine of visiting Scott during the day.  He was able to obtain passes from their new Eagle Block teachers so that they could maintain the tight working relationship with their original mentor. Keeping contact with this core group of students was a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year.  

Yesterday "his kids" graduated. While graduations are always special, yesterday's was bittersweet. Scott was beaming with pride as he left the house to watch his students walk across the stage. This group of students are special and I know that they will always hold a fond place in his heart.

Before the graduation an essay was read at a school faculty meeting. One of the Eagle Block students wrote an essay about their hero. She chose Scott. A year that began with heartbreak ended with tears of joy. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flashbacks

Yesterday my day was progressing as expected until Robby asked me the date. As soon as I said June 11th, memories came wafting over me like a tsunami. It took a moment for me to regain my balance, but for the rest of the day I felt off and sadly reflective.  Twenty five years earlier, my life was changed forever.

I was babysitting when a neighbor child suffered a cardiac arrest. Although she wasn't in my care and her mom was present, I continue to be haunted by the event. If I close my eyes I can still see the lifeless body of a mischievous two year old on the kitchen table as I prepared to perform CPR.  Her wet mouth and her little yellow Beauty and the Beast swimsuit against the red plaid tablecloth are visions that are emblazoned in my memories. I can still hear her Mom screaming for me to not let her baby die. 

I failed to save her. Rachel was pronounced dead at the hospital later that evening. My world changed that afternoon. I struggled with guilt, grief and the constant memory loop of the event replaying in my mind for months. Rachel's death was the first time that I experienced true heartbreak. I was changed forever because of the experience.  

Twenty five years have passed since that fateful afternoon, but the memories persist. Time has faded the strength of the memories and now the event is no longer omnipresent in my life. Every once in awhile I have flashbacks to that June afternoon, and the panic and grief return. Yesterday was one of those days. I found myself shaking and on the verge of tears throughout the evening. All of a sudden I felt like that scared and confused teenager grappling with the reality of her death.

With time comes wisdom and perspective. I now take solace in the fact that I remained calm and collected during an extremely tense and scary situation. At least I tried to save her. I know that there is nothing I could have done to save little Rachel. She had a congenital heart defect and had already endured multiple open heart surgeries. That knowledge has brought comfort during the aftermath of that horrible afternoon. If wishes and prayers were enough, Rachel would be alive today. Unfortunately, sometimes there just isn't anything you can do. That was a rough lesson to learn as a teen.