About Me

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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.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Boot Hill

Timmy loves playing on the steepest tube slide at the farm. The slide goes down at a high angle, which is probably the reason that he is drawn to it. The entrance to the slide can only be accessed by walking up a narrow gravel pathway, flanked on each side with a fence and thick brush and prickle bushes. Because he can only go in one direction, I typically park myself on a bench at the bottom of the slide to watch.

Everything was going well until he slid down without wearing his Thomas the Train boot. Assuming that he left his boot either in the slide or at the top of the hill, I told him to go get his boot.  He happily took my hand and led me to the side of the sliding hill. That's when I saw it, and I instantly knew that we were in trouble.

His bright blue boot was positioned among the thickets, about half way down the extremely steep (and roped off) hill. My mind began to analyze the situation as I tried to figure out if I should just leave the boot or try to retrieve it.  Because he needs the boots, I quickly resolved to try.  

After climbing up the path, I surveyed the situation. I was going to have to climb over the fence, which was about the height of my chest before making my way through the prickle weeds to the boot. Getting over the fence was not easy because the incline began to drop off quickly on the other side. I knew that I was going to have to be careful, because one misstep and I was going to go rolling down the hill through the briers.  

I managed to get over the fence, but walking to the boot was arduous. I was forced to sidestep because I didn't want to lose my footing. Trying to maneuver my way with a prosthesis was particularly frustrating. I slipped a few times, but thankfully I never fell. I was cursing Thomas the Train with each step.

After about 20 minutes, I had finally retrieved the boot. It took me another 10 minutes to get back to the slide, where Timmy was ecstatically cheering my return. We put on his boot and I pulled him away from the slide. It isn't something I would like to repeat, but I am proud of myself for managing the terrain to retrieve the lost boot!




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New School

Robby had the opportunity to spend the day in what could become his new classroom. He was understandably nervous to walk into a strange setting filled with new people. Despite his nerves, he handled the experience like a seasoned pro. I'm so incredibly proud of him!

I woke up early to bake cookies for him to share with the class and the teacher. Since many of the students could become his classmates next year, we decided that sharing a treat during the visit might contribute to making a favorable impression. I couldn't help but think about my Dad as I was baking cookies at 6 AM.  He emphasized that bringing donuts or treats to the office can go a long way towards relationship building, and I had to smile as this tradition was being passed down to Robby.  

With cookies in hand, Robby tentatively followed the teacher into his new classroom. I couldn't help but worry about him throughout the morning. It wasn't until I received a text message from him, asking to stay longer, that I began to relax. If he wasn't having fun, he certainly wouldn't reach out to stay longer.

My little Koopa was all smiles when I picked him up. The students were nice and welcoming, and the classroom setting was comfortable and relaxed. Robby particularly enjoyed caring for the chickens, which are a permanent fixture because the school is located on a farm. 

With everybody on board, we are going to make the change official but completing the paperwork. Despite his inherent aversion to change, Robby is excited about going to the new school next year. I feel relieved, and I cannot wait to watch him grow through this new academic adventure!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hiding Out From Hootchie Mama

The the muscle aches and pains from middle age creeping up and intruding on my life, I have no problem remembering that I'm an adult. Most of the time I have the confidence that comes with maturity. Yesterday afternoon was not one of those days. As I found myself avoiding a woman by hiding out in corner of a Chick fil A playground, I felt like an insecure teenager.

My visceral reaction to spotting her in the restaurant took me by surprise. I have never had a confrontation with her, but I have always found her to be annoying. Scott and I dubbed her the "Hootchie Mama Karate Chick" because of her propensity for flaunting exposed thongs while being the loudest and the most obnoxious Mom individual from Robby's Taekwondo classes.

She is the type of woman who creates a whirlwind of chaos in an otherwise calm situation. Her voice resonated through the studio like fingernails on a chalkboard. She excitedly shared her opinions with anyone who happened to be sharing the same oxygen in the room. She was quick to offer unsolicited life advice. One of the best parts of Robby quitting was the fact that we no longer needed to see this lady three times a week.

Seeing her at Chick fil A set off my fight or flight response. I just didn't have the mental energy to endure the awkward small talk and being peppered with judgement infused questions about why Robby quit Taekwondo.  Instead of  acting like an adult, I chose to hide among the forgotten socks and discarded nuggets behind the yellow corkscrew slide.

It definitely wasn't the most mature approach, but at least I didn't have to talk to her. Sometimes maturity is overrated!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Florida Adventure

My phone was dinging all weekend long, but I didn't mind. I wasn't receiving work messages or new additions to my schedule. Instead, I was being inundated photos, messages and videos from Robby and Scott.  The pair had a wonderful father/son Florida Adventure. They kept in close contact with me throughout the weekend, allowing me to live vicariously through their activities.

While I was helping my mom tidy up around the house and chasing Timmy at the park, Robby and Scott were jumping waves in the ocean. Robby is drawn to the ocean and spent the majority of the day swimming, exploring the little animals in the water and playing in the sand. The water wasn't quite warm enough for Scott to become fully emerged, but he enjoyed wading and lounging on a chair while watching Robby play.  By mid afternoon they migrated to the pool before heading to meet with the Sea Turtle Internship hosts.

I'm so glad that I arranged for Robby to visit the Internship location. He learned a lot about the program and the meeting definitely put his mind at ease. He is excited about the summer and can't wait to start saving the baby turtles!  He is still actively fundraising, and donations can be made through this link.  (Please reference Robby in the comments so he receives credit.)

Saturday the pair spent the morning at the beach before heading to the Night Ranger concert in the evening while my sister and I took Timmy to the Y to play in the little toddler water park. With his brother and Daddy having fun swimming, it seemed appropriate to take him to a pool as well. The water was murky and suspiciously warm, but he had a blast splashing and kicking. He is definitely my little water bug. (He is delighted to be returning to pool school today.)

The plane was delayed yesterday, but my beach pair finally arrived home by early evening.  They were pink from the sun and tired, but I could tell that they had a great time.  Another great adventure is in the books. 



Friday, April 13, 2018

Adventures

For Scott's birthday last month, I managed to come up with a present to top all other gifts. After much thought and even more research, I arranged for a special trip for both Scott and Robby to enjoy a few days in Florida. To top off their special weekend, the pair will attend the Night Ranger concert. 

The pair have been planning for their special weekend since they received the tickets. Finally, after weeks of waiting and planning, the weekend has finally arrived.  Yesterday Robby and Scott embarked on their much anticipated adventure.

Today they will play in the ocean and visit the Sea Turtle program which is hosting Robby's internship this summer. Tomorrow they will probably spend more time on the beach before heading to the Night Ranger concert. (Kudos to me for scoring awesome seats for the show.) Sunday morning they pack up and return home.  The trip is quick, but I'm sure that they will make lasting memories. 

After packing up and seeing the Florida bound travelers off on their adventure, Timmy and I headed up to visit with my Mom. I'm looking forward to a few days of hanging out with her and playing with Timmy. I know that she loves spending time with my little guy, and hopefully he will lift her spirits which have been dampened since she broke her hand.  Our adventures this weekend won't be nearly as grand as Robby and Scott's, but I'm sure we'll still have fun.

On a separate note, the classroom observation was incredible. The school has exceeded my expectations, and I am excited about the coming school year.  If I were to design a middle school program to suit Robby, it would be exactly what I observed yesterday.  Thank you for the support during my pre-observation panic!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Observation

I am awake early today, not because of Timmy but due to nervous energy. This morning, after dropping the boys off at school (thankfully Robby's teacher's mother has agreed to watch Timmy for me), I'm headed to observe a potential new school for next year. I can't completely rationalize my anxiety but it feels very real.

I'll be relieved when this parent observation is complete. I have been dreading it since it was scheduled last week, but I have been nearly as bothered by the anxiety that the thought of the observation stirred up for me. I feel a lot of pressure to make a good impression for Robby.  

Intellectually, I know that there is no reason for me to feel this degree of nervousness. The school should be trying to impress me, not vice versa. They are looking to increase enrollment, so I really have the upper hand in this situation.  Regardless, I feel like I'm going to a job interview. I even picked my clothes out last night!

I have invested way too much mental energy preparing and prepping for an hour observing a classroom of middle schoolers. Next week Robby will spend a day in the class. I have kept my nerves private because I don't want Robby to pick up on my anxiety. He is so much like me, I'm sure he will be apprehensive. But if he knows that I'm also scared, his normal fears might become petrifying.

 Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Playzones

The past week Timmy's days have been filled with mini adventures. I love going to playgrounds, bounce houses and toddler zones with him. He is at such a fun age, where everything is amazing and wonderful while he still has unabashed desires to be with his Mommy. Hamlet also absolutely adores playing with other kids that I have no doubt he will thrive in school. (If his autoimmune system remains strong through the summer, I think I will have a part-time preschooler next year.) 

Today we will forgo the playgrounds and hang out at home. My leg is a little sore from constant bounce house hopping, and I really need to give it a rest. I realize that I tend to overdo it when playing with Timmy. When he wants to play with me I tend to forget that I'm in my mid 40's, and that I only have one leg. 

The bursa has calmed down, but I am still using my original socket. Next week I have an appointment to obtain the proper paperwork to officially launch the re-fitting process. Things were so much simpler before I had to get physician documentation before each prosthetic service. It is absurd that I must constantly verify that I am missing a limb! I wish the lawmakers understood the frustrations and lifestyle intrusions involved with jumping through their red tape.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so I'm sure I can convince him to trade hopping for bike riding. I'm sure I will still get tired, but at least the impact on my limb will be minimal.