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, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. Our entire family converges at my Mom's house, which has been a tradition for nearly 25 years. Helping my Mom prep and cook is another tradition, as is the last minute scurrying to stash and hide everything before the "company" arrives.

I love my cousins and although I don't get to see them often, it is always wonderful when we are together.  Soon her house will be filled with both laughter of adults and adults, the air will smell like a mixture of turkey and potatoes and her floor will be strewn with ad circulars as well all work on our plan of attack for Black Friday shopping. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Plan B Adventure

Well, our pre-Thanksgiving adventure, which I had been meticulously planning for months, was sidelined. Yesterday morning Robby woke up complaining of a sore throat. As soon as he vomited I decided to it was time to call time of death on our hotel adventure.  I am grateful that the Gaylord took mercy on me and refunded my nonrefundable deposit. Thank you Gaylord of National Harbor!

By mid morning Robby began to feel better. Although he wasn't recovered enough to resume my planned adventure, I decided to switch into plan B. I found an ice house, bought ten pounds of dry ice and let the kids freeze and smash stuff all afternoon.

From grapes and tomatoes to paper towels and eggs, the Cousin Crew froze everything and anything in sight. They were entertained with the dry ice all day and into the evening. My Mom's back porch looks like a grocery store imploded with defrosted food remnants splattered everywhere. 

In the evening we decided to pack up the Cousin Crew (Timmy included) to see Santa. With the support of his big cousins, Timmy tolerated sitting close to the big guy. He refused to speak to him and buried his head into my niece's shoulder whenever Santa looked in his direction, but we managed to snap a great picture of all the cousins together. 

After visiting Santa the big kids went to paint pottery (a favorite activity at the mall) while I took Timmy to Build-A-Bear. We finished the kids changed into their matching pajamas and played  a rousing game of Truth or Dare for Kids. While my original adventure was put on the back burner, the kids still had a fantastic day together. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Adventure Time

Thanksgiving week ranks among one of my favorites. Per tradition, the kids and I arrived at my Mom's yesterday for a week of preparation and fun. The "Cousin Crew" were ecstatic to be reunited. I love watching them all play and laugh together!

Today I am taking the Cousins on a pre-holiday adventure. None of them know it, but as soon as they eat breakfast I'm piling them into the car and we are going to National Harbor. My niece has been wanting to see ICE, an interactive ice sculpture exhibit, and today seems like the perfect day to check it off her list. 

There is more to the surprise, but out of fear that my little technology enabled niece and nephews read the blog this morning for clues, I'll withhold the information.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Polar Express!!

We had an amazing family weekend adventure. Both boys were well behaved, healthy and happy enjoying the time together.  I made a special effort to ensure that we were participating in at least one activity tailored to each kid in the hopes of making everybody happy. I think I succeeded!

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the Baltimore Aquarium. Robby loves the aquarium and is particularly fond of Calypso, the amputee sea turtle. The only time Timmy has been to the aquarium was during infancy, so this was his first true exposure to Robby's wonderland. He was absolutely mesmerized. I suspect that we will be putting our Family Membership to heavy use throughout the coming year. 

Saturday night we stayed in the city. Staying in a hotel is always a treat, especially when you are a kid. Both boys were excited about our big city sleepover and were well behaved in the hotel room. (I'm sure our neighbors appreciated their efforts.) 

Sunday morning we ate breakfast and returned to the Aquarium for a few hours before heading to the Polar Express. We spent the morning visiting all of the turtles and fish in the Australia exhibit. Timmy seemed particularly intrigued by the dragon lizards flanking the aquarium tanks. I was quick to remind everybody that we were not welcoming a reptile into our family!

Soon it was time for us to head to the train station. Although we had been talking about riding the Polar Express, I don't think Timmy comprehended the activity until he saw the trains. As soon as he approached the impressive steam engines his excitement became palpable and contagious. 

Timmy was engrossed throughout the Polar Express adventure. He was particularly delighted with receiving his own "golden ticket" and having it punched by the Conductor. He smiled from ear-to-ear throughout the "Hot Chocolate" dance and giggled when the Hobo ran through the train car. From his perspective, the entire train experience was simply magical.

Except for Santa. While he embraced every part of the experience, he melted down when he spotted Santa at the train station. He threw himself on the ground, turning his back to the Jolly Red Elf, and began to scream.

Unfortunately train stations are not particularly clean and his clean and specially ordered Polar Express shirt was covered with grease and dirt for the duration.  Sigh. Oh well. He was clean in the morning, and that should count for something.

Despite the intrusion of Santa on our train, we had a fantastic time on the Polar Express. Robby even embraced the spirit of the story and happily played along with the fun. What a great way for us to kick off the holiday season!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Adventure

I have been looking forward to this weekend for months. I'm so excited that the weekend circled in red is finally here! I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve, just giddy with anticipation and excitement. Only this time I am not expecting toys; instead I'm looking forward to an epic family adventure with all my boys.

It has been a long time since our family went on an adventure. With our Pumpkinville outing sidelined by a car accident a few weeks ago, we are long overdue for some family fun time.  Thankfully Momom did some research and planning in the summer, and we have an awesome adventure planned for this weekend.  

Tomorrow we are packing up and heading to Baltimore.  Robby is excited about going to the aquarium (and The Cheesecake Factory.)  I know that Timmy will be amazed by the beautiful and unusual fish swimming all around him. He is at an age where everything is magical and I can't wait to see his reactions as he experiences the aquarium for the first time.  

While at the aquarium we are going to see the 4-D version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Robby and I experienced a 4-D movie a few years ago, and I have to admit it was the coolest movie experience of my life. I'm looking forward to everybody's reaction to being fully immersed in the show. Hopefully Timmy will be enthralled and not terrified.

We're staying overnight in Baltimore because Sunday morning we have tickets to the North Pole (Well, as Robby points out we aren't really going to the North Pole but we are pretending because it is more fun.) While the destination may be pretend, the fact that we are going on the Polar Express is an experience that is sure to impress.  With Timmy's enthusiasm for the movie (it is streaming non-stop in our living room) I can't wait to see his face when we board the train and the movie comes to life before his eyes.  

Stay tuned for photos of our pre-Thanksgiving Family Adventure!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Removing the Individual Mandate

I have reached the point of political saturation, but when an issue arises that would be detrimental to the limb loss community, taking a break is not an option.  The Senate has slipped a change to healthcare into the tax bill. If passed, the individual mandate would be eliminated from the Affordable Care Act.

The CBO has already rated the implications of removing the individual mandate.  Individuals, usually those who are healthy and young, will forgo health coverage to save money. Removing the low risk individuals from the insurance pools causes a drastic shift and increases the insurance risk. The CBO estimates that premiums will rise another 10% over the next 10 years if the individual mandate is removed. An estimated 13 million people will join the ranks of the uninsured.

I am among the first to agree that the Affordable Care Act is flawed. The premiums are outrageously expensive, and people are struggling to pay for purely mediocre coverage. But I also feel that it not appropriate to slip a change into a tax bill.  The public deserves fair and transparent debates on all issues related to our health. Our healthcare and access to insurance is simply too important to shield transparency.

Late last night Dave and I recorded a podcast dissecting the implications of removing the individual mandate on the limb loss community.  Please listen, and act if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Broken Knuckle

Robby has been proud of the fact that he has never broken a bone.  While his cousins and friends have all sported casts, his bones have remained intact. Unfortunately his eleven year no broken bone streak has come to a screeching halt. Monday night he broke his knuckle.

What my little Koopa lacks in athletic prowess he makes up for with wit and enthusiasm. Sports has never been his forte. Even as a toddler he was studious instead of adventurous. He isn't out of shape, but he just doesn't particularly enjoy sports. In an effort to encourage socialization and out of a desire to broaden his horizons, I signed him up for an after school class at a local gym. The class is geared for tweens who "spend more time gaming than they do playing outside." 

The non-competitive gym class transforms the video games that the kids love into physical activities and Robby loves every moment. He looks forward to going to the gym twice a week to reenact games and to play with his new friends. He comes out of the gym covered with sweat and grinning from ear-to-ear. I have to admit, I'm surprised (and delighted) that he has taken to it so strongly. 

When he came out of the gym on Monday I immediately knew that something was wrong. He was grimacing instead of smiling and holding his hand in an awkward position. He was passing a medicine ball to a teammate when intercepted and thrown back to him. Instead of hitting his hands the weighted ball slammed into his finger tips on his right hand. His fingers were swollen and starting to turn purple.

Assuming that his fingers were just stubbed, we iced his hand and gave him some Tylenol. He complained about the pain, but in all honesty we didn't heavily weight his lamenting. He doesn't have a lot of experience with injuries, so Scott and I just figured that he was unfamiliar with the pain severity scale. 

Dismissing his complaints has definitely removed us from contention for parents of the year! Yesterday morning his hand was purple and his knuckle was deformed. I packed him up and took him to Urgent Care for an x-ray. It turns out that his Mom diagnosed "stubbed finger" was actually a completely broken knuckle. He is in a splint for at least four weeks and today we have an appointment with a hand specialist.  

Robby is still hurting and is upset that he has to wear a splint. He is worried about not being able to work on his art and is fretting over how he is going to wipe his bum. (Apparently the fact that he also writes with the hand is completely inconsequential and irrelevant.) Please send him good thoughts for a quick recovery!