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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, February 26, 2015

Report Card

I am an extremely proud Momom! Robby received his report card and, although he was apprehensive, it was fantastic. He received A's in everything with the exception of Writing, where he earned a B. Just as important as the academic marks, he received praise for being compassionate, cooperative, a good listener and a strong leader. I could not be prouder of my little Koopa.

Robby was initially upset about his B, viewing anything less than an A as a failure. After reminding him numerous times that B does not equal bad, he began to relax (although I could tell he was continuing to perseverate). Still trying to rationalize his B, he came to the conclusion that writing is a "stupid" task.  He explained his anti-writing theory.  "Momom, when we write in schools we have to use pencils. Do you know what pencils are made out of?  Wood! (Pause for dramatic effect.)  Wood comes from trees, and in order to make the stupid little pencils for kids they have to kill a tree. I love trees, don't you? Why do you want me to kill trees?  That's why I prefer using the keyboard. No trees die when I use a keyboard." 

While I appreciate the effort he put forth in devising his handwriting excuse, I didn't want him to feel as if a B required justification. It is a good grade, and he should still be proud of earning it. So I told him that I am so proud of all of his grades, including the B, and that the most important thing is that he tried and behaved in school. He seemed pleased with my response, and I could see the pride begin to waft over his face.  I knew that he was over the disappointing B when he asked for my phone so that he could call his grandparents.

It ironic that his B was not in handwriting, which Robby assumed, but rather in Creative Writing. Obviously the child can spin a story!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One of Those Days

The only time I lament living with limb loss is when I am having pain or prosthetic issues. Unfortunately today I am experiencing both. My leg was rubbing inside my socket causing a sore to develop. At the moment the sore is small and is not yet raw, but it is tender and I am increasingly aware of every step. I am not in a position where I can easily forgo wearing my leg, so I made an appointment to see Elliot (my prosthetist) this afternoon. Hopefully he'll be able to work some magic and make me comfortable again.

Most frustrating out of this minor setback is the fact that it came from out of nowhere! I had been fine and experiencing no prosthetic issues. I went from chasing  Timmy to lamenting each step seemingly overnight. While I would like to know why it happened, at this point I am more concerned with healing.

I am thankful that I am able to see Elliot today. I know that many of my amputee friends are forced to wait for days for an available appointment. I've never had to wait, which is a good thing because I'm fairly sure I wouldn't do it with grace. While I'm eager about the prospect of fixing the issue before it becomes more troublesome, I resent the fact that I had to rearrange my schedule because of my prosthetic needs.

Today I find myself feeling angry about my limb loss. I hate that I have to rely upon a manufactured device, which are prone to breaking, in order to ambulate. I hate  the fragility of my mobility, that it is the result of a sum of components that are supposed to move in a particular way. When one small variable changes, everything can be thrown out of whack. 

I am hopeful that my socket can be adjusted, and that the pain will float away as quickly as it appeared. I am just tired of the little inconveniences that pop up to remind me that I am an amputee. Sometimes it is okay to just throw up your arms and say, "This isn't fair."  Today is one of those days.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Starchy Mess

Yesterday morning I woke up with a headache. I was hopeful that a cup of coffee would knock it out, but it wasn't successful and the dull ache remained throughout the day. I was in survival mode just trying to keep up with my extremely curious Timmy. Why do babies always seem to become more adventurous when their parent isn't feeling well?  I swear it were as if he knew that I was vulnerable, and he was determined to take full advantage of the opportunity to explore.

By explore I don't mean look around; I am referring to his putting absolutely everything into his mouth. Actually, I mean everything except new foods. Hamlet loves to chew on bits of wood, lint and dirty socks he managed to pull out from the abyss under the couch, but he turns into a sobbing mess when I try to feed him a noodle.  Maybe I should start dribbling the noodles on the floor so that he finds them appetizing?

Last night, perhaps out of pure exhaustion, I decided to encourage Timmy to feed himself. I thought that he might be more apt to eat the new food (baked potato) if he was in control. While he did seem to enjoy the potato, I don't think much actually made it to his mouth. 
 
Only after he had thoroughly smeared the food over his face, his head and his hair did I realize that I had forgotten to put a bib on him first. I also remembered that he is only 9 months old and cannot yet be trusted with a spoon.  He was a silly starchy mess by the time we were finished with dinner.  But he was also happy, and seeing his gummy little smile gave me the energy I needed to survive the clearly necessary bath time. 

So Timmy wasn't successful with the spoon, but we're going to modify and keep trying. I think from now on I will feed him before we sit down for dinner. While we're eating he can "practice" with his spoon. This way he is happy and I know that he has gotten at least something in his tummy.  Of course, I still have to figure out a way to dull the allure of the floor buffet. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

It is safe to say that everybody was disappointed when we received a call Saturday morning announcing the cancellation of the Diaper Derby. A surprise winter storm materialized, dumping nearly 10 inches of snow in its wake. Looking out the window, I knew that the decision to cancel was correct, but that didn't diffuse our disappointment.

Coach Robby had spent hours "training" Timmy to crawl down the hallway, finally had deemed him competition ready. Instead of a Diaper Derby winner, I now have an extremely quick little baby who has gained both skill and speed in his quest to explore. I haven't fully abandoned my Diaper Derby ambitions, but I'm not optimistic that I'll be able to find another one before he begins walking. 

So instead of going to the Diaper Derby, Saturday was spent playing in the snow.  Robby's friend came over and the two friends sledded, threw snowballs, and made a snow angel field.  (Incidentally, the Nerf SnowBall Blasters that Nana gave him work like a charm and are highly recommended by my little Koopa!) Timmy even managed to get in some snow fun when Robby and Rowan pulled him around the yard in his little sled. I think he enjoyed sledding, but I suspect he was more excited about being included in the activity.  Hamlet lights up whenever Robby plays with him, and I suspect that this adoration is only going to intensify.

My Sunday was spent tinkering around the house and digging out.  Scott was ecstatic with the return of racing, and nearly 15 years together has taught me not to  bother him during the Daytona 500.  I decided that my day of errands and home improvement projects would have to wait so that he could watch in peace. Instead I spent the race trying to entertain the boys so that Scott could watch his race without interruption. 

Today Robby has a delay, but I expect that school should return to normal this week. It was nice having them home, but they need to get back into the flow of the work week.  Well, maybe they don't need it as much as I do!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Diaper Derby Training

Everybody is home again today. This time the closures are due to cold temperatures rather than snow, but either way the boys are delighted. Robby is a tinge disappointed that we have already deferred his going outside in the "Martian air" until it is a little warmer.  Hence the ensuing argument over whether or not it would still be "Martian air" when it warms up a little.  Instead of plunging directly into the arctic blast, I kept him inside by making cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast. As soon as the bacon aroma started to waft into the living room, my pouting little Koopa changed his tune. 

While I know that Robby will go outside, if for no other reason than to say that he did, I am going to keep everybody inside for the majority of the day. If schools are closed because of frigid temperatures, I can't think of a good reason to go outside.  Instead, I would like to stay inside, warm by the fire, and train Timmy for the Diaper Derby..

I don't really know why, but I have always wanted to have a child participate in a Diaper Derby. The prospect of having a bunch of babies lined up and crawling towards a finishing line has always seemed amusing. I signed Timmy up as soon as I saw the advertisement for the Diaper Derby this Saturday. (I learned through Robby how fleeting these stages can be and that I shouldn't delay.)

I have no aspirations of his winning, but I am looking forward to the experience and snapping a cute video (which will of course be posted in this blog). Timmy is fast though, especially when he is motivated. The Official Diaper Derby rules state that we can bring a motivating object/ toy to encourage the baby to craw to the finish line.  I'm thinking of bringing the electric blanket. Nothing makes him dart across a room quicker than when he sees access to the shiny white cord!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Living Artifact

Last year at this time I was bombarded with medical tests and screenings because of my "advanced maternal age." I still resent the label, but lately I've been worried that it may be rearing its head. Last night during dinner, Robby complimented me by calling me a "living artifact."  Apparently having survived a childhood without a remote control television, gaming system and cable TV qualifies me.  While I know that he did not mean it as a negative, I couldn't help but feel that perhaps it is becoming true.  After all, I'm always tired!

Realistically I know that my age is not my only factor contributing to my fatigue.  After all, my body is still recovering from two major surgeries. (I figure that I can rely upon this excuse until the first anniversary of my last surgery. After that time, I'm probably going to just have to admit that I am out of shape.) I am also working, managing home and school activities and worrying about my Dad. In short, I'm juggling more balls than a carnival performer.

Although I have a lot of reasons behind my fatigue, I would be remiss if I didn't reveal what is probably the primary factor. It only took a day or two for Hamlet to emerge from a timid crawler into a curious little mover. Having fully mastered the technique, he has been moving non-stop ever since! I don't remember Robby being this active, but I'm sure he was and I have just blocked it out. Of course it has been nearly 9 years since I was last chasing around a crawler, which brings me back to lamenting my age.

Timmy continues to wake up before dawn and is in constant motion until he collapses from
exhaustion at night. While I try to encourage naps, they are both fleeting and few. As soon as I put him down, his tired little eyes perk up and he a huge smile washes over his pink cheeks. He's happy, which definitely is his saving grace during his middle of the night play sessions.  I'm told that he will outgrow this stage. Needless to say, I'm still waiting. In the meantime, this artifact Mom will just keep the anti-fatigue wrinkle cream slathered and the coffee flowing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow Science

Yesterday's snow was lousy for snowballs but perfect for sledding.  It took a few turns down the hill, but he finally managed to cut a good sized sled path through the snow.  From the window I watched the friends sled, then stop and chat for a few minutes before returning to the hill.  It didn't take me long to realize that they were scheming.

Within the hour the pair came barreling inside, tracking snow through the house and requesting flowering cans. When they finally calmed down enough to talk coherently, they complained that snow wasn't fast enough. With water dripping all over the floor from my melting snow buddies, they finally got around to proposing their plan to  make the run faster. 

I finally acquiesced and allowed them to cart watering cans of water outside to sprinkle on the sled path. As predicted, it was bone chilling cold outside so the water froze quickly.  Within minutes the little snow scientists were whizzing down their ice hill on the jet ski sled.  It looked so much fun that I decided to leave Hamlet in Scott's capable hands and I bundled up to head outside. 

It turns out that the kiddos had a different plan. I was relegated to pack mule, hauling the sled back up the hill after each ride. (I put my foot down when they tried climbing onto the sled to be pulled up the hill.) It's a good thing that my leg has healed and my socket fits perfectly, because I certainly got a work out yesterday!