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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.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Mother's Day Weekend

I survived my first yoga class! Despite my instructor's concerns about my abilities to participate and complete the moves, I did not have any trouble.  When I arrived and realized that there was only one other lady signed up for the course, I began to understand my instructor's pleas for me to disenroll.  I suspect that she was frustrated that she was obligated to teach a class to only two students for six weeks. If I had heeded her advice, she would have had cause to cancel entirely. 

I'm sore this morning, but looking forward to the weekend. I have learned a long time ago to keep my Mother's Day expectations low. At this juncture, instead of gifts and doting I am going to be grateful if I am allowed to sleep beyond 5.

I'm sure that Scott and Robby dig my "World's Best Mother" banner out of the garage and hang it from the balcony. The pair will both try to abide by my "no fart talk" decree, although I'm not terribly optimistic that they will be successful. Not only are they banned from discussing flatulence, but I have put a moratorium on talking about all bodily functions. An entire weekend without "guess that smell" and "pull my finger" is going to feel luxurious! With their topics significantly stymied, I suspect that the pair are going to have a difficult time maintaining conversations.

On Sunday I registered to take Robby to the Mother's Day brunch at our local club. Scott is going to stay home with Hamlet, allowing me the opportunity to actually enjoy a meal without the stress and chaos that ensues when we take the little tornado into public.  I predict that my diet will be derailed slightly, but special occasions warrant splurging. I'm sure I'll get back on track on Monday morning, when life returns to normal. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the ban on bathroom humor and the extra sleep.

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

I'm Special Needs?

Tonight I am doing something completely out of my comfort zone. I've been wanting to try yoga for a long time, but being self conscious about both my body and my abilities has always held me back. I finally mustered the courage to give it a try, and tonight is my first class.  I figured that I'm almost 42 and it's about time I stop letting vanity interfere with my activities. 

Yesterday afternoon I received an email confirming the class and asking for my contact information. Apparently the yoga instructor wanted to speak with me. I assumed that she was calling all participants, so I didn't really think much about it when I responded with my phone number.

It turns out that she was not calling everybody who enrolled, but was concerned about my possibly being an amputee.  (Considering that my email is amputeemommy@gmail.com, it was a fairly safe assumption.) The instructor was worried about my ability to participate in yoga and actively tried to discourage  me from taking the course. She explained that this was not a "special needs" yoga course, and that I would be responsible for adapting all of the moves because she wouldn't have time to help me.

I must admit that I was taken aback by the entire conversation. The more she spoke, the more adamant I felt that I was taking the course. I have never been one to back down from a challenge. Only now I don't feel challenged by trying a new activity (yoga), I feel determined to prove the instructor wrong. I may not be able to do every move, and it may not look pretty, but I'll be doing yoga with everybody else tonight.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Bad Weather Blues

The dreary weather of the past few days has been wearing me down. While we haven't experienced steady rain, the pop-up thunderstorms have been working to keep everything ugly and wet.  I keep trying to remind myself that "April showers bring May flowers," but in all honesty the rhyme is offering little solace. I miss the sun and I'm tired of the mud and muck from the rain.

Timmy has been wreaking havoc around the house. He is certainly an outside kid, requiring room to run and move. Trying to keep him contained and occupied has been utterly exhausting. It turns out that it is less work running after him outside than trying to entertain him inside the house. After a few days of Timmy confinement, my house has become a chaotic minefield of toys and crumbs. 

Looking for the positive, I haven't experienced the phantom pain that many times accompanies these weather patterns. For whatever reason, my leg has been feeling fine. Dealing with the mud, downed tree limbs and an energetic but bored Timmy, I will count my leg comfort as a blessing.

Hopefully the weather will break soon and we can blow all of the dirt and gunk away. In the meantime, I think today is the perfect day for a jumping adventure. Hopefully he will be able to jump some of his energy away.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Riding

Robby and I have been thoroughly enjoying training for the Great Cycle Challenge. Each night after dinner and after we tuck Hamlet into bed, we hop onto our bikes and meander through the neighborhood. He talks as he pedals, allowing me a precious insight into his world and thought process.  Between his new bicycle and more time in the saddle, he is turning into a strong rider. 

I have always loved riding my bike and being able to share this activity with Robby has only enhanced my enjoyment. When I became an amputee I was convinced that I would never again feel the exhilaration that comes from riding. I settled for a stationary bike out of a fear which had grown to irrational proportions. I became so paralyzed by my fear of falling or of my leg falling off while pedaling that I refused to even try for almost a decade. It wasn't until I saw Robby overcome his fear of the bike that I realized I needed to follow his example. 

Riding with a prosthesis feels almost identical to when I had both biological legs. I'm decidedly more cautious, but at my age that probably isn't a bad thing. After all, falling off a bike in your 40's could be considerably more painful with a lengthy recovery than when I was Robby's age. 

I'm so happy that I overcame my cycling phobia. If I had let my fears continue to hold me back, I would be missing out on this great quality time with Robby. He is at an age where he would rather spend time with his friends or on the computer. The fact that he asks to go riding with me is something that I don't take for granted.  (Rest assured, little Timmy gets plenty of riding time. I frequently stick him into his baby buggy and pull him around the neighborhood when the weather is favorable.)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday afternoon I packed up the boys and headed to my Mom's for the weekend. We didn't have any grand plans, but the prospect of just relaxing and hanging out for a few days was enough motivation to drive.  Scott opted to stay in Virginia so that he could enjoy some "bachelor time" while lounging around the house. He often chooses to not accompany us on these trips, which is fine because I think that an occasional weekend apart is good for everybody. 

My cousin came to visit on Saturday. Her baby girl Aleena is just a few months younger than Timmy. It was a lot of fun watching the two interact, trying to figure out what to do with another little person in the room. Both kids are accustomed to being the baby of the family, and sharing this role was difficult for them to navigate.  Eventually they figured it out, assuming that their respective mother did not pay too much attention to the other child.

Yesterday I came home, and returned to the reality of dishes in the sink and laundry piled on the floor. Oh how I wish I had a Fairy Godmother who tackle all of the household chores with the wave of her wand. I've tried to conjure some magic with Robby's magician wand but only resulted in looking foolish and nearly knocking over a lamp. 

Lacking any magical intervention, I suspect that I'll have to buckle down this week and whip this house into shape. Visiting with my Mom was considerably more fun than cleaning...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Beware of the SMB

With the rain continuing yesterday and out of an effort to keep Timmy the Terrible at bay, I decided to take my little guy to Toddler Time at the trampoline park. He loves jumping, and I hoped that the concentrated exercise would help him expel some energy. To be honest, I'm not sure that my house would be able to handle another day of trying to contain my little tornado.  

Timmy had a great time jumping, and I must admit that I had fun too. I love seeing him so carefree and happy. We hopped and played for almost two hours, and the smile on his face endeared him to everybody. 

Well, his smile and giggles endeared him to almost everybody. We did have one unfortunate encounter from a member of the "Snob Mom Brigade." The "Snob Mom Brigade (SNB)," although probably not a sanctioned organization, seems to have broad membership. Its members frequent toddler playgroups where they spend their time sitting and casting judgment on other moms. 

Children of members are always perfectly attired and coiffed. Mine is often sporting crumbs from the snack he ate in the car or dirt from our morning escapades.  No matter how hard I try, he always appears disheveled. Needless to say, I've yet to receive my membership invitation for this highly elite group.  

While jumping with Timmy, my little guy apparently pushed a member of the SMB to her breaking point.  As we were disembarking the trampoline, she actually walked to the edge and met me with a broad smile.  Then, in a sing-song voice began to chastise me.  "Why is your child still in pajamas? You should change him into street clothes when going into public. He'll never learn if you don't take the time to dress him." 

With Timmy pulling against my grip as he fought to reach a Cheerio he saw on the floor, I tried to process what she said. I quickly recognized her as a member of the SMB and knew that any response would be summarily dismissed. This organization's members are not interested in debate. Their whole purpose is to feel superior by making other moms feel bad. Instead of responding I just smiled and said that we are a family that thrives on comfort.  I walked away with my head held high, crunching the Cheerio as I stepped so that Timmy wouldn't return to retrieve it later.

Just to clarify, he was not wearing his pajamas (this time.)  He was sporting a one piece stretchie that is marketed as a Sleep & Play garment.  I considered jumping on a rainy day to be the play.

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Timmy the Terrible returned

I have become anxious venturing into public settings with my little Hamlet. We are at the stage where his behavior is unpredictable, causing us to always feel on edge and nervous about what he may do next. Robby's class was scheduled for a field trip yesterday and I had volunteered, with the caveat that I would also be bringing Timmy, to chaperone. My anxiety was running high as I worried about Timmy's behavior and his possibly not only embarrassing me (to which I have become accustomed) but also his brother.

As I was cleaning up the shards of glass from the floor lamp Timmy broke, the phone rang with what I perceived as a stay of execution. Rain had forced the class to postpone their field trip. I knew that Robby was disappointed, but looking at my destructive little toddler, I couldn't help but feel relieved. He definitely had that mischievous, "I'm going to push the limits" grin.

Before nap time, and in addition to my floor lamp, my little tornado of destruction managed to break one of my favorite mugs and two pathway markers. As I was wiping down the wall to wash off the remnants of my coffee (which had been inside the mug), Timmy took the opportunity to crawl onto the kitchen table. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him reaching for the chandelier to swing Cirque De Solei style.

I scooped him off the table and carried him directly to his crib. I figured he was either going to nap or scream it out, but I needed a break before unleashing him back into the home. Thankfully he slept, allowing me time to clean up everything that was broken/ destroyed/ knocked over. When he woke up he was my normal cheerful and happy little boy.  Apparently Timmy the Terrible slipped away while he was sleeping.