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I am a soon-to-be middle aged below knee amputee. I am also the Mommy to a very active little boy. 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, September 18, 2014

Timmy Turtle

On the way to school yesterday Robby was being particularly charming. His jovial mood surprised me because I had to wake him up so that we could make it to his school on time. He was grumpy getting started, but apparently the Eggo waffles I made him were enough both to satiate his appetite and lift his mood. 

Chatting in the back of the car nonstop about anything that popped into his mind, Robby paused to wipe Timmy's mouth. It was during this exchange that I knew, for certain, that Robby has accepted his little brother. It wasn't the helpful gesture of wiping his mouth, although I was impressed that he did so unprompted. During this simple act, Robby called his brother Timmy Turtle.

Ever since Timmy was born, Robby has refused to refer to him as a Koopa. The family consisted of Momom Koopa, Daddy Koopa, Robby Koopa,  Charlie Koopa-Cat and Timmy. He was not dubbed a Koopa and Robby was adamant that he wouldn't be one until after his first birthday.  Any suggestion that Hamlet join the Koopa ranks was quickly shot down.  Not wanting to increase jealousy or resentment, Scott and I were apt to simply change the subject rather than argue the virtues of anointing Timmy with the term. 

I had hoped that, left without pressure, Robby would decide on his own to bring Timmy into the Koopa family. After calling him Timmy Turtle, Robby said in a nonchalant manner, "Well, I guess Hamlet is going to stay so he might as well be a Koopa, too." I just smiled and said okay, but inside I felt like dancing and screaming for joy.  I know that we will continue to have hurdles as he adjusts to sharing our attention and lives, but this is a big step in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Convincing Myself

Not surprisingly, Timmy survived his first daycare experience completely unscathed. I, on the other hand, dropped him off and proceeded to cry as I drove to my meeting. My eyes were red and puffy when I arrived, and although I tried to pass it off as allergies, I'm fairly certain that nobody believed me. 

I felt silly having such a visceral reaction to leaving my little guy in the care of others. I have left Timmy with both my Mom and my neighbor, and each time he was happy and playful. It just feels different leaving him in another building, even though I completely trust the staff and consider them to be friends.

Despite my strong emotional reaction to leaving Timmy at the school, I am so happy that I have worked out a solution to our daycare dilemma. I never left Robby when he was young, but I have to remind myself that also I wasn't working. This is a different child, and we are at different stages in our lives. I adore being home with him, but there are times when I have to attend to some professional responsibilities. I think I sound as if I am trying to convince myself!

I don't really understand the guilt that I feel about daycare, but I do know that it is strong. Logically I know that allowing somebody else to watch him for a few hours a week, freeing me to work uninterrupted, is not evil. I wasn't a working Mom with Robby. With Timmy I am, and that is okay. It doesn't mean that I am less attentive or loving. I spend as much time with him as possible, and he is certainly not starving for love or affection. I am doing what is best for everybody in the family, and that includes my working. Again, I feel like I am trying to convince myself!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Earwig

It has been three weeks since my surgery, and I'm delighted to report that I am healing beautifully. The pain has waned considerably during the past few days. The "I don't want to move because it feels like my stomach is being ripped apart" pain has morphed into a manageable soreness. I have no doubt that I wouldn't be feeling this strong if I had not precisely followed the doctor's directives.

During the waking hours I still wear the abdomen binding which provides comforting compression. I am still utilizing the heating pad whenever I am sitting, although right now it is probably more out of habit than necessity. I've avoided bending over and I haven't picked up anything heavier than Timmy since the surgery. So far, the only little mishap I have experienced has happened in the middle of the night.

I have been sleeping on the pull-out sofa in the living room. This was decided for two reasons:  I don't trust Scott to not kick or roll on me when he is sleeping and also because the head of the mattress can be elevated so that I can stay at the recommended angle. The bed isn't the most comfortable, but it is doable for short periods of time. While I can adapt to the springs sticking in my back, I don't think I'll ever truly get used to the noises that come from our living room in the middle of the night.

Charlie Cat is extremely active, hunting and stalking all kinds of creatures that he sees through our living room windows. I was woken with a startle when I heard him bounce off the window pane. He had apparently been hunting and leaped from the kitchen table directly into the window, breaking the silence of the night by landing on the floor with a loud splat. I have concluded that I have a high-instinct, low-intellect feline.

After I finally calmed down and fell asleep after the hunting mishap,  I was awoken by an itching under my nose. I instinctively rubbed my nose with my hand, discovering something unnervingly wiggly. I sat up quickly, only to be reminded by pain that I should still move deliberately and slowly. My nose started to run, and then the sneezing started.

Sneezing after abdominal surgery is akin to torture. I alternated between sneezing because of the nostril itch and yelping because of the pain for several torturous minutes. By the time everything calmed down, the pain had sky rocketed.

Once I recovered from the pain, an entirely new ordeal began when I discovered the source. An earwig, one of those fuzzy multi-legged bugs, had crawled up my nose. Needless to say, sleep was elusive the rest of the night.  Every time I closed my eyes I conjured images of bugs and critters crawling all over me. I predict a visit from the exterminator in the near future, but thankfully the tummy pain caused by the commotion was short lived.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Daycare.

Friday afternoon, desperate for a respite, I picked up Robby from school and headed north to visit my Mom. Scott will never admit it publicly, but I know that he was happy with my impromptu visit. He enjoys his bachelor weekends in the fall where he is able to watch football for hours on end while eating pizza in his boxer shorts. Adjusting to the school schedule has been stressful for all of us, so the weekend away was a welcome break.

Timmy was the only person not delighted with my plans. He cried from the time I left the school parking lot until we pulled into my Mom's driveway. Actually, cried is not the correct term. It would be more accurate to describe it as uncontrolled screaming. In spite of all of the effort he put into vocalizing his disagreement with our plans, he stopped crying and met my Mom with the largest gummy smile ever.

I had a great weekend doing as little as possible. My mom took the night shift with Timmy allowing me two nights of uninterrupted sleep. I left on Sunday afternoon feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week. It's amazing that no matter how old I become, I still benefit from a visit with my Mom!

This week marks a huge milestone, and to be completely honest I'm feeling unnerved and anxious. Today I will put Timmy into the daycare program at Robby's school. I trust them implicitly, and I have no qualms about his safety and well-being. That being said, I still feel guilty about sending him.

Timmy is not, and will never be, enrolled in full-time daycare. However, sometimes meetings pop up and I have to have a safe place for him to go. I have worked out a deal with Robby's school which has a small infant and daycare program. I am now responsible for developing their social media platforms and in return they will watch Timmy when I need the help. No money exchanges hands, and it feels like the perfect situation for all involved.  Perfect, of course, only if I can bring myself to actually go through with leaving him this morning.  The success of the day care venture has yet to be determined.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dirty Old Woman

Yesterday morning Robby and I packed up and left for school a few minutes early so that we could drop off our traditional 9/11 cookies at the firehouse. I love Robby's excitement and enthusiasm when he is able to do something nice for others. He was grinning from ear to ear when he presented his treat. Of course, he also became incredibly shy, leaving me to do the talking. 

As we drove away from the firehouse my mind was spinning. I kept thinking about the man who answered the door and accepted the gift from Robby. Okay, to be completely honest my thought process was purely primal. Specifically, I was thinking that it was fortuitous that was a good thing he was a fireman since he was smoking hot. As I allowed my mind to briefly wonder and imagine the lustful possibilities, I glanced in the rear view mirror and was immediately brought back to reality.

I viewed this individual as incredibly attractive. He viewed me as a middle aged Mom. After all, why wouldn't he see me that way. I am old enough to be his Mom. I was, in effect, also a dirty old woman.

My epiphany led me to again reevaluate my age. I realized that men whom I find immediately attractive are no longer in my age category. While I still feel spry and young, I cannot deny that I am middle age. Men in my age group are no longer overtly youthful. Instead of sporting tight shirts and bulging muscles, the majority of men in my age group are battling both receding hairlines and bulging tummies. 

I'm happily married and not looking for an extra curricular affair, which is good because I now know that my real age and my own perceptions of my age do not align. Mentally I still feel like I am in my 20's. Unfortunately my body and face do not echo the same sentiments. I suppose eventually my fantasies will have to align with reality. Sigh. I really hate growing up!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tradition Cookies

Yesterday was incredibly hectic and busy which made me appreciate how far I've come in my recovery. I was wearing my leg all day and, although it was sore by the time I took it off before climbing into bed, I feel victorious. Much of the day I was wearing Timmy in the baby carrier, adding to both the fatigue I experienced at the end of the day as well as the sense of satisfaction I felt.

Despite being tired, last night after dinner Robby and I did something that we haven't done together in months. We made
cookies. I think we were both happy being back in the kitchen again. It is liberating being able to bake with my little guy again. Of course, this time I was wearing his brother on my chest just like I used to wear him. 

These were not chocolate chip cookies without a purpose. We were baking them for our local firehouse. When Robby was born I struggled to find a way to explain 9/11 to him in terms where he understood the importance yet would not be scared. I decided that the best way to honor the past was to create a tradition of thanking the first responders in our community. Every year we bake cookies and deliver them on the morning of September 11. The firefighters have come to expect our delivery!

Our tradition has grown and has been adopted by friends and classmates.  After a brief and age appropriate history lesson, Robby's class made a poster to accompany the cookies. I'm sure that it will bring a smile to many faces!

I hate September 11, with all of the news retrospectives and documentaries. I understand the importance of remembering, but it seems like the horror is being crammed down my throat by the networks. I will never forget the fear, terror and grief that I felt on that morning. I want Robby and Timmy to understand the significance without feeling the sense of uncontrolled terror. I hope that they never experience those emotions and memories first hand! 

Today I won't be watching any television. I don't need to see constant replays of the planes flying into the buildings, nor do I need to hear the frantic 911 calls to remember what happened.  I am far more comfortable honoring the date in my own way, by doing something positive. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mac & Cheese and.. Ick

Timmy has gained weight and, although he loves to be warm and cozy, he no longer has problems regulating his body temperature. I look at the photos of my tiny little baby and I am amazed at how quickly he has grown and filled out. The fragile little waif is gone, leaving a strong, happy and healthy baby boy. The only vestiges of his being a preemie lies with his size (he is short) and his reflux.

I am sure that his reflux is more frustrating for us than it is for him. He seems relatively unaffected by projectile vomiting without notice. While Timmy continues to smile through his regurgitation, I have grown weary of cleaning partially digested baby formula off my floors, furniture and myself. Despite my efforts to clean it up quickly, I'm fairly certain that everything I own now smells like sour milk. 

Some days are worse than others. There are bottles which never make an encore appearance. We've tried to recreate the feeding, hoping for another positive result only to be met with volcanic vomit in my face. Yesterday was a relatively calm reflux day, allowing both Timmy and me to remain relatively dry. Of course, just when I was ready to declare a reflux free victory, I was proven wrong.

I was wearing Timmy, forward facing, in the baby carrier when I was making dinner. The little guy just loves being situated in his snug little carrier, probably because it keeps him both close to me and warm. He was happily cooing and giggling as I was stirring the cheese sauce for the macaroni and cheese I was planning for dinner. True to form, reflux occurs without notice. Just as I turned off the heat, I saw a large stream of what appeared to be milk pouring into my sauce.

I instinctively grabbed the spoon to stir it in, only to realize a few moments later that I had not poured anything. Stymied about the source, I was disgusted when I processed the event. Timmy had vomited the entire contents of his bottle, which he ate 2 hours earlier, into the cheese sauce. So much for my well planned dinner! My lesson for the afternoon- if you are cooking with a baby who suffers from reflux, wear him facing inward or risk the contents of the pot. And no, I didn't serve it anyway!