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.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Busy Busy Busy

The next few days are going to be busy, and looking at my schedule I just hope that I have the energy to keep up. Even though I'm feeling a tinged overwhelmed by my calendar, I am excited about the opportunities and adventures that the next few days will bring. I can hardly wait to see how the coming week unfolds!

Today I'm heading up to my Mom's to prepare for tomorrow's birthday celebration. I have ordered all of the food (thank goodness for the internet, it makes party planning so much easier!) Tomorrow afternoon Robby and I are going to clean her house for the party. It's funny. Robby laments and whines whenever I ask him to clean at home, but he is excited about going to cleaning his Nana's house for the party.

When my niece and nephews come home from school I'm going to surprise them by taking everybody to the Glow Party at Skyzone.  Robby loves playing with his cousins but he doesn't see them often.  On the rare occasions when they can get together I like to go into "SuperMom/ SuperAunt mode" by planning an adventure. 

Saturday morning Scott and I will pick up all of the food and finish the decorations for the party. I'm hoping that my Mom has a good time, can feel relaxed and enjoy everybody coming together to celebrate her. I know that she does not relish being the center of attention, but everybody deserves to be doted upon from time to time. 

Sunday we're going to come home so that we can get ready for Timmy's birthday on Monday. I can't believe that my little Hamlet is going to be three! My goodness the time has flown by so quickly, but I suppose that is the topic for another blog (probably on Monday.) 

Tuesday and Wednesday I will be in DC, lobbying Capitol Hill with the Amputee Coalition for the needs of the amputee community. I'm looking forward about speaking with staffers and legislators about the issues impacting my friends. Even though I'm excited about going to Capitol Hill, right now I'm just trying to focus on my Mom's party. Once I get that done, I can concentrate on making Timmy's day special. One day at a time and hopefully I'll be able to fly through the coming week unscathed and with success.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Blog Anniversary!

Happy Birthday AmputeeMommy!! Eight years ago I tentatively ventured into the bloggersphere. I wish I could say that I had a plan when I started my blog, but in reality it couldn't be further from the truth. Out of boredom and loneliness I pulled out the laptop and decided to start writing. Yes, AmputeeMommy was born out of a whim and was not part of a grander scheme.

I never would have imagined that eight years later I would still be posting, and that AmputeeMommy would become such an important part of my life and my identity. It has taken several years, but I finally feel confident telling people that I am a blogger. Creating something viable, on my own, has forced me to grow in ways I never imagined. My blog contains my personal accounts, and I have revealed intimate details of my life to the world. Doing so has rendered me vulnerable at times while overall Making me stronger.

Oh my, how my "silly little blog" has grown. For the first few months the only readers were family. I remember how excited I was when somebody from MA was reading my posts (I later learned it was Mary Hulser). Now I host 500,000 unique visitors per month and continue to grow. I don't know where AmputeeMommy will lead and how it will change, but I am committed to sticking with my blog. The outlet has been a godsend. Personally, professionally and creatively I am better because I started to write.  I think I'll celebrate my blog anniversary with a cupcake!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is Mom's birthday. I won't reveal the number, but I will concede that she is celebrating a milestone age. I wish I could be there today to help her celebrate but with everybody returning to school and work, my traveling is not possible.

Instead I am going up to see her on Friday, so we will be able to celebrate her birthday through the weekend. I have planned a mini family party on Saturday. Per her request we are doing nothing fancy, but the house will be filled with love, laughter and lots of food. The internet has made long distance party planning a breeze, and I can hardly wait for everything to come together on Saturday.

Happy Birthday Mom. I wish I could find the words to convey how much you mean to me, but I know that I will always come up short. You are the strength and heart of the family. Your steadfast support and unlimited optimism have helped pull me through the toughest days of my life.

You were there when my foot was hurt. You were there through each of the 20+ surgeries. You were the one I asked for when I was waking up in recovery after my amputation. You are always there when I need you.

You were my supporter in school and my biggest cheerleader as I started my blog. I don't think I will ever be able to repay you for everything that you have done for me. Simply put, you are amazing.

My boys are so incredibly lucky to have you as their Nana. Robby loves calling you after each Taekwondo accomplishment. You are the first person he wants to call when he earns a good grade, or is recognized for good behavior. He tells me that you are always happy when he calls, and that you are always proud of him.

I love watching Timmy's face light up when he is playing with you. His giggles are among the sweetest sounds on earth, and you have a way of getting them out of him like nobody else. He is only two, but his love for his Nana is obvious.

I hope that you have a wonderful birthday. I love you, and we will see you in a few days.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Wrap-Up

We had a relatively low-key Easter.  Robby and Timmy woke up to discover that the Easter Bunny had hopped through our house, leaving treats and scattering eggs through the yard. I'm confident that Robby does not believe the Easter Bunny facade, but he continues to play along with the ruse. At this point I'm not sure if he is doing it for me or for his little brother, but either way I'm happy that the magic remains intact for Timmy.

It didn't take Timmy long to embrace the joys of the Easter Egg hunt. He ran through the yard gleefully claiming any egg that was in his path. Unfortunately he failed to stop when he spied one, resulting in trampling more than a few. Two dozen colored hard boiled eggs were hidden through the yard. By the end of the morning 11 were smashed into the tread of Timmy's sandals. Oh well. We didn't succeed in making egg salad, but we were successful having fun.

My Mom and sister came down for Easter brunch. It was nice to see them and I'm happy to report that Timmy was fairly well-behaved at the restaurant. He only threw his silverware one time. Although my Mom is turning 70 this week, she still has catlike reflexes and was able to catch the knife flung in her direction in midair.  Robby enjoyed playing the role of waiter, raiding the buffet and bringing plates of treats to the table. 
Robby is growing up so quickly. When he brought me a plate of fruit he looked like his Daddy. Dressed in his new shirt and tie, along with the fedora for extra style, he no longer looked like my little buddy who had earned the nickname of Robby Rotten. Instead I saw a young man. When did that happen?

This morning our taxes are done and all of the Easter decorations are stowed. Spring break is almost over and the sun is shining. I won't say which of those brings me the most joy, but I will admit that the culmination has me feeling lighter and happier today. I enjoyed having Scott and Robby home, but after a week I was ready for the return of our routine. While I enjoy the company and Timmy certainly relished the commotion that comes from having a full house, it is considerably more work when everybody is home. More cooking, more dirty dishes and more interruptions cause me to wonder why everybody is getting a vacation except for me.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Old Friends= New Adventures

Friday afternoon I packed some clothes into my backpack and kissed all the boys (Scott included) before heading into DC for the night. Although nights away from my family are extremely rare, I try to make the most when the opportunity arises. This time I was meeting Tammy, my closest friend, in the city to prepare for the Tax March on Saturday. In order to avoid the chaos of trying to drive on the day of the protest, we opted to get a hotel room and a quick girlfriends getaway adventure.

I would say that I was sad driving away from my house, but that would be a lie. I did try to temper my jubilation from the boys as I said good-bye. I'm fairly sure that Scott saw me skipping to the car as I made my escape. I couldn't help but be happy to leave.  Hamlet has been extremely high maintenance, and I was in desperate need of a reprieve from the chaos. I was also looking forward to hanging out with my friend, an occasion which does not happen nearly enough. 

While Scott took care of the boys, I had a fantastic time in DC. Tammy and I walked through China Town before meandering through the National Portrait Gallery (she is an artist). Tammy is one of the few people with whom I can be completely silly. It doesn't matter that we are both now in our 40's. Whenever we are together we end up giggling and acting like young college students. We spent our time at the Gallery posing with the various statues and paintings. Our silly poses were definitely not something I would have done if I were in the company of any other adults. But with Tammy, I don't have to worry about being mature. We just have fun.

After the gallery closed we headed back to our room, ordered room service wine and began to work on our posters for the Tax March. After the slogans were conceived, she was in charge of creation and design. I tried to help by coloring in the words, but in reality she did the lions share of the work for the signs and our shirts. Saturday morning we woke up, grabbed breakfast and headed to the protest.

I found being surrounded by thousands of like minded individuals to be empowering. I drew strength from the numbers of people standing with us to demand that President Trump's tax returns be released. Of course, our signs and shirts were a big hit with our fellow protestors. A stream of people approached us to take photos which was fun and added an unique aspect to the experience.

After the rally and march we headed back to the hotel, said goodbye and drove away in separate directions. Although it was only 24 hours, I left feeling stronger, happier and more centered. It is amazing what a few hours with an old friend can do!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Make Mess Monster

Yesterday morning Scott and I were chatting on the couch while Timmy was sitting in his bean bag chair watching Team Umizoomi. All of a sudden my little Hamlet jumped up and threw Puppy Blanket across the room as he began sprinting and squealing with delight. It was as if we were reliving the chaos from Wednesday evening when he morphed into a little destructive tornado. Scott and I both struggled to wrangle and restrain him until he was calm.

During the commotion Robby emerged from his bedroom. He calmly sat on the couch and watched as we fought to keep Timmy from destroying the house. Without much fanfare, Robby flipped the television channel and Timmy calmed down. Robby looked at us, smiled and changed the situation with his observation.  "Momom, Timmy was running around the house like the Gizmo on Team Umizoomi. They were running through the mall making a mess, and that is what he was doing in the house."

Scott and I were flabbergasted with the correlation that Robby revealed. Yes! Every night when Timmy goes wild we had been watching his favorite episode of Team Umizoomi. The little robots in his favorite episode had their buttons flipped from "Make Clean" to "Make Mess" and were wreaking chaos everywhere. Timmy hasn't been trying to be naughty or destructive. Instead, he was mimicking the cartoon characters.  Talk about a light bulb moment!

Timmy was well-behaved for the rest of the day. He didn't meltdown, and he didn't turn into a destructive little demon. It turns out that he is just susceptible to cartoon peer pressure. Upon this realization, Scott immediately deleted the episode from our DVR. Hopefully the "Make Mess" monster has also been erased.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Toddler Tornado of Trouble

For the second time in as many weeks, last night I went to bed knowing that I had been defeated by a toddler. My sweet little Hamlet burned into a tornado of destruction in the blink of an eye. One moment he was happily playing with his toy kitchen, whipping up and proudly serving me delightful plastic concoctions. In the blink of an eye, and seemingly without cause, I saw the twinkle of mischief in his eye and he started sprinting through the house like a wrecking ball.

He ran with his arms extended so that he could sweep and knock over anything and everything in his path. Giggling, he seemed to be on a mission to cause as much destruction as possible before being caught.  When we finally snagged him (he can duck and turn quicker than the most seasoned boxer), my little terror showed no remorse. He only laughed in our faces as we sequestered him to his room.

Usually he hates to be confined to his bedroom. Last night he took his punishment as a challenge. He completely destroyed his bedroom within minutes, knocking over his bins and stacking his wipes only so he could knock them down as soon as I opened the door.

I was completely at the end of my rope. Not knowing what I could do that would make an impact, I did the only thing that came to mind. I took his beloved Puppy Blanket and threw him out the window. The look on Timmy's face as he watched his beloved companion flying through the air only to land on top of the SUV in the driveway was one of devastation. With one single act I managed to break the cyclone of toddler destruction.

Usually I would feel badly about doing something to cause emotional distress. This time I felt victorious instead of remorseful. I finally found my bargaining chip with Timmy. When he misbehaves, he will lose Puppy Blanket. Hopefully I won't have to take the blanket often because I really don't enjoy being a mean Momom.