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 15, 2018

Snow Day

The boys went to bed last night happy in the knowledge that they didn't have to wake up at a designated time. Our first winter storm was forecast and schools closed in advance. I know other parents feel differently, but I always appreciate when schools make the decision before everybody goes to bed. The 4 AM phone call always jolts me from my slumber and I find it difficult to get back to sleep.

Although many of my friends felt that canceling early was an overreaction, I had no doubt that we were going to experience a strong weather event. My limb has become the best predictor of winter storms. Yesterday my limb was achy and sore throughout the day, and the pain only intensified as night encroached.  

Trying to sleep was difficult because the discomfort turned into phantom pain, which made for a miserable night. The long-range forecast predicts a heavy snow season, which also means that I am sure to experience a painful winter. It's a good thing that Scott is home today because I didn't sleep well last night and this momom is going to need a nap!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Timmy the Terrible.

I don't know what got into Hamlet yesterday, but he was a handful from the moment he woke up until he finally went to sleep. After spending several days outside with us, I think he was frustrated with being housebound. With a constant cold rain falling and my to-do list piling up, we stayed inside all day. Regardless of his motivation, he had a severe case of the naughties.

Timmy the Terrible started the morning by drawing on my wall with a blue crayon. I thought that being directed to remove the markings with a Magic Eraser would be a just punishment for his action. I was wrong. Apparently using a Magic Eraser when you are four is a lot of fun.  At least the crayon and a large portion of my hallway wall were thoroughly cleaned below 40 inches, even if he did enjoy his punishment. 

I spent the lion share of my afternoon stopping my tornado of destruction while desperately trying to work on my computer. He was not content to watch cartoons, nor was he happy playing on the iPad. Instead of playing quietly by himself, he opted to become the preschooler of mass destruction.

At one point I put my work aside and played trains with him for nearly an hour out of the hopes that he would continue independently. No such luck. As soon as I stopped playing the track was destroyed by an irate little boy who decided to use his trucks as bowling balls.

Throughout the day Timmy the Terrible continued his destruction.  I found him standing on my counter trying to reach the Halloween candy.  He was lifted off the counter only to begin scaling the shelves of the fridge as if he were a versed mountain climber.  He grabbed the eggs and ran through the house, thoroughly enjoying the chase.  He tried to give the cat a bath and attempted to swing like a monkey on our chandelier over the pool table. 

On a day when I really needed him to be good, he seemed to accept the challenge to make things as difficult for me as possible.

Hopefully today will be a better day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wheelbarrow

With Scott off work, our yard work extravaganza continued yesterday. We were able to get rid of the leaves in the yard and in our flowerbeds, which is no small feat considering that we live in the woods. While Scott was mowing the leaves the boys and I prepared for winter by swapping the outdoor summer toys for our winter sleds.

With our wheelbarrow filled with 100 pounds of potatoes covered in straw, I walked over and asked Mr. Bill if his was available to borrow. He choked up and I saw his eyes start to tear as he said, "Yes Buddy. This is how we started, do you remember?"  

Mr. Bill and I became friends when he brought me his wheelbarrow to use so many years ago. He was watching a toddler Robby and I fill a snow sled with mulch. He gathered up his wheelbarrow and pitchfork and came into our yard.  He took the pitchfork and picked up mulch, putting it into the wheelbarrow before looking at me and saying, "Work smarter, not harder."  

At the time I wasn't sure what to make of the elderly man, but I was grateful for his offer to lend his tools. Robby and I finished the mulch, cleaned out the wheelbarrow and returned it with a plate of cookies. Robby immediately took to the grumpy man, escaping into his yard to help whenever possible. 

As I was walking over to borrow the same wheelbarrow, only this time with Timmy in tow, I also remembered how he came into our lives. I was surprised at Mr. Bill's reaction to my request, I didn't think he remembered the day he came into our lives.  It is going to be hard to see him move away next month. I know that the neighborhood, and our family, will never be the same.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stacking Wood

Yesterday I celebrated my 15th Walking Day. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since that exciting day. In some ways, it feels like it could have happened last week, while at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. When I think about the years I become overwhelmed, so I have decided to respect and honor the past by living my life to the fullest every day.

We celebrated my Walking Day by splitting and stacking an insane amount of wood. We worked most of the day, but we managed to split just about every tree segment that had been lining our driveway and those that were piled in our flowerbeds. It was hard work, but it was also fun having everybody help and participate.  Even Timmy got into the action by proudly carrying and handing me cut pieces of wood to be stacked.  

I'm incredibly sore this morning, but I am relieved that the log segments are gone and that we have ample firewood for the winter. There is no way I would have been able to help split the logs if I had not had my amputation. Perhaps there was no better way to honor my Walking Day than by doing an activity that would have been unattainable if I had not opted for an amputation so many years ago.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Walking Day!

Yesterday was my Dad's 71st birthday. I made it through the day without crying, but I certainly felt his absence. I miss him dearly. I was happy for bedtime because it meant that I had survived another milestone without my Dad. The sun came up this morning, and the heaviness of his loss has eased back to the normal level.

While yesterday was difficult, this weekend will be celebratory. Sunday marks my 15th Walking Day Anniversary. It is difficult to fathom that I took those first tentative steps so many years ago. When I close my eyes it feels like yesterday, yet I have had a lifetime of experiences since I became an amputee.  

We celebrate Walking Day in our family because it marks such an important milestone in my life. Scott may forget birthdays and wedding anniversaries, but he has never missed a Walking Day. Although I took the steps, the day means as much to him as it does to me. He was with me through the difficult recovery, and those first few steps solidified our belief that I was going to be okay.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Rumble at the Playground

Every Wednesday we drive Robby to class and Timmy and I play at the local park until he is finished. Going to the park has quickly become a highlight of his week. Playing with a buddy reigns supreme, so when no kids are present I am happy to fill the role. Yesterday the park was busy so I sat on a bench and watched from the sidelines. 

Part of playing with other kids is to not only have fun but also to learn how to navigate relationships.  Yesterday Timmy wasn't feeling fantastic, so he opted to quietly build a mulch castle on the perimeter of the play area. He worked for nearly 30 minutes building his masterpiece, complete with stick flags and a sand moat. He was proud of his creation, fetching me several times throughout the construction process to admire his work.  

While he was working on adding some height another little boy came over to him. I heard the interaction, but I decided to not intervene. The little boy said that he was going to smash the tower. Timmy immediately said no. The boy, with complete disregard to Timmy's wishes, proceeded to stomp all over the castle.

I saw Timmy's face morph from joy to devastation in record time. As the little boy kicked the remnants of the castle around the playground, Timmy became irate.  He grabbed a handful of mulch and threw it onto the boy.

With a flash, the other mom swooped in and swatted Timmy on the bottom. I lept from my perch and picked up Timmy, comforting him from both his castle destruction and being hit by a stranger. I looked at the woman and snapped, "Don't ever touch my kid."

She looked indignant and replied, "Your son threw mulch all over him. When I see somebody throw mulch on my child, my first reaction is to swat." 

I didn't address the fact that her little angel needlessly and gleefully stomped Timmy's castle. Instead, I took a step towards her, overwhelming her personal space. I put Timmy down and looked directly into her eyes. I was livid. 

"When I see an adult hit my child, my reaction is a lot stronger than a swat. Keep your hands off my kid, or you will get hurt."  I glared into her eyes as she quietly took her son's hand and backed away.

In full disclosure, I have never been in a physical fight. I am not a violent person, and I always lean towards communication instead of violence. But this lady hit my child, and with that, all rules are out the window.  

I'm fairly certain I would break my hands, wrists and probably a multitude of other bones if I had actually tried to hit her. I was rolling the dice that this lady could be intimidated.  Thankfully I was right.  

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Eat the Cookie

It is the day after the midterm election, and I could not be happier! Results notwithstanding, I am delighted we will be afforded a break from the nasty political scene. Magically all of the commercials have switched from fear-filled nasty rhetoric to snowmen, cookies and holiday joy. 

I wonder if the spite-filled and toxic nature of our politicians and their followers would change if we, as a society, concentrated more on the messages streamed in holiday commercials instead of investing our mental energies into those during the election.  Either way, I'm soaking up every moment of the season, because before I am ready the commercials will again change from being happy and eat-the-cookie to go on a diet and you need to improve.

Today I am in Pennsylvania so that I can take my Mom to her surgeon for a follow-up. Last night I went on a grocery shopping spree, setting her and the kids up with food and treats for the next few weeks. After two weeks of not being able to drive, her shelves were becoming sparse. 

Thankfully my mom is getting around better and is feeling less pain every day. Even though she is improving, I worry that she is going to overdo it.  She is stubborn and is doing more than she probably should do, but there is absolutely no stopping her when she gets her mind set on something.  (If you were to ask Scott I am sure he would describe me in a similar way.)

After Mom's appointment, I need to drive back to Virginia so that Robby can make his app building class in time. I wish I could stay longer, but this is a busy week with classes, appointments, and meetings.