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, January 03, 2014

Weekend Project

I have to admit that I'm a tinge sad when I think of this Christmas break drawing to a close. It has flown by so quickly and, although we didn't go anywhere or do anything extravagant, we had a wonderful time. It feels like just a few days ago that I was hosting Robby's school party, eagerly anticipating 16 days of vacation bliss. After this weekend both boys will return to school, and our routine will begin again.

I'm a little deflated when I think of the house being quiet again, but I am looking forward to reclaiming the space. My first project, hopefully to be completed this weekend, will be to de-Christmas everything. The decorations were beautiful and festive when they were put out in November, but now I want the space back and I'm growing tired of the clutter.

Charlie Cat is going to dearly miss the tree which he climbs daily in his quest to knock every decoration from the branches. The super glue hair mats, which developed when he rolled in an art project during the summer, have now been replaced with tree sap mats. Every few days I wrap Charlie in a towel so that I can cut out the fur clumps.  If I don't get rid of the evergreen soon, the cat will be bald!

The weather is forecast to be bitterly cold during the next few days providing me with the perfect excuse to stay indoors. With both boys still home, I think this weekend will be the perfect time to put them to work taking down and stowing the decorations. I doubt that they will be happy with my project, but I can handle the whining. I'll just consider my tuning it out as practice because I expect to hear a seemingly endless stream of complaints from both as they prepare to return to school on Monday.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Robby knows...

Although we were dreading the conversation, it has been clear to both Scott and I that we needed to bring Robby up to date with the baby news. Wanting him to have a great holiday, we decided to put off the announcement until after Christmas. With a sonogram scheduled for this afternoon, yesterday it was decided that we would tell Robby about the baby.

I have spent the past few weeks researching the best, and most non-traumatic way, to relay this information to Robby. Relying upon the anonymity of my HotSpot VPN was paramount during these searches.  The last thing I wanted was for my search history to pop up in the form of advertisements when Robby was using the computer. After all, I wanted him to find out from us, not from my search history!

Seated on the couch next to his Daddy, I happily revealed that he is going to be a big brother. Obviously the chipper tone of my voice had little impact because my little guy's face melted as he absorbed the news. After several assurances that we were not joking, it became clear that Robby understood what we told him.

He didn't exactly leap off the couch and throw me in a bear hug, but I knew that reaction would be a long shot. He didn't smile nor did he demonstrate any of the enthusiasm I had hoped he would feel. Instead, he vaulted off the couch and sealed himself inside a box. 

Refusing to open the box, Robby requested a tissue. He insisted that he was fine and not crying, but claimed instead that his eye balls were sweating. I passed him the tissues, a cup of milk and a cookie. Not wanting to push him to talk, I just sat next to the box and waited.

After about 20 minutes of silence, I began quietly to reassure Robby. I reminded him that we would always love him, that we would still have special adventures and that the baby would not break his toys. He finally opened a crack so that I could see him. One-by-one, Robby recounted all of our special traditions, asking if we could still do them. He seemed to feel better knowing that the baby was not going to interfere with his life.

Okay, so basically I lied. But his tears stopped, and after an hour he finally emerged from the box. For now, simply knowing that there was going to be a baby seems like enough. I figured that we will have plenty of time to absorb the reality of our changed lives later. 

Throughout the day Robby asked questions about the baby. At one point he seemed delighted to have figured out a solution. "Momom, you should let Nana take the baby. She takes in lots of kids, I'm sure she won't mind one more." (Robby is referring to the fact that my sister and her three little ones have moved into my Mom's house.) I hated to burst his bubble for the second time in one day, but I did have to let him know that Nana would mind, and that we were not going to be giving the baby away. 

I wish I could write that Robby was delighted by the prospect of being a big brother. Unfortunately, that would be a lie. He has not tried to disguise his contempt for our news, proclaiming that we have given him the "worstest New Year present ever." He continued by saying that we "should have bought a turtle instead. Not a baby!"  Before going outside to play with his friend he whispered "I wish you weren't pregnant" as he was slipping on his boots. When he was cuddling with Scott last night, I overheard him asking his Daddy to promise that he "won't ever go and make another baby again." 

I keep trying to remind myself that he is just surprised, and that he will learn to embrace the change. Right now though, my heart is hurting.  So much for my Disney-esque ending to this story!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014

I have a decades long history of hating New Years Eve. Each December 31st, I believed the entire world was at a lavish party with the ladies wearing beautiful cocktail dresses and their hair freshly coiffed. I have never been invited to such an affair. Instead, I have always celebrated the change of the calendar from the comfort of my bed, watching the revelry in Times Square and feeling like a pathetic loser because I was munching on a bag of chips instead of sipping champagne.

The past few years have tempered my New Years Eve hatred. I've come to realize that the fancy New Years Eve party is only a reality for a small circle of people. Just about everybody I know was at home, watching TV and spending time on Facebook when the ball dropped in New York. I was in bed, sound asleep with Robby lying next to me. His New Years Eve festivities apparently tuckered him out!

Our local pizza shop hosted a Kid's New Year's Eve party, and as soon as I read the invitation email, I knew that we would attend. We went a few years ago and, although Robby was considerably younger, he had a blast. This year I decided to call his friend Rowan who was delighted with the invitation to a "real" party. I packed up both friends around 4:00 and we headed out for the big night.

The pair danced, munched on pizza and played games until it was time to ring in the "New Year." (In order to accommodate early sleepers, the countdown began at precisely 5:30.) By the time the young and exuberant crowd reached zero, hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling and the noise makers began to squeal. We enjoyed a ginger ale toast in "fancy glasses" and attempted to sing Auld Lang Syne.

After much contemplation, Robby declared that his resolution is to find another turtle. Rowan apparently wants to shoot her brother in the bum with a bb gun. (I wonder if she is going to share this resolution with her family?) Apparently both kiddos missed the concept of self-improvement when devising a resolution!

By 6:30 we were gathering our party hats, confetti bits and favors to begin heading home. Rowan was returned to her family, and we were back home by 7:00. I realize that my evening paled in comparison to the events shown on TV, but I wouldn't trade my New Year's Eve dates for the world!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Very Good Year.

It seems that regardless of where I may be, I keep hearing people echo the same sentiment. They can't wait for 2013 to be over stating that it has been a horrible year and vowing that 2014 will be better. I've come to believe that I'm in the minority because 2013 has been fabulous!

This has been a year of great professional and personal growth. I have settled into jobs which I adore, and I am fortunate because everyday is different and leaves me with a great sense of personal satisfaction. I struggled for many years, especially after Robby was born, with a career path. Finally, after a lot of hard work and some luck, I feel like I am on the right track. The contentment I reap from my work has been liberating. 

2013 has allowed me to add more experiences to my work resume. I am honored to be a featured blogger for UNlimiters.com, a start up company which has great potential to help the entire disabled community. Every Friday I publish a blog post on their site discussing my life as an amputee and products which I have found helpful.This is a different style of writing which is both challenging and rewarding.

In August I was asked to become the official Mommy Ambassador for Hotspotshield.com, a VPN service. Hotspotshield was a natural fit for me because I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet and my cyber security is paramount. I have thoroughly enjoyed both new roles and look forward to growing these relationships in the coming year. 

In the past twelve months I have been involved in some wonderful adventures. I have consulted for two major television shows, an opportunity which always leaves me awe struck due to my celebrity infatuations. I was part of a panel discussion for the Huffington Post Live and was interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show.  My "Strut Your Stuff" movement gained national attention and considerable momentum when it was adopted by the Amputee Coalition. I was featured in a CNN article which garnered the coveted spot on their home page.  I was interviewed by NBC News (yet to be aired) and was honored to speak at the Amputee Coalition National Conference. Pushing me completely out of my element, I was invited to travel to New York City where I participated in a music video (set to be released in February or March).

Although 2013 was a stellar year for me professionally, my personal life has certainly yielded the most profound change. This fall we were delighted (and admittedly terrified) to learn that I am expecting our second child. After trying and hoping for five years, the reality of the pregnancy certainly took awhile to sink in. With the baby now kicking up a storm, I find myself counting down the time until I meet our second little miracle in May. I am both anxious and excited about beginning what should be a wildly exciting and entertaining journey as a mother of two in 2014.

I am approaching the New Year with excitement and optimism about the future. I hope that next year I can reflect on 2014 with as much satisfaction and happiness as I felt when writing this blog.  Happy New Year, and I wish nothing but happiness, love, laughter and lots of cupcakes in the coming year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Nana's Party!

This past weekend was another busy one. We woke up early Saturday morning, packed our bags and headed to PA. In years past, this trip would have occurred on Christmas morning. However, this year we decided to stay home for the holiday. As luck would have it, my cousins were having a difficult time fitting my Mom's traditional holiday dinner into their Christmas day schedule as well. This was the first year that we have all gotten together on a date other than December 25th, but I foresee it becoming a tradition for the coming years. 

By the time we arrived at my Mom's, her house was already full.  Robby quickly abandoned his tablet and DS, opting instead to play with and chase his cousins. There is a unique sense of happiness that comes from hearing a chorus of children squealing and laughing. Suddenly the date on the calendar was inconsequential, and the festive holiday mood was recaptured for the afternoon.

True to form, my Mom prepared way too much food. All of the kids essentially ignored the dinner buffet table, instead visiting the cookie tower throughout the afternoon. In reality, the only time the little ones sat at the dining room table was when the cake was being served. The younger ones may not visit often, but they have come to know that Nana (the name all of the kids use for my Mom) always has cake and chocolate milk.

While the kids were busy chasing each other around the house firing their "fart guns," also courtesy of Nana, the adults were able to visit and catch up. Of course, sometimes talking was a bit difficult because of the inundation of electronic toot sounds and children laughing. Thankfully Nana opted to buy the regular guns and did not feel it was necessary to upgrade for the added scent option!

It is amazing how quickly the afternoon flew by. Before I realized it, the sun was down and the little friends were running on fumes (and sugar). By the time everybody packed up to go home and I helped my Mom clean and put away the food, I was beyond tired. Between watching the kids and helping with the food, I was on my feet for the majority of the day. I'm not too proud to admit that I was asleep before my 7 year old.

We woke up Sunday morning to miserable weather. The skies were grey and the rainfalls were heavy. Because of the anticipated traffic and the dismal weather conditions, we decided to pack up and head home a little early. In retrospect we made the right decision. Visibility and road conditions were horrible, making drive both difficult and stressful.

Despite the frustrating drive, we had a wonderful weekend. My family doesn't see each other with great frequency, but when we are together we always have fun. I typically hate change, but this new tradition might be the perfect fit for everybody's growing and changing family.