About Me

My photo
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 10, 2014


It has been a week since we garnered the courage to bring Robby in on our baby secret, or, as he puts it, since the day we "blew his brain out of his face." Ever since that time we have seen him go through a variety of emotions ranging from pure grief to outrage and finally settling somewhere in between. Although I can't yet say that he is delighted with the prospect of bringing a sibling into our home, he is no longer breaking into spontaneous tears so I consider progress has been made.

We decided to tell Robby so that he could accompany us to the sonogram scheduled for the next day. We thought that he would enjoy seeing the baby and that the experience would both fascinate him and help bring the excitement of a sibling to life. As it turns out, we were incorrect on both accounts. He only stayed in the sonogram room for a mere five minutes before he began to cry. Scott took him to the waiting room where the little guy put a magazine over his head and fell asleep until I came out.

We have deliberately not focused on the pregnancy. After all, there will be enough time to experience the reality after the baby is born. Even though we haven't been pushing the issue, every once in awhile Robby says something that lets me know that he is still processing the news. The other morning he came running into the kitchen to encourage me to buy Pampers for the baby because they have "four layers of protection which will help the kid sleep through the night." I thanked him for the tip and asked him to keep an eye out for other products which might help when the baby is born.  Although he doesn't delight in the prospect of having a sibling, shopping for one allows him to embrace his commercial loving side.

I did speak with his teacher about Robby's reaction to the pregnancy. She reassured me that he would be fine but also promised to facilitate a conversation if the opportunity arose. Since so many of Robby's classmates are welcoming babies into their homes, the opportunity didn't take long to develop!

The next day his teacher met me at the door, wearing a whimsical smile which I have come to learn signaled another Robby adventure or story. She informed me that Robby spoke with her about the baby. This is her recount of the story:

"My Momom is having a baby because she is pregnant. I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure that my Momom is pregnant because my Dad didn't keep his privates to himself. I am going to tell Grandma that my Dad didn't keep his privates to himself. She really isn't going to like hearing this!" 

Yet again, I was rendered speechless after I heard the story. All I could do was smile and nod as I envisioned the conversation that Robby was planning to have with his Grandma. I'm not sure if it shows acceptance of the pregnancy, but it certainly indicates who he is blaming for this change!

*** Day 5. Watching Robby complete his BrainPop homework without a fuss.**

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Another Proud Moment in Motherhood

Getting Robby to school on time is my number one priority each morning. To my frustration (and it turns out my embarrassment) I failed miserably in my objective, and Robby was 15 minutes late for school. Yesterday morning was not my finest hour as a mother.

The morning started out completely normal. Other than Robby continually lamenting the fact that the two-hour delay he had hoped for never materialized, the routine was uneventful. He was dressed, teeth and hair were brushed and his lunch was made without a hitch. Per our routine, we grabbed our coats and headed to the car.

Our front door has a significant draft and we had it blocked to keep the cold air outside. I didn't want to disturb the draft buster and let the frigid temperatures invade our already chilly home, so we opted to use the downstairs slider. It turns out that this seemingly logical decision would have repercussions that impacted the rest of my morning.

I proceeded down the second flight of stairs as I devised a mental list of everything I needed to accomplish throughout the day. After ordering "Dave the ghost" to leave the room, something which I now do out of habit, Robby finally came bouncing down the stairs.  I must say, he was surprisingly happy about going to school despite his vocal disappointment about having an on-time start. We turned the corner and I reached for the handle to the door. My good morning vibe immediately changed.

About 8 inches from my foot I saw a large dead mouse. In the moment I could have sworn it was the world's largest rodent, but in actuality it was probably only 3 inches long. I wish I could say that my I swiftly cleaned up the carcass and we continued to school without missing a beat. Intellectually I know that the mouse could not harm me. After all, the little creature had already met the our feline assassin and logically posed no threat.

Unfortunately, I was startled by the discovery.  As I've come to realize, my response to being scared is anything but heroic. I screamed loudly, froze my position and regrettably release my bladder. Yes, I screamed like a little girl and peed my pants when I saw a dead mouse.

Robby was much braver than me, taking the rodent discovery in stride. He reaped praise on Charlie for making the kill and watched SpongeBob while I took a shower and changed my clothes.  We were late for school because of my urine malfunction.  I suppose I could have been vague in his excuse, but I figured that he was probably going to tell everybody that he was late because his Momom peed her pants, so I figured I would just own the incident.  With as much dignity as I could feign, I handed over the following note:  "Please excuse Robby's tardiness this morning. I saw a mouse, peed my pants and had to take a shower."  The Principal laughed when she read the note and instructed Robby to go to his classroom.  She was still smiling (and I am fairly certain I heard her giggle) when I picked him up later that afternoon.

**Happy moment #4- Scooter driving in single digit temperatures because I was craving an ice cream cake.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Polar Air

I must give props to my amputee friends living in cold weather climates. After experiencing the 0 degree true temperatures yesterday, I am in awe of their abilities to live happy and productive lives. Much of my day was spent cuddled up under a blanket in front of the fire place insert trying to purge the chill from my bones.

It required a Herculean effort to crawl out of my warm bed yesterday morning. Robby was already awake and asking for the fire to be lit, so I grabbed my liner and immediately retreated back under the covers. It was freezing cold! I suppose I played my pregnant amputee card, but I shooed Scott out of bed to start the fire. I tucked the liner under the electric blanket where it could warm under the covers.

I ventured outside once yesterday for a visit to my prosthetist.  Had I not been scheduled to start building my new pregnancy leg, I probably would have cancelled and continued to hibernate. Alas, the motivation to achieve prosthetic comfort outweighed my desire to stay warm. One step into the arctic air immediately made me reconsider my decision. 

Although I tried to minimize the exposure, taking the trash to the end of the driveway and walking to my car was evidently enough time for an intense cramp to develop in my limb. The cold wicked up the pylon transporting the frigid temperatures directly to the bottom of my socket. I cranked up the heat in my car, but it was to little avail. By the time I arrived at my prosthetist's office, the bottom of my limb was a brilliant shade of reddish purple from the extreme cold.

Thankfully it did not take long for my limb to warm up and to return to a normal flesh tone, but the experience reminded me of the importance of always being prepared. I had donned my heavy coat, gloves, hat and scarf for the trip outside, but I failed to make any weather accommodations for my prosthesis. Hindsight is 20/20, but I should have gone to the effort of throwing a hand warmer in the bottom of my socket before stepping outside.  I have no doubt that a little preparation would have saved me a lot of discomfort. Granted, I tend to have more intense reactions to cold than many of my amputee friends. That being acknowledged, this extreme cold has me miserable!

** Day 3.  Happiness is having your son make dinner on his "stay home from school becaus

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Martian Air

So much for getting back into the swing of a schedule. Both Scott and Robby will be home again today although this time it is due to temperature instead of precipitation.  The news of the cancellation came before either had completed their first day back. Needless to say, I had two extremely happy boys last night!

Robby is utterly obsessed with the cold temperatures. Together we have been researching exposure times before frostbite sets in (approximately 6 minutes in the expected temperatures) as well as drawing comparisons to experiences to which he can relate. (I always log onto my Hotspot VPN before doing any internet searches. Not only do I want to protect my own search records, but I feel that it is important to model internet safety for my son.) One fascinating frigid tidbit is that it is colder outside than it is inside our freezer. My little budding scientist is particularly impressed with the fact that the temperatures in Virginia today are expected to be colder than those experienced on Mars. He has concluded that they have better coats on Mars so their students probably still have school.

While Robby and Scott play XBox, watch cartoons and (hopefully) keep the fire insert cranking, I will be braving the temperatures and visiting my prosthetist. I have an appointment to get casted for my pregnancy leg. Although I don't relish the idea of venturing into the cool Martian air, starting the process for my leg makes it worthwhile.

I actually haven't gained weight during this pregnancy (apparently I had enough to spare so the doctors aren't concerned about the baby's growth), the shape of my limb has significantly changed. My current legs are difficult and painful to don often taking me up to 15 minutes to obtain suction and a fit I can tolerate. As I go through the day, it becomes more bearable, but I haven't been comfortable for several weeks. I'm looking forward to not cramping, pinching and feeling like a squeezed sausage when I wear my prosthesis. 

My OB seemed taken aback when I asked for a prescription for my new leg, but she was the logical physician to write the order. My swelling has been well-documented in the records and, should my insurance company balk at the request, I am confident that we have covered our bases. Although I am confident we would win an appeal, I am hoping that I won't have to fight this battle! Of course, I am hormonal and that does tend to intensify my inner warrior.

** Day 2 in my #100happydays challenge.  Hockey season started last night!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Man Vacuum

To my delight (and shock) the Christmas decorations were taken down and stowed by Friday afternoon. I find it astounding how much roomier our living room feels without the ginormous tree, assorted decorations and large snowman countdown to Christmas calendar. I am making a concerted effort to enjoy the space because I know it will quickly be occupied with plastic army men, tanks, Legos and Robby's new favorite obsession- dominos. 

Packing up all of our festive decor only took a fraction of the time that it usually takes me because I had two eager helpers. Robby wanted to undress the tree, carefully placing the ornaments into various boxes based upon an organization system that only he understands. Scott just acquired a new toy, a large wet/dry vacuum, and he was chomping at the bit to put the machine through its paces. If I had known that I only needed colorful boxes and an imposingly large vacuum to get the boys motivated, I would have made the purchases years ago!

Working together, all remnants of holiday (with the exception of the new toys) were stowed back in the garage. Easily winded (primarily because of my frustrating thyroid issues) I sat down to rest for a few minutes. I was shocked as I watched Scott continue to clean. Enthralled by what Robby refers to as the "man vacuum," my husband spent the next two hours detailing the living room and kitchen. To my amazement, I was witnessing the first miracle of 2014! 

While I quietly observed, afraid to make a sound for fear of stopping his progress, Scott put every extension through its paces. Robby helped, moving chairs and cheering his Daddy as the two made full use of the new man vacuum. 

When the vacuum was finally turned off, Scott walked me through to evaluate the results. He sounded like a QVC pitchman touting the features of his new vacuum. Duly impressed, probably more so at his new found enthusiasm for cleaning than the actual results, I encouraged him to store the vacuum in the corner of the living room. I'm hoping that if it is easy to retrieve, he will be able to quickly rediscover the adrenaline rush he received from feeling the "power of the suction." At this point I don't really care that there is a wet/dry vacuum in the corner because the benefits, should I be lucky enough, far outweigh the space it takes up.

 **On a completely separate note, I've joined the 100 Happy Day challenge.  For the next 100 days I will tweet a photo of something which brought me happiness. (I thought I would also include the image in the blog as well.)  If you are on twitter, feel free to follow me @amputeemommy.

 Lately I feel as if I have been drowning in the negativity of others, I thought it would be fun to purposely focus on the positive. Here is my happy memory from yesterday. ***