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 24, 2014

Back to School!!

After a weekend, a scheduled holiday, and three snow/cold days, both boys are finally returning to school today. Even though it is only for one day, I welcome the reprieve and return to my schedule. I've enjoyed having them home, and although snow days do offer a special kind of fun, it is safe to say that we all have been growing antsy.  Robby didn't moan at all yesterday when we told him that he would have school today. He simply smiled and said, "That's okay. I miss my friends." (The fact that he doesn't hate school this year is such a relief!)

With the boys both at their respective schools, I'll be able to do something that I haven't done in nearly a week. I'll be able to sit in my chair, work quietly and actually finish my projects without interruptions. I suspect that it won't take me nearly as long to tie up the loose ends with a quiet house.  I'm looking forward to actually crossing things off my to do list and hope to create a clean slate by the end of the day. 

We don't have any great plans for the weekend, but I suspect that I'm going to have to come up with something to do. We've spent too many days at home with only each other for company. If I don't provide some sort of activity or structure, I predict that we will all be irritable and scrapping by Sunday afternoon. 

Unfortunately, the temperatures are forecast to be frigid over the next few days. I don't know if it is the pregnancy or my age, but I am not tolerating the subfreezing temperatures well. It feels like it takes me hours to get rid of the chill which develops after spending just a few moments outside.  Obviously, any weekend activities will have to occur indoors. Anybody have any ideas?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Walmart Miracle

For years Robby's favorite movie has been Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I initially thought that his affinity for the film was due to the fact that it was one of the first ones he saw in a theater. However, after watching it at least 50 times with him, I have come to the conclusion that the movie just suits his comic ideals.

Recently Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has been bumped from his premiere position. What could replace such a stellar animated experience?  Of course it could be none other than Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

After seeing the movie in 3D on the day it premiered, Robby has been chomping at the bit to own a copy of what he is convinced will become cinematic history. We have had January 28th, the DVD release date, circled on our calendar since November. With the big day approaching, Robby has been planning our movie night party complete with popcorn, meatballs (of course), cookies, cupcakes and pizza rolls. Obviously, he fully embraced the glutenous theme of the movie!

Yesterday afternoon in an attempt to relieve my growing cabin fever, we bundled up and went to Walmart. We were looking for sidewalk salt which turned out to be Mission Impossible. The clerks actually chuckled when we asked where it was located in the store. We opted instead just to stroll through the aisles. After being holed up for a few days, it was nice to see civilization again!

Although we didn't find the sidewalk salt, the trip was not a complete waste of time. As we turned down the cookie aisle, Robby and I both spotted the display at the same time.  He took off running, grabbed the box and started to squeal with excitement: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which was not scheduled for DVD release for another week, had been put out early. Clutching the DVD and grinning from ear to ear, we proceeded to pick up the supplies for our viewing party. The entire drive home Robby chattered about the "Walmart Miracle" that we experienced by finding the movie before the release date.

Robby spent the afternoon playing in the snow with his friend. I spent the time preparing the rather unhealthy, but fun and theme-oriented, dinner. By the time the sun was going down. We stripped off his snow clothes, put on his pajamas which had been warmed by the fire, and settled in for the movie party.  Although in my view the film left much to be desired, hearing him giggle for two hours straight made it one of the best movie experiences ever!

And for the second miracle of the day, school was cancelled again!  Enjoy the traditional "No School Happy Dance."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cozy and Content

Although Scott had it broadcast on every television in our home, I didn't need the Weather Channel to tell me that we were expecting a snow storm. Last night my leg was jitterbug kicking and stinging so much that I could have auditioned to be an Irish Dancer. The meteorologists occasionally have it wrong, but my leg rarely lies. When we woke up yesterday morning, schools were closed and the flakes were beginning to fall.

By the time Robby and Scott rolled out of bed, the yard was blanketed in white fluffy snow. Both boys were smiling as if it were Christmas morning when they realized that school had been cancelled. Robby began to play XBox while Scott turned on the Weather Channel (again) to carefully monitor the storm. 

Personally, I don't understand the fascination with watching the constantly streaming and rarely changing weather forecast. However, I have come to accept that this is Scott's inclement weather ritual. I suspect it has something to do either with age or gender, but I doubt that I will ever find myself glued to the slowly morphing radar.

By lunchtime the wood stove was roaring, keeping the house toasty warm. I had banana bread baking in the oven and a crock pot full of chili simmering on the counter. My house smelled heavenly.

Robby and Rowan spent the afternoon playing in the snow. From the comfort of my rocker, I watched them sled, throw snowballs, and make snow angels. This is the first year that Robby has not begged me to be his snow buddy. Although part of me is sad that he no longer needs me to go sledding, I am also relieved. I'm sure that my snow pants would not accommodate the baby bump, and the prospect of being cold and wet is not nearly as appealing. I have decided to enjoy the snow play respite because I'm sure in another two years I'll find myself outside playing and sledding with little baby C. 

When the friends finally ventured inside, they resembled snowmen with the exception of their bright red cheeks. Scott and I stripped off their snow clothes and placed them on the drying rack strategically placed in front of the fire. They sat next to the fire while I made hot cocoa and peanut butter cookies to help warm them up.  Robby took a big bite of his peanut butter cookie, smiled and said that it was "good to be a kid." I have to say, it's pretty good to be a Mom as well!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ready to Fight!

Last week I felt as if I had been kicked in the teeth. Between fighting with Robby's former school over a nonsensical bill and dealing with horrifically insulting denials from my insurance adjustor, I was at a low point. Just when things were looking dim, I was offered a beacon of hope and reminded that not everybody is despicable. 

Elliot, my prosthetist, called me on Friday morning. I was expecting the conversation to revolve around work or the latest rhetoric concerning my denial. Instead, he asked me to come into the office. "I don't want you to be in pain or to have your safety in jeopardy because Elsie (he used her real name) has her head up her a$$.  I went ahead and built you a new socket. Let's get you comfortable and safe. We'll deal with the appeal and reimbursement later." 

The new socket has made the world of difference. Instantly my normal gait was restored, and the painful steps were gone. Because I was no longer hurting, I felt more energized and normal. It is amazing how an ill-fitting socket can wreak just havoc on every aspect of my life.

I woke up Friday morning feeling despondent and frustrated with life. Two hours later I was in Elliot's office, being fitted with the comfortable leg I thought was far outside my reach. I know that I am still facing a war with Elsie, but at least I won't be suffering during our battle! She, on the other hand, had better watch out.  I'm fighting her denial and her abuse of power with every weapon in my arsenal. I have been dealing with her dictatorship-like power for nearly 15 years. I refuse to be victimized by her for any longer. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Trash or Treasure...

I woke up yesterday morning knowing that it was going to be a long morning. I had promised to help my friend pack up her apartment for her move into an assisted living facility. Although I enjoy spending time with my friend Bonnie, helping her pack was something which I have been dreading all week.  In addition to living with a traumatic brain injury which makes making decisions and remembering difficult, she is also a hoarder. 

I knew that her apartment was full, but I had no idea the scope of the issue until I grabbed some boxes and opened the first closet door. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that was crammed, stacked and piled into every available space. I know that since her accident she struggles with remaining on task and being organized. I honestly don't know how she has been able to function in the catastrophic clutter hiding behind her doors.

I spent several hours packing boxes, cleaning out closets and helping her sort items into piles for donation and trash. We would have been able to make more headway in the apartment had much of our time not been spent quarreling between the virtues of what I consider to be garbage. From a collection of plastic bags which would keep 7-11 stocked for at least a year to old bottles, jars and cans, she vied to keep it all. We definitely butted heads over her collections on more than one occasion!

Admittedly, the only knowledge I have about hoarding has been acquired by watching TLC. I did research hoarding before I visited her, but was quickly confused by the conflicting information. (I was glad that I remembered to log onto my Hotspot VPN before beginning my search. I shutter to think of what my eclectic search history would look like to an unsavory hacker!)  Knowing that my friend was feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed and at times confused and frightened, I tried to encourage discarding the items as gently as possible. Although I tried to be patient and understanding, I regret to admit that my frustrations were apparent on more than one occasion. It is hard to watch a friend hold onto trash with as much passion as most would treasure gold or heirloom antiques. 

After much back and forth, she finally agreed to throw away the mountain of plastic bags. She looked utterly deflated as we took three trips, with the cart overflowing each time, to the dumpster. The sense of accomplishment that I felt when she threw the bags away was short lived when I realized that she was going to go retrieve the boxes after I left. 

I don't understand hoarding, but I know that my friend desperately needs help. Because of her traumatic brain injury, she simply isn't safe living by herself anymore. We have one month to get her packed up and moved into her new home. I will do whatever it takes to help make this transition easier for her, even if that means quarreling over the attributes of trash. I only hope that next time I can exercise more patience when helping her sort through what she perceives to be treasures.