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, May 23, 2014

Country Club

This school year has flown by so quickly that it is hard to fathom that Memorial Day weekend is upon us! I am looking forward to warm summer days at the pool, cool evenings by the fire pit ,and lots of ice cream. After the harsh winter, the sun will feel especially invigorating.

With Memorial Day comes the beginning of summer traditions, and in this house that means getting ready for the pool. While I still would love to have a pool of our own, I am saddened to think that this dream is just not realistic. We still have a large, and relatively useless, pool platform in the middle of our backyard from our last construction attempt. Sometimes I toy with the idea of reinforcing it and trying to put up another pool, but then I remember the heartbreak of  watching the water gush down the hill, and I put the notion out of my mind.  Since we will never own a pool of our own, we are avid users of our pool memberships.

Last year we belonged to the county pool and I venture to guess that we were there at least 5 times a week. We thoroughly enjoyed the facilities, but there were definite drawbacks.  The pool was about 30 minutes from our house, so we never just popped in for a short dip. Because it was a community pool, the afternoons were congested with area camps and assorted day care programs. I don't know about the men's room, but the ladies facilities were disgusting. I habitually held my breath, kept my head down to dodge the assorted used feminine products strewn on the floor, and walked as quickly through the changing area as possible. Although the pool was nice, the walk through the ladies changing area was downright nasty.

A few months ago I noticed a sign at the intersection a mile from our home advertising public pool membership at the Country Club. On a lark I sent an email inquiring about prices. I never imagined that it would be affordable, but I thought that it would be humorous to find out what the upper crust pay to swim in this area. I was shocked when I received the price sheet and discovered that it was on par with the community pool fee. Immediately I was intrigued and accepted the invitation for the Open House.

We tried to prep Robby before venturing into the Country Club, warning him that he had to use his "fancy" manners. Although he tried, his true personality came shining through. He complimented the manager on her choice of stemware, remarking that they were fancy glass but offering that "me and my dad like to drink out of plastic." He observed that all of the light bulbs on the chandelier worked before announcing that we can't use our dining room light because the switch throws sparks. He praised the refreshments but suggested that they look into including Pizza Rolls next time because they are "super yummy and you can eat them with a toothpick." 

Thanks to Robby's "fancy manners," we ended up looking like the Clampetts from the Beverly Hillbillies.  Despite feeling out of our element, Scott and I both recognized the benefits of joining. This pool is only 5 minutes from our house making it easier to fit swimming into Timmy's newborn schedule. Because it is a private club, there are no day campers, and the disgusting changing area would be a distant memory. Not overly optimistic, but hopeful that our application would be accepted, we filled out the appropriate membership paperwork.

A few days ago a packet arrived in the mail welcoming us to the Country Club. I am so excited that we are going to belong to a pool so close to our house. While I'm still not sure that we're going to fit in with the typical clientele, I know that we are going to have a blast.  Watch out Country Club, we're coming!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Stranded in a Tree

A few months ago a new student was welcomed in Robby's classroom. Initially my little guy was excited about the prospect of a new friend. Unfortunately, this child has not been amicable to forming friendships with his classmates and has developed a reputation of being a bit of a bully. This child, let's call him Chris to protect his identity, has a propensity for pinching and punching when he does not get his way. Robby had several run-ins with Chris, resulting in his coming home covered with pinch marks.  A conference with the Principal and his teacher stopped the aggression towards Robby, but I only assume that the other students are not faring as well.  

After my conference to discuss the pinching, Scott and I brainstormed with Robby ways to deal with the situation should it arise again. We came up with several ideas, none of which involved physical retaliation. Although I don't mind Robby defending himself, we would prefer that he always use force as a last resort. The past few weeks have been calm, so we have assumed that the bullying was behind us.  

Yesterday afternoon Robby met me at his classroom door with a mischievous smile. When I asked him about his day, he proudly informed me that he had taught Chris how to climb a tree. I was intrigued because I didn't know that he had resumed a friendship with the child. I began to ask some probing questions, hoping to get more information.

I was disappointed to learn that Chris's bullying mentality had not waned. He was continuing to pinch other classmates but, according to Robby, had only become sneakier so that he doesn't get caught. Robby also revealed that Chris has taken to taunting and laughing at other classmates, mocking perceived flaws and just being mean. Although he denied being pinched recently, I suspect that Robby has been the recipient on a few occasions.  After listening to Robby complain about Chris, I asked him why he taught him to climb the tree. It seemed odd and out of character for him to socialize with a child who is picking on others. 

His smile broadened and he coyly responded,  "Well, Momom. I do have to tell you something. I taught him how to climb really high, but I didn't show him how to get down. You should have seen him wailing and screaming up there. Miss Abeer had to get Mr. Jordan to get him down. You know what Momom? I don't think he is going to make fun of my friends anymore because we saw him stuck in a tree."  

I should have known that Robby would figure out a way to school a bully in a non-violent way. Instead of battling with words or fists, my little Koopa devised a better method.  He tricked the bully into becoming stranded in a tree.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Timmy has been with us for a month, yet in many ways I feel like the adjustment process is just beginning. During the first weeks our family was operating in triage mode, just trying to get through each moment. Life with a newborn is an exercise in exhaustion, yet Timmy has managed to take this stress to new levels with his intense prescribed feeding and positioning schedule. With him starting to put on weight, we are slowly starting to relax and try to figure out life as a family of four.

Robby's attitudes towards his little brother vacillate between adoration and annoyance. Moments of affection, like when Robby is helping to feed Timmy his bottle or reading him books, warm my heart. It is during these times that I proud of my little Koopa's adjustment and feel optimistic that the brotherly bond will grow and strengthen.

Robby bestowed his little brother with a nickname, playfully calling him Hamlet . I'm not sure how he decided upon Hamlet, but I am fairly confident it has more to do with his affinity for bacon instead of Shakespeare. Although I'm not thrilled with the choice, I figure that out of everything Robby could be calling his little brother, Hamlet is fairly benign. Besides, I have to admit that the name is beginning to stick and I find myself calling the little one Hamlet.

Unfortunately the loving gestures are often short lived and are totally dependent upon Robby's mood.  The pleas to put the "annoying wailing baby on Craigslist" quickly put a damper on my feel good family moment.  I  patiently explained that Hamlet was here to stay and that we will not be putting him up for sale.  Robby scoffed and said, "Yeah, we probably wouldn't get much money for him anyway. All he does is wahh and poop."

While watching a kid-man show on the Discovery channel a commercial aired for Big Brothers/ Big Sisters. Robby's ears perked up, and he watched the commercial with an intensity that is typically reserved for turtle documentaries.  After the commercial was over, he glared at me with a scowl that could cut through ice. "Momom, we should have done that if you wanted me to be a big brother so bad. We could do it for just two hours a week, and we aren't stuck with the kid. You really messed up by not calling that number first!" He then stormed outside, refusing to come in for several hours.

Obviously, the novelty of having a little brother has worn thing. I know that jealousy is a normal emotion, but it is hard to watch your child struggling to adapt. We have tried to help him adjust, constantly reminding him that he is loved and trying to be patient with his pouting spells. I wish I knew how to help him, but I know that he just needs time.  In the meantime, I think we are in for a rocky summer of adjustment. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Birthday Recap

Yesterday was the first day of my 40's, and although I expected the worst I was pleasantly surprised. The day was not nearly as traumatic as I had anticipated. While I'm still not thrilled about the new number, I was overwhelmed with loving and supportive emails, phone calls and cards. It is impossible to wallow when surrounded by supportive friends and family.

Although Timmy was totally unphased by the festivities, Robby is at an age where he thoroughly embraces every aspect of celebrations. He woke up and smothered me with exactly 40 kisses. (It took him awhile, but it was well worth the wait!) He then treated me to breakfast by making me an Eggo waffle and a glass of water.  By the time he was ready for school he had probably wished me a Happy Birthday at least a dozen times.

Robby's birthday enthusiasm was not limited to home. As soon as he walked into his classroom he informed his teacher, the principal and all of his classmates that it was my birthday. He then offered up my age, prefacing it by declaring that I'm still "not as old as Mr. Bill, but getting pretty darn close." His friends, whose parents were probably in their 20's, were dumbfounded by the fact that I am 40. Several of the girls remarked that I'm almost as old as their grammies. I was going to take issue with the comparison, but I ended up just smiling and saying thank you.

Although I wasn't delighted by being referenced as a "grammy," I decided to stop making myself miserable by hyper focusing on the number. Taking care of Timmy yesterday morning, I realized it is impossible to feel old and decrepit when holding a sweet newborn on your chest.

I have to remain vibrant and energetic simply because my boys deserve an engaged and active mom. I have decided to completely disregard the dreaded number. I just don't have time in my schedule for being middle age!

My mom came down to spend the day and night, allowing me to sleep through the night. After not sleeping for several days, being able to rest for more than a few minutes at a time feels like a true luxury. Scott bought me a beautiful Mother's ring, featuring Robby's and Timmy's birthstones. Although I still hate the number, I had a wonderful birthday.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Big 4-0!

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I turn the big 4-0.  I don't feel 40, nor do I quite know how I became this old. It feels like just a few years ago I was turning 10 and happily skating with my friends at my rollerskating birthday party. There is no more denying it; I'm officially middle age. I'm surprised that today I don't feel good or bad about changing decades. Instead, it just feels surreal.

I'm tried to prepare for this birthday with dignity and grace, but I don't think that I succeeded. Instead of holding my head high, I wanted to hide under the covers and self-medicate with cupcakes. Of course taking that route would have only result in my being 40 and plump(er), which would anger me even more than being middle age!

On this the first morning of my new mature age, I've decided to act like an adult. Instead of mourning time lost and living in fear of growing old, I'm going to strive to embrace the present. I may be 40, but I still have a lot of life left. I don't feel like I'm 40, so I have no intention of acting that way!

The past 40 years were filled with twists, detours and adventures that I never envisioned. Despite everything that was thrown my way, I have adapted and tried to live my best life. I know that the next 40 years will offer as many changes and adventures. Instead of looking backwards, I'm trying to look forward to the journey that lies ahead.

Of course, remaining stoic and optimistic when slapped in the face with being middle age is easier said than done. I'm sure that my emotions will waft and wane throughout the day. I want to be happy and jovial, but then reality sets in and I am reminded of my age.  While I realize that 40 is just a number, I feel compelled to point out that it is a considerably larger number than 30.

Holding Timmy on my chest as I try to write this blog, I am also reminded that my 40's are going to be a decade full of wonderful joys and adventures. I am now the Mom of two precious little boys. I am so lucky to be able to watch them both learn and grow. In many ways, my 40's have the potential of being my happiest years yet.
But I still hate the number!  Screw it-  I'll just lie and tell everybody I'm 39. I should be able to pull that off for a few years, right?