- 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, October 17, 2014
I have come to dread October, a month which I previously adored. From the weather to Halloween fun, October has so much to offer. For the past few years, the leaves aren't the only thing popping with color. The season has become tainted with what has become an over-saturation of the pink ribbon.
Please don't get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of those with breast cancer. I have had the disease touch my family, and I know how it can turn lives upside down. I've participated in fundraisers for breast cancer and have supported numerous friends through their battle. It can be horrific, but it is no more devastating than many other diseases that kill and maim.
I've supported friends and family by flooding them with silly letters to provide a distraction from the ravages of chemotherapy and radiation. I've cooked countless meals for families whose mother was too ill to get out of bed. I've driven friends to chemo and have held their hands as we both cried through their treatments. Not once did any of my friends care if I was wearing the pretty pink ribbon. They only needed me to care.
What has started out as a symbol of support has been consumed by commercialism. Walking through Wal-Mart in October, the casual shopper is inundated with a variety of products sporting the pretty ribbon design. A few companies make a donation to a charity for every pink ribbon item purchased. Most do not and are simply slapping the symbol on the product in order to increase sales. Sadly, the breast cancer movement has been hijacked in order to increase profits.
In addition to the commercial use of a support symbol, I find myself increasingly annoyed with the pervasive television coverage of this particular strain of cancer. While I appreciate the "check your breast" message, there are a myriad of other cancers and diseases that are just as deadly. I wish that the dialog could be extended to global cancer research.
at 6:17 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Robby idolizes Mr. Bill. The two have managed to forge a relationship which is both special and unique. Transcending the typical neighbor relationship, Mr. Bill has become something of a mentor for Robby. He has taught him useful skills that, quite honestly, we lack both the knowledge and tools to impart. From building fences and laying sod to suggestions on how to deal with bullies, Mr. Bill has spent countless hours patiently teaching his little apprentice.
I've come to realize that Mr. Bill is reaping as much from the relationship as Robby. Teaching Robby has provided him with a purpose which he admits has been lacking since he retired. I know that he looks forward to seeing his "little buddy" in the afternoons, and Robby is still excited to tell him about his school day. There have been several times when Robby has confided worries and problems to his trusted friend before talking with us.
Lately I've noticed a change in Mr. Bill, and I have become worried. His cat of 18 years recently passed away. With the pain of losing Sophie still strong, I can certainly relate to his grief. Robby has also picked up on the mood shift and has been doing his best to buoy his friend's spirits.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by SimplyBridal about a collaboration. I wasn't certain how we could become mutually beneficial, but looking through their catalog I discovered numerous items which were not necessarily wedding oriented. I immediately knew that the 7-in1 multi-tool would become a treasure for my little Koopa. I was planning on saving it for Christmas, but with the recent shift in Mr. Bill's demeanor, I thought that he could also benefit from my giving it to Robby early.
As predicted, Robby was delighted with his "way cool man tool." Impressed with both the weight (it certainly feels sturdy and substantial) and the variety of tools, he practically sprinted across the yard to show Mr. Bill his new treasure. A stickler for quality and extremely particular about his tools, the multi-tool was granted the Mr. Bill seal of approval. He was particularly taken by the clever design and variety of features offered by a pocket tool. I'm thinking that I may have stumbled upon a Christmas gift idea for the neighbor who has everything!
Robby is delighted with his gift, but Mr. Bill seems equally as happy teaching him how to use all of the tools. From the hammer to the screwdrivers, the pair have painstakingly examined, tried and talked about every feature. In a special way, the present I gave to Robby has also been a gift for Mr. Bill. I know that we can't take away his grief over his little kitty, but I'm sure that the distraction has gone a long way towards healing his grief.
at 6:35 AM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The event that we have been hoping for about since April finally occurred. After nearly 5 months of interrupted sleep, Timmy finally gave us a most appreciated gift. On Monday night, he finally slept through the entire night!
Perhaps only a sleep deprived parent can fully appreciate this milestone. After all, I find his sleeping so monumental that I am bragging about it in this blog! Other than visiting with my Mom or recovering from surgery, I haven't slept through the night since he was born. I was beginning to believe that a solid REM sleep was a thing of my past, but Timmy's gift has given me hope.
Okay, in full disclosure, even though he provided me with the opportunity, I wasn't able to sleep through the night. I woke up at 3:00 in a panic because he hadn't cried for his bottle. I threw on my leg (literally because the foot was sideways) and vaulted down the hallway into his room. I lost suction halfway into his bedroom, forcing me to stumble and grab onto the side of his crib for support. He was soundly sleeping.
Relieved that he was okay and thrilled that he was still asleep, I went back to bed. I fell asleep until 4:30, at which point I began to fret that something was wrong. My attempts at employing logic and talking myself down failed. I ended up running back into his bedroom, checking on him to make sure that he was okay. On the way into his bedroom I stepped on the cat (Charlie has yet to learn that it is dangerous to weave between my legs when I'm walking). Charlie began to shriek and ran directly into the Jumperoo, starting the series of bubble pop songs and flashing lights.
Timmy has been known to wake up when I sneeze two rooms away, yet the music and light show didn't wake him up. I think that my littlest guy is turning the corner when it comes to sleeping. He has been steadily sleeping for longer periods at night to the point where he finally slept the entire time. I am beginning to see the light at the end of my sleep deprived tunnel. Now if I could only convince him to appreciate the wonders of napping.
at 5:52 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Yesterday was busy! I woke up at 4 in order to tackle some reports before Timmy woke up. I've come to accept that anything mentally challenging needs to be conquered in the pre-dawn hours while the house is quiet. I'm not a morning person, but I am beginning to appreciate the solitude that waking up early affords me.
After making breakfast, doing some dishes and convincing Robby that he did indeed have to go to school, I was ready for a nap. Unfortunately Timmy did not hold the same idea. He was fussy and the only way I could keep him satisfied was to wear him on my chest. Standing at the kitchen counter, wearing an infant, is exhausting!
By the time I picked up Robby from school, Timmy had melted into a little smelly bundle of discontent. He valiantly fought napping all day and was simply miserable. I made Robby a snack and a bottle for Timmy before settling into the rocking chair in our bedroom. I knew that he wouldn't nap long, but I was hoping that he would sleep long enough for me to make dinner.
My little guy was hungry! He sucked down five ounces before falling sound asleep. His little arms flopped to his side and his mouth was gaping open. (He is so adorable when he is so sound asleep.) Breathing a sigh of relief, I was getting ready to stand up and put him in his crib when my plans were turned upside down.
I happened to glance up at the ceiling and immediately recognized the slithering form lying on the plastic sheeting (we really need to get that hole in the ceiling fixed). I shrieked and jumped out of the rocker, startling Timmy awake. Let me tell you, he did not appreciate being woken up from such a deep sleep in such a dramatic fashion. He started screaming while I simultaneously began to cry. I really hate snakes!
True to Murphy's Law, Scott had to work late and wasn't home. I saw the tail begin to shake and move, confirming my fears that he was alive. Continuing our streak of luck, he seemed to be lodged underneath the glue trap. Had he been on top of the trap I would not have been nearly as panicked. Uncertain that the snake would stay put and alone with an eight year old and an infant, I knew that I had no option but to tackle my snake phobia again.
By this time Timmy was wailing. I put him in his crib, turned on his fishy mobile and shut the door. Although he wasn't happy, I knew that he would be safe. I put on a pair of gloves, grabbed a trash bag and my makeshift spear (a steak knife duct taped to the bottom of a crutch) and tried to channel my inner warrior. Robby stood on our bed, excitedly watching me on from a safe distance.
I'm not ashamed that he witnessed me crying, because he also saw me step up and conquer a fear. I managed to climb up on the counter top, reach into the ceiling and grab the snake. Thankfully his head was stuck to the glue trap so his options for escape for nonexistent.
Robby cheered me as I threw the snake into the woods, bragging that we "schooled that slithering b@stard." I should have utilized the teachable moment to address his language, but at that point I was so relieved that the snake was out of the house that I opted to high five him instead. Robby played with Timmy while I put up new plastic sheeting. Scott pulled into the driveway as soon as the commotion settled down.
I have decided to ask Santa for extra long snake tongs this year.
at 3:50 AM
Monday, October 13, 2014
I love my little Timmy with all my heart. He is definitely a baby of extremes. He is either wearing a huge gummy smile and giggling or he is red faced and screaming in a colic induced rage. Whereas Robby was an intent and studious baby, Timmy seems to be more on the goofy and jovial side. I am enjoying watching his personality develop, and continue to be amazed by how alike and different he is becoming from his big brother.
Robby never suffered from reflux, a blessing which I only now appreciate. Timmy continues to projectile vomit without notice, coating everything with sour milk. I venture to say that, other than when I was recovering from my surgeries, a day has not passed where I have not been thoroughly doused with vomit since he was born. While I know that it is more unpleasant for him than for us, I have to say that it is an absolutely disgusting issue.
I have gotten into the habit of changing my clothes after I strap him into his car seat in an effort to spare my shirts. Sometimes the plan works. Unfortunately, sometimes he manages to spout like a dolphin, covering me anyway. It was a little embarrassing when Elliot changed my my leg only to discover that the spectra sock was covered with rancid formula chunks. No wonder I couldn't escape the smell!
Although I don't enjoy being coated in smelly, chunky regurgitated baby formula, Scott borders on repulsed. He is not handling a reflux baby gracefully, and instinctively announces each episode with the same disgust as the first. Whereas I can simply wipe off the vomit without much pause, Scott is not nearly as easy going when it comes to wearing formula. He has managed to spin each episode into a little production.
Sitting in the living room, it is easy to determine when Timmy has experienced a reflux episode with his Daddy. The calm of the house is immediately interrupted by Scooter shrieking, "Oh no! Oh no! Oh my God, it is all over me. Peg, he spit up all over me. Oh no, he isn't finished. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Peg-GY, he covered me. You have to take him. Hurry, it's warm." Apparently I'm the most adept at wiping up vomit?
From our bodies, clothes and hair to the floor, casseroles and cat, nothing has been spared from the little regurgitator. The reflux medication seems to have little impact, although I haven't stopped giving it to him so perhaps it is sparing us from a far more prolific fate. I'm promised that he will outgrow this stage, but adjusting the timeline for his prematurity has us covered in goop for at least another three months. It is a good thing that he is cute and smiles a lot because the constant vomiting is certainly not his most appealing attribute.
at 7:38 AM