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, August 14, 2015

Summer of Strep

When Robby walked into the living room yesterday morning at 5:30, I knew that something was wrong. Not only has he developed a propensity for sleeping longer (a trait I wish his brother would mimic) but he was also pale and sweaty. As soon as I saw him I knew that he had caught the strep throat that sent his younger brother to urgent care a few days earlier.

My Summer of Awesome could be renamed the Summer of Strep, because the boys have shared it monthly since school let out.  As soon as one finishes the antibiotics his brother is sick, and this cycle has repeated for months.  This is the third round of antibiotics for both, and since they are taking the "yummy pink medicine" at the same time, I'm hopeful that we will kick it out of our house for good.

In the meantime, I pulled out the sofa bed for Robby and set him up in the living room.  Timmy was intrigued by the bed and spent countless hours exploring underneath. The fact that he didn't realize that the newly discovered "cave" was nothing more than the same living room floor was adorable, and I appreciated the respite the novelty afforded me. 

Last night Robby's fever was so high, and his head was so painful, that Scott had to carry him from the living room to our bed. He started to shake from the fever, which solidified the decision to let him sleep with Scott for the night. He was restless until he vomited, afterwards he fell soundly to sleep. 

I'm hoping that Robby turns the corner and starts to feel better. I hate seeing him so sick! I want my Summer of Awesome back!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mr. Bill Break

I have been thinking about little else than the recent medicare proposals since learning about them several weeks ago. Even during family adventures I find my mind swirling with strategies, contemplating what if scenarios and trying to figure out more ways to bring awareness to the issue. While I am happy to lend my efforts to help spearhead this movement, I find myself increasingly drained because of it. Yesterday afternoon I felt like I was drowning in stress as I tried to manage the non-stop phone calls, interviews and social media posts while trying to manage Robby and Timmy. Standing at my kitchen counter with tears of frustration streaming down my cheeks, I knew that I needed to step away.

I put on Timmy's shoes, told Robby to grab his metal detector and went outside to play with my boys. For the first time in three weeks, I left my phones on the kitchen counter. Aware that I was out of touch for the first time in weeks, I felt liberated as I pushed my boys on their swing set. Every time medicare or prosthetics kept into my mind I made a cognizant effort to push it out, choosing instead to focus on playing and being with my kids. 

Seeing his friend walking down the road, Robby jumped from the swing (something that will always make my heart leap to witness) and went running towards her. The two friends spent the rest of the afternoon panning for gold in the stream and scouring the yard with the metal detector searching for treasures. I was alone with Timmy, who was happy swinging and exploring the yard, proudly showing me every hickory nut and flower that he discovered.

Eventually Timmy made his way over to Mr. Bill's house and quickly began to explore his yard. Mr. Bill quickly joined the youngest explorer, oohing and aahing over each discovery. Mr. Bill patiently walked and spoke to Timmy as they walked around his yard. As I sat on the swing and watched the interaction I couldn't help but feel content and happy. My boys are so lucky to have Mr. Bill in their lives!

I was only away from my phone for two hours, but the respite was exactly what I needed to feel better. I am going to make a point to unplug from the medicare situation on a regular basis. I am a better advocate, and mom, when I have a chance to walk away and regroup. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Timmy the Terrible

Timmy has resumed his 4 AM wake up schedule despite every effort to encourage him to sleep a tad longer. I don't know why he is such an early riser, neither Scott nor I are particularly fond of waking up early. I keep telling myself that this is a stage, and that he will soon be a good sleeper like his brother. In the meantime, I fill the wee hours of the morning envisioning a plethora of creative ways that I am going to rouse him out of bed when he is a teenager. Right now, just standing outside his room screaming nonstop is rising to the top of the list.

I continue to be astounded by the differences between Robby and Timmy.  Robby was so analytical as a toddler, always studying and examining. Timmy is more hands on, assuming a leap and then look approach to most things. He is constantly climbing and pushing his physical limits whereas Robby has always been cautious. I never really worried about Robby hopping out of his tree house, but I'm pretty sure that someday Timmy is going to tie a towel around his neck and try to fly off the ladder like Superman. 

Robby was kept away from the stairs by a single gate.  Timmy requires a three gate barricade. It now takes us about five minutes to dismantle everything when we want to go downstairs or leave the house.

Thankfully, Timmy has not yet learned to try to disguise his amusement when he is being mischievous. His giggle always gives him away. The louder and more robust his laugh, the more we worry about what he has discovered.  When he is belly laughing, I know that he is either splashing in the cat fountain or an open toilet. 

At only 15 months, I am already seeing glimmers of the Terrible Twos. My little guy has quite a temper, and doesn't hesitate to express his displeasure when he doesn't get his way. He stands still, stomps his feet and screams at the top of his lungs. While I know that he is expressing frustration and I shouldn't laugh, sometimes that is the only option. He is so animated angrily marching in place.

At this age I could easily distract Robby from unfavorable activities. Timmy is determined and refuses to fall for my ploys to distract him. It seems that Robby Rotten has been replaced by Timmy the Terrible, who is louder and more creative than his older counterpart. I think this little guy is going to give me a run for my money!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


After a wonderful week of adventures at my Mom's house,  we returned home. I guess all good things must come to an end, including the opportunities for me to achieve extra sleep. With Hamlet still waking up at 4 AM ready to run and play, sleeping until 7 was an absolute luxury.

While I was sad to leave the comforts of my Mom's house, it was nice to come home. We only have three more weeks left of summer vacation, and we have a lot to do before the boys return to school. It is hard to believe that summer has flown by so quickly!

Lately I have been thinking about my summers as a child. We had a travel camper and moved to campgrounds near the beach during the summer months. During the past few weeks when I am rocking Timmy, my mind has been wandering back to random childhood memories.  

Yesterday I remembered riding my bicycle through the dirt paths around the campground. My memories were so vivid I could almost feel my pigtails flying in the breeze as I pedaled around on my yellow banana seat bike.  Snapping myself back to reality, I felt an uncomfortable combination of longing, contrition and happiness.  In an odd way, I think I was homesick for my childhood.  

I would love to be able to take the boys to the Jersey boardwalk, even if just for one night. Spending my summers on the New Jersey shore, I know that there is something magical about the combination of smells, sounds and sights that can't be replicated. For some reason, I am feeling drawn back to those childhood experiences. I want to relive them with Scott, Robby and Timmy.  I don't know if I can convince Scott that the drive is worth the experience, but I'm going to give it a try!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chewing Stick

I had a wonderful time visiting my Mom. What started out as a three day visit was eventually extended to a full week because we were having so much fun.  Scott came up on Tuesday, which practically eliminated the only motivation I had to go home. With the weather nearly perfect and itching to do something fun, we decided to take Robby and Timmy on a family adventure on Thursday. Keeping with my tradition, I refused to reveal the location of our outing. Robby only knew that he needed to eat a substantial breakfast and to dress comfortably.

Although we tried to keep the secret, Robby quickly guessed as we closed in on our destination. While he was delighted when we turned into the parking lot for Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park, Timmy remained unimpressed until he saw Duke. (Duke is the giant purple dragon that is the mascot of the amusement park.) As we walked into the entrance, Duke approached and tried to high five Timmy. My poor little Hamlet clutched my shirt, buried his face in my chest and began to shriek. I made a mental note that he does not like giant purple dragons and handed him a cookie to help him calm down.

After the trauma of the dragon encounter, the rest of the day went smoothly. Robby and Scott rode non-stop for four hours, enjoying a total of 21 head-spinning rides. (To be completely honest, Scott only enjoyed the first 15. After that he became pale and a little more tipsy with each spin.)

While the older boys were busy riding, I was charged with entertaining Timmy. Let me tell you, wrangling a curious, albeit novice, toddler in the middle of an amusement park was no easy task. He was constantly moving and putting mulch in his mouth. No matter what I tried to distract him, he always found his way back to the shredded wood. In a moment of pure desperation, I forged what became his "chewing stick" out of a small branch. The stick was stripped of its bark and perfectly smooth, so I figured that it probably wouldn't hurt him. I also guessed that it was healthier to constantly chew on the same stick versus sucking down handfuls of mulch throughout the day.

For some reason, Timmy took to his chewing stick and was happy as he could be for the rest of the afternoon. His gnawing on a branch while sitting in his stroller garnered quite a few looks, but at that point I didn't really care. He was happy, contained and quiet. I'm sure I won't get mother of the year, but both kids were content and smiling so I consider that some type of victory.