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, July 08, 2016

Water Park Adventures

Yesterday, wanting to break our routine a little bit while still staying cool, I decided to take Robby, his friend and Timmy to a water park. The park offers half price admission after 3, which was perfect because I wanted to keep everybody inside during the heat of the day.  Robby and Janna took off for the corkscrew water slides as soon as we entered the gates. Timmy cautiously made his way towards the tyke pools.

Walking through the park for the first time was the only occasion that Timmy was calm. The rest of the time he was full on motion. He had a blast climbing, splashing, spraying and jumping through the obstacles in the "guppy pools."  That means that I spent nearly four hours climbing, splashing, spraying and jumping through the obstacles in knee high suspiciously warm water. Taking Timmy to a water park can only be described as exhausting.

Desperate for a brief reprieve, I managed to coax Timmy away from the guppy pool and into the lazy river. I held him on the tube as we gently drifted through the park. He loved floating and waving to everybody who happened to look in his direction. I was thankful for the opportunity to sit down and relax for a moment. 

It wasn't until I was ready to get off the tube that I realized that my breasts had popped out of my swimsuit when I was positioning Timmy. I had floated through the entire water park with both boobs on full display all while holding a happy little toddler who was frantically waving to gain the attention of everybody we passed. Perhaps the teenage boys who kept talking to Timmy and me weren't just being friendly and nice? Yikes! I was absolutely mortified.

With the exception of my inadvertently flashing the entire water park, we had a great afternoon. We left when the park closed, and all of the kiddos were happily exhausted. I think that the water park is going to become a regular part of our summer evenings.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

My Timmy Prediciment

I love and adore my little Timmy, which has definitely been his saving grace lately. He has taken mischief to a new level, perhaps even flirting with full on bad. He is so different than his brother. Robby was always upset when he was put in time out that the threat of disappointing us often was enough to correct his behavior.  Timmy seems to thoroughly enjoy the time-out corner, taking the opportunity to dance in place, to practice singing and to pick his nose.

Yesterday, in a pure moment of exasperation, Scott and I decided to up the ante on the time out corner. Obviously our punishment was not being perceived as it was intended, so we needed to try to figure out something that our little Hamlet doesn't enjoy. Unfortunately in this situation, he is an extremely happy little guy who obtains pleasure and enjoyment from almost anything.

We opted to include a chair in the time out corner with the hopes of stopping his dance party. He kicked his little legs and seems quite amused with having a seat in the hallway. It has gotten to the point where I am wondering if he is being deliberately bad so that he can enjoy the time out corner. In any case, it has gotten to the place where time out seems to be considerably more painful for us than it is for him.  

We are back to the drawing board, hoping to come up with a punishment suitable for Timmy that he will not enjoy. This is quite a predicament!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Vacation Plans

Somehow this is becoming the summer of Groupon. I started BootCamp because of a Groupon. Ironically, we also go out for ice cream every few days because of another fantastic deal from Groupon. I booked a Pirate ship adventure through the deal website, and yesterday I went ahead and booked a family beach vacation. I am thrilled with the deal that I snagged, and I can't wait to walk the boardwalk and the beach with my boys.

I grew up going to the beach every summer. Each year I find myself missing the sights, smells and sounds of the boardwalk at night. I haven't experienced it in 20 years, yet I remember the details as if it were yesterday. Every year I vow to return to revisit the quintessential summer adventure. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to make it work until this year.  I am so excited to have Scott, Robby and Timmy enjoy a true boardwalk experience. 

I'm excited about the boardwalk, but not entirely thrilled about the beach. I realize that it sounds completely contradictory. I love to look at the ocean, to smell the salt water and to feel the salt laced breeze on my skin. But walking in the sand is laborious and difficult with a prosthesis, quickly robbing me of enjoyment. I am reminded of my amputation with every step in the sand, which quickly leaves me both frustrated and exhausted.

I am counting on the excitement of my boys to override my sand based frustrations. I love watching Robby play in the surf with Scott, and I'm sure that Timmy will thoroughly enjoy digging in the sand and finding shells. Once I accept that walking is different, I'm sure I'll be able to relax and enjoy the beach.

The boys (Scott included) don't know about the vacation, and I'm trying to figure out if and when I might reveal my secret. (Obviously, Scott doesn't read this blog often so I feel safe sharing my secret here.) Part of me wants to pack and prepare without assistance so that they can be kept in the dark until we arrive at the beach. Then I think of the work that doing everything by myself would entail, and I realize that it is probably best to at least clue Scott in on the destination.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Boot Camp Reboot

We had an extremely laid back and non-eventful holiday. The rain kept us from going to the pool, grilling outside and lighting up fireworks. Instead Robby and Scott went to see a movie while I took Timmy to his toddler playground. While we failed to do anything Fourth of July-ish, we still had a nice day.

Perhaps the best thing about yesterday was the fact that I didn't have to go to Boot Camp. The gym was closed, providing me with another much needed rest day. Saturday I was so sore after class that I could barely lift up Timmy when I got home. My quads were achy and I was struggling to stand and climb stairs. Thankfully I had the foresight to schedule a massage to cap off my first week of fitness. The masseuse worked wonders because when he was finished I was able to climb off of the table without cussing in pain.

I thought that I was in fairly good shape from chasing Timmy around all day.  Apparently I was fooling myself. I am woefully weak, but hopefully that is changing. I really don't like boot camp, but I know that it is good for me. I have to start taking better care of myself.

The classes are short (only 30 minutes) so by the time I really start hurting I can count down to being finished. I'm happy that I'm not the only pudgy, strength struggling female in the class. If I were surrounded by toned jocks I would probably have quit the first day. I still feel insecure, but that is normal whenever I push myself out of my comfort zone.

Although I do find myself comparing my ability to everybody else,  it really doesn't matter if I can keep up with my classmates. One of the greatest amputee perks is the complete lack of expectation surrounding athletic ability. Everybody seems so amazed by the fact that I walk into a gym that I am lauded with praise simply for trying. At this point, I'll take the encouragement where I can get it!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Losing My Foot but Finding Myself

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday was my personal Independence Day as I marked 13 years as an amputee. I wasn't depressed as I have been in years past, but I definitely felt a somber undertone to the day. I tried not to  dwell on the memories of that day, because despite the years that have passed I am transported back to the gurney being wheeled into the OR whenever I remember. Those memories are painful and are best left in the past. Instead of reflecting back, I opted to focus on the present.  If I hadn't decided to amputate, I would not be where I am today.

Losing my foot allowed me to find myself. I have a new career which I love. I discovered a passion for helping my community which I find both invigorating and challenging. Perhaps most importantly I am the mother to two wonderful little boys, both of whom are growing up with a natural and sincere empathy and understanding towards individuals with physical and mental differences. I've discovered that having a parent with a disability is not a weakness but an asset.

During the past year my limb loss has infiltrated into my dreams, fully solidifying the reality in all realms of consciousness.  I will probably mourn my foot for the rest of my life, but those moments are fleeting and are becoming more scarce as time passes. The road hasn't always been easy, but I know that I made the right decision 13 years ago.