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.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ghost Fun

Another action filled weekend has come to a close. Friday and Saturday were unusually busy, but Sunday was laid back and relaxed. The weather cooperated with our plans because Friday and Saturday were gorgeous, allowing us to be enjoy our outside activities without an issue. Sunday was met with nonstop rain, which was fine because I didn't really want to get out of my pajamas anyway.

Friday night I packed up the boys and we went on a ghost hunt. Timmy, truly in the spirit of the event, went completely dressed in his Ghostbuster's uniform. It is safe to say that he was the hit of the town, garnering smiles and comments from everybody who saw him. We didn't see any ghosts but, as Robby explained, the apparitions were probably staying away because they knew that there was a Ghostbuster in the group. (Timmy readily accepted this logic and no longer lamented the missing ghost encounters.)

Saturday morning we packed up and headed to our local town fair. Timmy, again decked out in his uniform, surveyed the street fair for ghosts and other spooky encounters. When he wasn't looking for ghosts he was spinning wheels and gathering swag. By the time we headed home both boys had accumulated two overflowing bags of assorted branded junk.

In the evening we headed out to the Pumpkin Glow experience. Robby and I have been to this event for two years in a row, but this was the first time for Scott. Although my husband wasn't nearly as enthralled and gobsmacked by the squash sculptures, the boys and I thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Yesterday was spent relaxing and readying the house for the upcoming week. I managed to sort through the festival swag bags, weeding out everything except for the toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and toys. Everything else went into the recycle bin (when the boys weren't looking.)









Friday, October 18, 2019

Mom Guilt

A day of relaxing inside was exactly what I needed to help heal my leg. So much ghost hunting over the past week has caused my leg to become extremely sore and tired. Because of the wind yesterday, we stayed inside. Apparently ghost hunting wasn't as fun inside, because Timmy actually occupied himself by quietly playing other activities.

I hate wind storms, but I really enjoyed kicking my leg off and relaxing for a few hours. I felt like I was being a slacker, but my guilt was short lived. I quickly became lost in reruns of Halloween Wars, and I lost track of time.  I may not have been productive, but my goodness my leg is feeling much better this morning! 

The day off was a godsend, because the weekend schedule is going to keep me hopping. Tonight we are heading out for a family-friendly ghost walk through town. Having missed the ghost hunt with his cousins over the summer, Timmy is absolutely ecstatic about going tonight. He is planning to wear his Ghostbuster's uniform in hopes of "helping" our guide.  

Tomorrow morning we are going to a parade and local street fair. Both boys love the parade and accumulating as much free swag as possible. (It takes them an hour or so to fill a few bags with assorted crap, but I have to parcel it into the trash slowly to avoid disappointment.)

In the evening we are going to the Pumpkin Glow experience. Walking through the carved pumpkin displays is breathtaking. It has become a family tradition that I look forward to each year.

Between the ghost hunt and tomorrow's itinerary, I no longer feel guilty about taking it easy yesterday. I'm going to be doing a lot of walking in the next 48 hours. The rest was needed and definitely well-deserved. Perhaps someday I'll be able to take it easy without feeling guilty!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rain and Wind

The rain poured yesterday, forcing us to take our ghost hunting inside. Although I missed being in the fresh air, one benefit of being inside was the luxury of listening to the television while playing. Listening to the television definitely provided a much needed distraction from our game. (I just keep reminding myself that someday he will be playing with friends and/or independently, and that these times are fleeting.)

Today we are experiencing crazy wind, which is always worrisome. We have lost so many trees recently and I always worry when the winds start howling. Today will be another one spent inside, where we are safer from the falling nuts and branches.  Fingers crossed that we don't have any down trees today!


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

More Ghostbusting

Because of Timmy's immune issues, he hasn't been cleared to start school. So instead of sitting in a classroom with new friends, he is learning as much as possible at home while adopting me as a ready playmate. I know that he will thrive in school (once he is physically cleared), but in the meantime I'm trying to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

Academically, my little guy is thriving. He is learning his letters like a champion and is writing more and more every day. He is becoming a little sponge, soaking up as many letters and numbers as possible. It is so much fun watching him make sense of the words and numbers all around him, as if he were deciphering a secret code that he is just discovering.

At times like this, when he is going through active interventions that leave him more vulnerable to infections, he is safer staying outside to play.  Although I know that Timmy will love having more playmates when he starts school, I am trying to not obsess about his socialization. I ensure that he plays at parks and other gathering areas whenever possible, assuming the weather is cooperating, so that he can socialize with minimal risks.  Until his immune system strengthens, staying outside in the fresh air is safer for his immune system than being in a closed-in classroom. 

Because Timmy isn't in school, I have assumed the role of primary playmate. While I absolutely adore my little guy, I have to admit that I struggle with becoming bored during the day. Right now he is really "into" playing Ghostbusters, which is basically just us walking through the yard shooting pretend proton guns at imaginary apparitions. He plays for hours every day and loves every moment.

I worry that I am losing brain cells from boredom! I tried to listen to an audio book to help pass the time, but it was too difficult to manage my Ghostbuster directives while trying to focus on the story.  Timmy also prefers to listen to the Ghostbuster theme song (on a constant loop) while playing, so I found myself arguing with a five year old over what we were going to stream.  

I'm trying to remind myself that this will soon pass, and that someday I will miss this dedicated time together.  Trying to looking on the bright side, we are bonding and creating memories. I'm also logging a lot of steps (averaging about 24,000 per day), so it should be helping my weight loss ambitions. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Growing

I'm not sure when it happened, but Robby is now taller than me. It is strange seeing photos of him standing next to me. Even though I now look up to see into his eyes, somehow I still view him as being smaller than me. I don't realize how tall he has sprouted until I see the photographic evidence. What happened to my little boy?

Not only is Robby taller than me, but he is inching closer to surpassing Scott. His foot size already exceeds Scott's, and over the weekend I had to take him shopping for new jeans. Robby and Scott are now wearing the same size clothing, both jeans and shirts. Yikes, talk about a reality check!

Sometimes I look at Robby and I catch glimpses of my sweet little Koopa. At other times he resembles an adult more than he does a child. Growing up is hard, and we are definitely charting this course together. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Darn Nuts

Another weekend flew by in the blink of an eye. It is hard to believe that it is again Monday, back to the grind of our work week schedule. Even though the weekend passed way too quickly, it was a relaxing and fun two days.

The weather was perfect, allowing my little Ghostbuster and I to fight paranormal foes through the neighborhood. Who knew we had so many poltergeists living among us! Thankfully Timmy is an excellent ghost hunter who is undeterred in his quest to capture each and every ghost. 

In between fighting ghosts, we were able to work outside to prepare for the changing seasons. Leaves were blown and the driveway was cleared (at least temporarily) of those pesky hickory nuts. Hopefully nut season is coming to end soon because I am tired of being pegged by those hard little projectiles every time we venture outside to play. 

Not only do the hickory nuts hurt as they rain down on my head, but they are hazardous as I try to walk. On Friday I stepped on a nut with my prosthesis and nearly lost my balance. Slipping is no fun, and I am always left feeling both shaken and extremely vulnerable. If we had the money, I would cut down the hickory trees. Unfortunately, right now all we can do is continue to clear the driveway every day of the falling little nut bombs.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Wonderful Break

We had a fantastic day at Pumpkinville. It was so fun having Scott home in the middle of the week. The boys were particularly ecstatic to have their daddy home from school for a fun day. I think that taking a break from the stress of work did him a world of good as well!  

The weather was gorgeous and, as anticipated, the crowds were nonexistent. We were able to enjoy all of the activities without fighting hoards of people and long lines. Robby and Timmy played together for hours, squealing and running throughout the haybales and inflatables. I even got into the action on a few slides, although I have to admit that it was nice to sit back and watch the boys play together.

Today we are back to reality, but my goodness it was nice to disconnect and break away for a few hours!















Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pumpkinville Day!!

Our house is buzzing with excitement this morning. Scott decided that he needed to take a mental health day at work, and put in for personal leave for today. We surprised the boys last night by announcing we were going to be spending the day at Pumpkinville, one of their favorite fall adventures. 

Our family has been going to Pumpkinville since Robby was two. Typically we have to go on the weekend, when Scott is home from work. Of course, everybody else is tends to go on the weekend as well, so it is sometimes frustratingly busy. Going during the week will (hopefully) mean less people and fewer lines.

Timmy is already decked out in his full Ghostbuster's costume, complete with newly upgraded proton gun, ready to fight his poltergeist foes at the farm. Even Robby, who is harder to please with family adventures, is excited about our plans.  The weather looks beautiful, so it should be an awesome day!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Stomp Rockets

Timmy is enthralled by all things that fly. From planes and rockets to sling shots and kites, if it soars through the air he wants to play with it. Aware of Timmy's aviation obsession, Scott surprised us on Monday with a set of stomp rockets. He was hoping that Timmy would be excited, but we were completely unprepared for the reaction he received.

Timmy was so excited when he saw the stomp rockets that all he could do was shriek for joy. He jumped up and down and and then ran in circles as I unboxed the new treasure. The boys headed outside to play, where they sent rockets soaring until dinner was ready.

Yesterday morning he woke up at dawn, anxious to go play with his new rockets. After convincing him to wait until the sun came up and I had enough coffee, we spent the majority of the day jumping on pillow pads to send rockets into the air. (I have to admit that I grew weary of the game after two hours, but he never seemed to tire.) In total, we spent six hours jumping and blasting rockets "to the purple space station." 

I knew that Timmy would enjoy the stomp rockets, but I'm taken aback by his unbridled enthusiasm for the toy. I suspect that today will be spent at launch central, sending more rockets to space. It's safe to say that Scott made a wise purchase. 




 


Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Festival Season

I love autumn. From the cooling temperatures to the shorter days, I adore all of the cozy aspects of the season. After the sweltering heat of summer, the cooler temperatures are especially welcome this year. I can't wait until we can light up the firepit and enjoy evenings outside again.

Perhaps my favorite part of autumn are the family activities, especially pumpkin farms and corn mazes. I adore throwing on a sweatshirt and heading to a farm with the boys. Being outside with the boys, unplugged from technology and just having fun, makes me the happiest mom in the world.

Pumpkin festivals are plentiful and they seem to increase every year. Although we definitely have our favorites, we try to visit as many as possible. Each farm offers a unique experience and no two days are ever the same.  Because we visit so many pumpkin festivals, I have learned that each host offers a different level of accessibility. 

I'm fortunate that I can adapt to most situations. My limb loss doesn't keep me from enjoying the activities with the kids, but sometimes the "luxury" of accommodations is definitely appreciated. For example, simply adding rope railing along the trek to the slide certainly helps me as I try to shlep up for yet another race down on a burlap bag.

Not every farm is accessible, and I have learned to prepare ahead of time for the unexpected. In this week's podcast, Dave and I discussed tackling less than ideal environments. I hope that some of our advice is beneficial!

Monday, October 07, 2019

Relaxing

It is always hard seeing him being prodded with needles, but Timmy handled his infusion like a champion! I am constantly amazed by his bravery and his strength. He has faced so many obstacles in his lifetime, but he continues to smile and look at the world with amazement and wonderment.  

After our appointment I took him to a pumpkin patch, which immediately made all of the needles a distant memory. He ran, slid and climbed until it was time to go pick up Robby from school. I really wish I had his energy and his perspective on life, because both are wonderful traits to possess.  

Although Timmy felt icky Friday evening and he had a rough night, we still had a fantastic weekend. The heat finally left, leaving us with cool fall temperatures. Saturday we played outside, riding bikes and catching ghosts through the neighborhood. We even had time to visit a local community festival, where my little Ghostbuster garnered smiles from everybody who walked by him. 

On Sunday we caught some more ghosts and ran errands. It was nice to have a weekend at home with nothing pressing to accomplish. The next few weeks are going to be busy, so we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to relax and just have fun at home.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Unwinding Into the Weekend

Robby's first band practice was a resounding success. Although he was nervous all day, and was shaking during the drive to the music school, he calmed down as soon as he arrived. His bandmates seem nice and Robby was welcomed with open arms. I feel an enormous sense of relief that practice went well for him. Now he can concentrate on learning the songs and just having fun with new friends.

Today Robby is busy at his school for enrichment classes. He adores Fridays and looks forward to these classes all week. Three solid hours of WWII role playing games is right up his alley!  

While Robby is busy at school, Timmy and I have an appointment with his immunologist. We are going to be doing another gammagobulin transfusion, which is never a fun way to spend an afternoon. It is too early to know if the transfusions are working, but we are hopeful that his little immune system will be redirected to work properly through this protocol.  

Much of our weekend will be spent helping Timmy recover from his treatment. Although he doesn't become sick, he feels worn out and icky afterwards. Hopefully that will not be the case, but I am trying to prepare for a few yucky feeling days.  

Thankfully it will be over the weekend so Scott will be home to help. Like his brother when he was younger, Timmy wants to cuddle with his Daddy whenever he feels sick. I suspect that he will be curled up watching football, baseball and hockey for the next few days. 

 


Thursday, October 03, 2019

Band Begins

Today is a big day for my not-so-little Koopa. He has his first rock band practice tonight, and he is filled with both excitement and nervous energy. Robby has been working diligently since his guitar lessons began and his music teacher feels that his skills are up for the challenge. I know that he will have a wonderful time, but I can't help but feel nervous for him. 

More than making music, I hope that Robby has a lot of fun and forges friendships with his new bandmates. It is always difficult walking into a new situation, but I know that Robby will do a great job. Even though he has only been playing for a little over one month, I have to believe that his music teacher would not have graduated him to performance band prematurely. It is hard for me to release my worry, but I need to trust that his skills are up to the necessary level. 

Wish my Koopa luck tonight!  Hopefully he will be grinning from ear-to-ear when I pick him up after practice.  I'll report back tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

CyberSchool

Yesterday my little Ghostbuster and I were stuck inside because of the weather. The temperatures were high and the air was muggy and bug laden. Today we are supposed to top near 100, which for October in Northern Virginia is unseasonably high. I'm ready to put my shorts and sundresses away, but it seems that I have to sweat out another few days before autumn really arrives. 

While Timmy and I were busy catching ghosts, Robby worked for nearly six hours on his Algebra assignments. Algebra is not easy for him, and I am so proud of how hard he is trudging through the lessons. We finally found a tutor and her instruction has become a godsend for all of us!  

Last year was one of adjusting and trial and error. Robby and I were both experimenting and figuring out the best approach towards his cyberschool curriculum. Although the work is still challenging, this year has been considerably easier for both of us. I feel like we found our groove, and watching him take more responsibility for his classwork and assigments is empowering. 

I don't often reference Robby's cyberschool status, primarily because I am not interested in hearing the uninformed and uninvited opinions that always follow whenever I bring it up. I realize that cyberschool is not for everybody, but it is definitely working for Robby. He is highly social through his extensive extracurriculars and is thriving academically. Since he started his cyberschool program I have witnessed him grow academically while his confidence has soared.  

There is so much turmoil in this world. I really wish that we would spend more time working and supporting each other instead of casting judgment.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Halloween Ready

I am so happy that September is finally behind us. Nothing dramatic happened during the month, I have just always found September to be stressful and exhausting. Between Scott and Robby starting back to school and the return of extracurricular activities into our calendar, I spent the majority of the month chasing my tail. Things are finally starting to settle down and normalize, just in time for Halloween.

Timmy is all in with Halloween this year. He spends hours each day crafting decorations for the house. We have spooky skeletons, happy pumpkins and scary skeletons hanging from every wall and doorway. He is determined to transform our home into "Spooky Town," and his dedication to his vision is only growing.  

I am constantly walking into spider webs, spiders and skeletons, but I know that Timmy comes by his love for Halloween naturally. Robby loves the holiday as well, although his decorating efforts have certainly waned as he has edged towards being a teenager. Even though Robby is no longer enthusiastic about hanging pumpkins and ghosts, he loves scaring me whenever possible and Halloween is the perfect opportunity.

In fact, all of the males in my home (Scott included) have developed an affinity for scaring me. The boys love nothing more than throwing a plastic snake or spider onto me when I am relaxing, causing me to shriek. Occasionally they have frightened me to the point of incontinence. Apparently it is hillarious watching Momom pee her pants.

The next month will be filled with autumnal adventures, spooky outings and lots of Halloween crafts.  Since I don't see the boys stopping their spooky antics anytime soon, I will probably be doing a lot of laundry this month.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Fall Festival

While Robby was in class on Friday, Timmy and I headed to a local Fall Festival. The temperatures were beautiful and the sun was bright in the crisp blue sky, which made it the perfect day to spend outside playing. As a bonus, Friday was considered a "value day," so admission was considerably discounted.

Usually packed with hoards of people, the farm was sparcely populated. Timmy and I were able to enjoy every slide and activity without waiting in line, allowing us to play on every structure and adventure. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time.

Fall Festivals are often difficult for me to transverse, and Friday was no exception. Typically built on a farm, little to no thought is given to accessibility. Slides are often plotted at the top of steep dirt hills without the benefit of handrails or steps. Obviously, corn mazes are not not always clear of obstacles, and the haunted paths through the woods are often riddled with branches, holes and other possible hazards. 

While not impossible to enjoy, I do find myself hyper aware of my the position of my prosthesis as I played at the Fall Festival. I'm grateful that I was able to still walk and enjoy the event. I saw several people sitting sullenly at the bottom of the hill in wheelchairs or with crutches. Going to this event without the ability to maneuver safely would stink!

Even though I had to remain vigilant to prevent falls, Timmy and I had a wonderful time playing at the festival. It was the perfect day to play and to just have fun, and we definitely succeeded with both objectives. 




















Friday, September 27, 2019

GhostBuster on a Bike

My little Hamlet continues to be all in when it comes to reenacting Ghostbusters. First thing yesterday morning he donned his uniform and went to work, clearing the house of ghosts and other spooky apparitions. After I had sufficient coffee we took the ghost hunting outside so that we could keep the neighborhood safe.

Before heading out through the neighborhood, Timmy took great care to afix printed logos over the HotWheels emblems on the frame of his bike. He was delighted with the final result. We rode up and down the street and through our neighborhood for hours, chasing down ghosts and zapping them with his proton pack. I adore his imagination!

Riding for several hours through the neighborhood, but the adventure would have been far more laborious had I not been gifted an electric bike last Christmas. To be honest, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the prospect of using a pedal assisted bike when I unwrapped it last December. I viewed the motor as somehow cheating, and vowed to ride without the motorized help. After experiencing the pedal assist boost, I quickly changed my tune.

I love my bike! Yesterday I was able to keep up with Timmy as we rode for nearly six miles. I still felt tired, but not overwhelmingly exhausted after our ghost busting adventure. I would highly recommend a pedal assist bike if you are in the market.






Thursday, September 26, 2019

OPAF Needs Help

I am beginning my third year as a Board Member for OPAF (my second as Board VP). OPAF, the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Fund, provides adaptive sport and recreation experiences for the physically and mobility challenged. We bring "First Clinics" to towns and cities across the country, and our events are always free for participants.

I was delighted when I was accepted onto the Board of Directors. I have always believed in the mission of OPAF, and I have experienced and witnessed the benefits that come from participating in their events. We do great work, and I am proud to be affiliated with such an amazing organization.

As with many nonprofits, OPAF has been facing a financial crisis. Corporate sponsorship dollars are dropping as manufacturers search to diversify their reach. Even though our operating costs kept to a minimum, the organization is struggling.  

We recently launched an online raffle to help raise funds. We are offering an impressive pellet grill (purchased collectively by all members of the Board of Directors) for the prize. Please consider supporting this amazing organization by purchasing a raffle ticket.

We appreciate your support!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Ready for Fall

We were granted a reprieve from the unseasonably hot temperatures, allowing my little Ghostbuster to work tirelessly outside clearing poltergeists from our yard. He spent the entire afternoon running around the yard and riding his little bike up and down our street, blasting ghosts that were hiding in his path. My goodness I never realized so many spooky ghosts were living with us! 

While Timmy was busy blasting ghosts, I spent the afternoon picking up sticks for our firepit and readying the yard for winter. I stowed his summer toys and cleaned off the sleds. (I realize we have several months before we will need the sleds, but I would rather get them out and ready instead of wading through the heavy snow to pull them out of our nook.) 

I ended up logging 20,000 steps working outside, which has caused my leg to feel sore this morning. I know that I didn't cause an injury, but I am reminded of my activity with each step. The end of my limb is red and angry, which I find incredibly frustrating. I hate sore leg mornings!

It was nice being able to spend the day outside, completely away from technology and the news. We are supposed to have one more nice day before the heat returns, and I plan to enjoy the autumnal temperatures while we have the chance. After the sweltering summer, the cooler fall weather is a welcome change.  


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

GhostBuster!

Timmy has discovered Ghostbusters and, like so many things in his life, he is all in. Ever since he saw the movie last week, ghost busting has been at the forefront of every game and just about every single conversation. While Robby and I were at the WWII event on Saturday, my Mom surprised Timmy by taking him to the Halloween store to get an "official" Ghostbuster costume.

Since receiving his "uniform," Timmy has only taken it off to sleep. Each morning he proudly dons his Ghostbusters uniform and proton pack and sets out to clear the area of spooky ghosts and paranormal foe. I never knew that we had so many ghosts living in our house!

His ghost busting has not been limited to our house. On Sunday night he cleared our local Baskin Robbins of ghosts before we ate our ice cream. Yesterday he encountered a fierce barrage of ghosts when we were shopping at BJ's, forcing my little ghost buster to sweep the store to clear the area.  

Timmy takes his ghost busting seriously. Not only is he removing ghosts, a very useful task, but he is bringing smiles to everybody he encounters. After all, it is impossible to witness an adorable ghostbuster sucking up ghosts without smiling.