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.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Cold Liners- YIKES

Ugh. There is no doubt that winter is in full swing. Even though we don't (yet) have snow, the cold weather has definitely arrived. I don't mind winter, but one aspect leaves me with dread. Pulling myself out of a warm and snugly bed and having to slip on an ice cold liner simply stinks. Talk about a miserable way to start a morning!

Most of the time I don't think twice about putting on my prosthesis. I have been an amputee for more than 16 years and the task has become second nature. All of that changes in the winter. Sliding on an ice cold, silicone liner each morning is an unpleasant reminder of life without a limb.

If I were able to plan better, I would bring my liner under the electric blanket to warm it up before donning. Unfortunately, Timmy would take full advantage of the opportunity and would probably sprint to the kitchen to snitch an ice cream sandwich. As soon as I hear the pitter patter of little feet down the hallway, my day begins in earnest. 

I realize that cold liner woes are relatively low on the gripe scale, but that doesn't make the few seconds each morning any less pleasant. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Looking for Some Festive Swag?

2019 has not been an easy year for me. Between professional frustrations and Timmy's health struggles, I feel like I have been torn apart over the past twelve months. Instead of dwelling on the negative I am making a concerted effort to focus on the positive. One bright spot in an otherwise dismal year has been receiving our nonprofit status for Amp'd. 

Dave and I started Amp'd nearly a decade ago. Originally designed to be a twist on the "he said, she said" format with the inclusion of "above knee and below knee" perspectives, our discussions quickly spiraled into the development of resources and collaborative projects. We have been wanting to establish an official nonprofit for several years, and this year we finally went for it!

We have a lot of ideas for Amp'd in the coming year and I am finding myself chomping at the bit to get started. For the first time in what feels like forever, I am actually excited and energized. I can't wait to turn the page on 2019 and get to work on building our new resource and network for the amputee and limb loss community.

To date we have been entirely self-funded. Amp'd has been a passion project, but it is time to grow. We are launching our first official fundraiser this month. We have teamed with Lynch Creek Farm to sell tabletop trees, wreaths, and garlands for the holiday season. (In anticipation of this fundraiser, last year I sent a small tabletop tree to my Mom. The quality was topnotch and it was the perfect addition for the holiday.)  If you are in the market for some festive greenery, I hope that you will consider shopping through our fundraiser.  All funds will be used to develop more resources through Amp'd.


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Back to Reality

It's hard to believe that another Thanksgiving week has passed. Yesterday we packed up our car, overflowing with Christmas treasures from our Black Friday adventures, and headed back to Virginia. While it is always sad to say goodbye and to leave, it is always wonderful to be home.  

Our drive home was uneventful and relatively quick. Because we traveled on a Monday, I think we managed to miss most of the holiday travelers. I suppose flexibility is a major bonus to cyberschooling!

Today we are back to reality. Robby will be working on his school assignments while I try to restore order to our chaotic, package laden living room. I suspect that Timmy will gladly assume the role of "happy elf" in order to help decorate our house for the season.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Heading Home

After a successful Black Friday shopping extravaganza, I was able to spend the remainder of the weekend relaxing and just having fun. I have never before finished my holiday shopping in one day, but I love that the pressure of finding the right toys and gifts is behind me. Now I can just enjoy the rest of December without the frustrations of scouring the mall and internet for the perfect gift.

After shopping on Friday my niece, Robby and I all headed over to my cousin Dan's house. Dan is an avid guitar player and invited Robby to his "man cave" to jam for a little while. Robby was thrilled and had a fantastic time playing with another guitarist. He is over-the-moon with the amp and pedals that Dan gifted him. I'm sure I won't be nearly as thankful when the sound is turned up in my house during Robby's solo practice sessions.  

After working on Saturday, Tiffany came home ecstatic that she had been awarded two tickets for Christmas Candy Lane. (Her working at Hershey Park certainly has advantages!)  After Timmy went to bed, we bundled up and headed to Hershey Park to soak in some holiday spirit. The lights were beautiful and the crowds were nonexistent. We had an awesome time.

Yesterday was dubbed "Baking Palooza" because I spent the majority of the afternoon in the kitchen with my niece. She learned how to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. She also made cut-out Christmas cookies and a gingerbread gift box. 

I've had a great week away from reality, but today I'm returning home. I think the holiday season has been appropriate kick-started at my Mom's house, so now it is time to infuse my own home with some elf touches.  










 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. It was wonderful having the entire family together. We don't get together as much as I would like, but when we are reunited it is as if no time had passed.  

My Mom and I spent the morning finishing up the food and readying the house for the company. By the time the first guests arrived, the house smelled heavenly! Even though it is a lot of work and we were exhausted by the time we finally went to bed at night, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year.

 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. 

My apologies for missing a post yesterday.  We woke up early at the hotel to hit the waterpark for a few hours before check-out.  We had a great time, and my boys were especially delighted to see their daddy.  (Scott typically comes up for Thanksgiving the Wednesday before, but this year he came up Tuesday night. He was able to join us for our hotel and waterpark fun adventure!)







Tuesday, November 26, 2019

WaterPark Bound

Our Thanksgiving Week of Festivities and Fun has begun. Although the drive was long and congested, I'm so glad that we decided to come up yesterday after school.  Robby thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his cousins, and I know that Timmy loved the extra snuggles and popcorn in bed with his Nana.  

Today we will be busy! I'm helping my mom work through a massive "to-do" list in preparation for Thursday. After the cousins come home from school, I'm packing up all the kids (Timmy included) and we are headed to a waterpark for the night. They Cousin Crew will have a blast, and I'm certain my Mom will appreciate the quiet and calm evening without anybody else at home. 


Monday, November 25, 2019

My Favorite Week

I am so excited this morning I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Today starts one of my favorite weeks of the year. I adore Thanksgiving week and all of the festivities it entails.

Today Robby has class in the morning, but we are headed up to my Mom's as soon as he is done. Typically we kick off our Thanksgiving celebration earlier by going to Pennsylvania the weekend before, but a make-up class was scheduled for his role-playing game classes. He loves these classes and he is ecstatic about the extra opportunity to play.

In fact, Robby has already declared today to be one of epic proportions. Not only does he get to strategize with his friends in the RPG class, but he will also get to hang out with his cousins tonight.   I'm looking forward to hearing squeals of laughter and nonstop giggles as the Cousin Crew is reunited for several days.  Who knows, maybe I can squeeze in some Aunt Peggy Adventures! 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Hermit

After a week of being housebound with sick kiddos, yesterday I was finally able to leave the house. While staying quiet has done wonders for my ankle, I was beginning to go a little stir crazy cooped up inside. It was nice to finally have a reason to put on both pants and a bra!

I met my friend for lunch, which is something that I do far too infrequently. Spending time with my friends always does wonders for my perspective and my mood, but I never seem to find the time to get together. I am vowing to make more time for friends and for myself in the coming year. I am a better mom and wife when I find the time to just be a friend.

I tend to become a hermit, a result of both my antisocial tendencies and my situation. Holing up at home isn't good for anybody, especially me. I am so glad that I have friends who are both understanding when I retreat and greet me with open arms when I am able to get together.

While I enjoyed a quick lunch and a great conversation with my friend, Timmy played with new buddies on the playground. After seeing him sick all week, it was refreshing to witness his carefree and happy side. When he is healthy, he is such an energetic and spry little boy. I am hoping that his infusions will lead to more feel-good days in the coming months!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Convalescence

With Robby on the mend, yesterday was dedicated to schoolwork. He is determined to create enough of a buffer between assignments so that he doesn't have to worry about school during Thanksgiving week. At the rate he is going, I think he is going to make his self-imposed goal.

While Robby was busy with schoolwork, Timmy and I worked on crafts and mastering his letters. My little Hamlet is like a sponge, soaking up as much information as possible. I took a leap of faith and signed him up for some classes next month. Hopefully, he remains healthy enough to attend and to participate. I know that he will be in his element!

Although I hate seeing the boys sick, I'm trying to acknowledge the silver-lining. Since they were both sick and unable to do much beyond watch television and YouTube, I was able to continue my ankle convalescence. For the first time in nearly a month, my ankle no longer hurts when I bend and walk. It feels wonderful to experience the complete absence of pain.

It looks like I'll be tackling Black Friday pain free!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Waiting for the Next Shoe to Drop

Last week my Great-Uncle Charlie passed away. He was 91 and lived a full and wonderful life, facts that we are finding solace in as our family grieves. I can't help but smile as I envision Uncle Charlie and my Nan (his sister) reunited again. 

In addition to being my grandmother's younger brother, my Uncle Charlie holds a special place in my little family for a very specific reason. He gave Robby his Charlie Cat. It is hard to believe that we adopted that little orange furball nearly a decade ago. My goodness time is moving too fast!

Yesterday I heard from Mr. Bill, who left the neighborhood a year ago to live in Florida. I miss him dearly, but I know that the void is even more profound for Robby. Mr. Bill isn't one for talking on the phone, so our conversations are always concise. Unfortunately, he wasn't calling me with his typical lighthearted banter.

Mr. Bill had a heart attack and underwent a stent replacement surgery. A lump formed in my throat as soon as he told me the news. I could feel the tears start to swell in my eyes as I listened to him recount the experience from feeling pain to ending up in the operating room. I wish that he lived across the street again so that I could check in on him, give him hugs and just help out. 

Mr. Bill sounded sad but strong. He promised that he was feeling okay, all things considered, and pledged to take it easy.  I hope that he upholds his promise because we still need him in our lives (even if it is from a distance.)

They say that bad things happen in threes, so I am feeling on edge. I don't think I can handle more bad news, so I'm hoping that the adage isn't true!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Sick House

I may have one leg and a bum ankle, but right now I am the last one standing in my house. Ironic, isn't it? Not literally of course, but right now I am the only person who has managed to escape the plague that is sweeping through our home.  

Robby and Timmy both spent the majority of yesterday feeling icky and nursing fevers. I spent my day running between the two (who were each quarantined in different sections of the house) to try to make them as comfortable as possible. Robby was content to just relax in bed whereas Timmy required considerably more attention and supervision. Needless to say, by the time Scott came home from work I was ready for a break.

One look at Scott trodding up the stairs and I knew that he was sick. He had a fever and a headache, so I tucked him into bed and added him to the patient rotation. Hopefully, everybody will begin to feel better today. Fingers crossed I remain unscathed!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Changing Plans

My festive weekend plans didn't quite pan out as I expected. Of course, I should be used to monkey wrenches changing my plans by now. Planning ahead is always iffy, especially when kids are involved.

Timmy wasn't feeling great, which was expected. Although he handles it like a trooper, his infusions always leave him feeling lethargic and uncomfortable. I spent the wee hours of Saturday morning rubbing Timmy's legs to try to relieve the cramping that was causing him to cry. He finally fell asleep, which was a relief for both of us.

Even though he wasn't his normal mischievous self, we were able to take him to see the fireworks on Saturday night. Because of the cold and his fatigue, we ended up watching them from the car. Timmy was awestruck by the magical display in the sky. The view was fantastic, and we were able to stay warm. It was definitely a win-win for everybody. 

Sunday morning was spent at the walk-in medical clinic with Robby. My Koopa woke up with a high fever and a sore throat. By the time we returned home Timmy was on the couch, complaining of a headache. Both kids were sick and dealing with fevers.

Going to the display walk was immediately nixed, but thankfully I was able to find a recipient for the tickets. I felt good knowing that our tickets were going to good use, even though we were disappointed to not be able to attend ourselves.  Hopefully, everybody will be on the mend soon so we can try to regain our holiday spirit!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Art Class

I'm glad that I spent the past two days relaxing by the fire. I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting by the fire, watching Christmas movies with Timmy and not worrying about work. Today I am back to reality, and back on the go.

Timmy has another treatment today, so our morning will be spent at our local Children's Hospital. He handled it like a champion in the past and I expect no complications today. I hate seeing him endure these issues but compared to what "could be," he is incredibly fortunate.

As a reward for being such a good boy (my optimism in action), I have signed up Timmy for a one-day art class at Robby's school. This afternoon, after we are done with his infusion, we will drive straight to Robby's school for Timmy's highly anticipated class. My little Hamlet has been talking non-stop about going to art class and I am certain that the activity will trump the discomfort he experienced in the morning.

I hate Timmy's infusion day, but this morning we are instead focusing on the art class. I can't wait to see what my little artist creates!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mom Guilt

Despite being three weeks since I took my tumble, my ankle is still sore. Although omnipresent, the pain intensity is waning. I am still acutely aware of the injury, but each step is not as tender as it was just a few days ago. I am frustrated that it is taking so long, but I am coming to accept that it takes longer to heal after 40.

Logically, I should not need an excuse to relax and enjoy sedentary activities. I am so used to always moving that I have started to feel guilty for slowing down. I have thoroughly enjoyed just watching Christmas movies by the fire.  My motivation to be constantly in motion has been weakening with each passing afternoon. 

Timmy has been content to play indoor games and hasn't been chomping at the bit for an adventure. He isn't sick, but I don't think he feels fantastic. Perhaps we are all overdue for a break.

In moments when I feel twinges of guilt for not being outside running with Timmy, or for not scrubbing and cleaning the house, I remind myself that taking it easy is helping my ankle heal. I wish that I didn't feel guilty for slowing down and relaxing! Maybe if I do it more often, I won't feel as guilty?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Vacation

All of a sudden it has become wickedly cold. After the unyielding heat of summer and most of the autumn, the strong cold snap is a welcome change. There is something lovely and cathartic about curling up next to a roaring fire all day. All of my obligations and chores remain, but everything seems to feel more relaxed and comforting when I'm sitting next to a warm and crackling fire.

 Robby spent the majority of the day tackling schoolwork. Determined to get ahead in his studies so that he can take Thanksgiving week off, he has double-downed on his efforts. I am so incredibly proud of his diligence when it comes to his studies! 

Timmy was equally calmed by the fire and was content to spend the day playing games and working on his letters. With my sidekick happy and busy playing alone, I could have used the time to tackle some much overdue housework. Instead, I opted to watch a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel.  My new job starts in a few weeks, so I am justifying my relaxation by reframing it as a vacation. Things will become hectic in January, so I might as well relax and enjoy the season while I can.




Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Weekend Frustrations

Scott and I had been planning to spend our three-day weekend outside, tackling the overwhelming number of leaves in our yard. We were both excited when the forecast looked favorable for us to conquer our mission, and we had prepped both boys to spend a great deal of time outside working and helping. While yard work isn't an ideal activity for most kids, both boys seemed amicable to the idea. 

We woke up Saturday morning ready to work. After reviewing our job list over breakfast we bundled up and headed outside. We were moving like a well-oiled machine, with each family member dutifully beginning their assigned chore. We didn't realize that our progress had peaked during those initial moments.

Instead of conquering our leaves, we were dealt with a stream of frustrating disappointments that stalled our progress and derailed our plans.  While the boys started to rake out the flowerbeds, Scott and I began the task of assembling our new electric log splitter. I love my husband dearly and we are compatible in so many ways. Unfortunately, product assembly is not one of them!  After scrapping and arguing over the directions for over an hour, we finally managed to complete the "simple" assemble our new log splitter.

We fired it up and prepared to split some of our firewood. It didn't take long to realize that the splitter was not what we needed for our job. The machine struggled to split even the smallest log. After fumbling and trying for another hour, we agreed that a 5-ton splitter was not strong enough. We disassembled the machine, packed it back into the box and returned it to the store. The entire fiasco ate away at most of our afternoon.

Sunday Scott hopped onto the lawnmower, ready to mulch and bag the leaves that were carpeting our lawn. The mower wouldn't start. We jumped the battery and got it to rev. It was then that we discovered that the steering wheel had no impact on the wheels. Somehow the entire steering mechanism had broken. At that point, we both wanted to cry.

Without the ability to mulch and bag our leaves, we couldn't tackle our leaves. Instead, we decided to assemble and try the 10-ton hydraulic log splitter. Thankfully the machine was easy to assemble, but my goodness it is exhausting to use. In order to split a log, the levers must be manually moved back and forth. It takes a lot of energy to break through a log, even with the benefit of hydraulic assistance.

My arms are sore and tired. I don't have a lot of upper body strength but what I do have I spent yesterday trying to split those logs. After a frustrating weekend of nothing going right, I'm looking forward to the monotony of the week. Hopefully, we won't have any surprises!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Walking Day!!

Happy Walking Day to me!

Sixteen years ago today, I took my first prosthetic steps. The memories of that day are so vivid and fresh that it is hard to fathom that so much time has passed. At the time, I was petrified of everything involving my amputation. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to master a prosthesis and that I would be in pain and immobile for the rest of my life. I was unsure about reasonable expectations, and I crutched into my prosthetist's office that morning on blind faith that I would be okay.

My life today exceeds any of the hopes that I held on that morning sixteen years ago. I have a wonderful family and I'm incredibly active. I've surpassed mastering my prosthesis and I am now at the juncture where it has simply become an extension of my biological body. So many years ago I never imagined that I would feel comfortable, capable and normal with a prosthesis. Yet here I am, living an amazing life as an amputee.

Today is one to be celebrated.  It hasn't always been easy, but I can definitely say that I am living my best life.  Happy Walking Day to Me!


Friday, November 08, 2019

Insurance Exchanges

It's that time of year again. Open Enrollment is now live for insurance policies offered through the Affordable Care Act Insurance Exchanges. Open Enrollment is only open until December 15th, so if you are interested in reviewing your insurance options through the ACA, you need to act quickly.  

Dave and I recorded a podcast earlier this week reviewing the insurance exchanges. As an individual with a limb loss, it is important to consider your projected prosthetic needs when deciding upon a plan. We included lots of great information to consider.  

This time of year becomes very hectic, and December 15th will come and go in the blink of an eye. If you are receiving your insurance through the ACA, or if you are considering opting into the exchanges, don't delay.  Check out the podcast, and become an educated consumer.

On a completely separate note, it would be disingenuous if I didn't admit to having a heavy heart this morning. Today would have been my Dad's birthday. I miss him everyday, but it stings more on days like today.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Cleaning

Well, my ankle still hurts. I keep hoping that it will suddenly feel better, but I suspect that the recovery will be so slow that I will only realize it happened in retrospect. I'm able to get around, so I probably shouldn't be complaining, but the discomfort is starting to wear me down. If the swelling doesn't deflate in the next few days, I'll have to just bite the bullet and go to the doctor.

Despite having a sore ankle, yesterday was extremely busy. Between working and chauffeuring Robby to his classes and guitar lessons, I managed to clean the house. It has been awhile since I focused on both decluttering and deep cleaning and the house definitely needed my attention. 

It feels fabulous to be able to sit in a clean and tidy living room. I had forgotten how comfortable and stress-free I feel when the clutter and dirt are purged. (Of course, I'm sure it won't take Timmy long to reclaim the territory.)




Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Hobbling

It has been more than a week since I fell and my ankle and limb are still sore. While my limb is tender, especially in the morning as I take those first few steps in my prosthetic, it is manageable and causes few issues during the day. I am only reminded of the injury when I am walking up and downstairs, or when I stand up after longer periods of sitting.  

My ankle, which has remained swollen since I took the tumble, has definitely taken the brunt of the injury. It hurts with every step and the aching and pain frequently wakes me up during the night. I can bear weight without issue, but the pain stabs as I try to bend and flex the joint. The pain that arises when I move my ankle in circles is omnipresent and has not waned. 

I've started to wrap my ankle, both to provide compression and to support the joint when I'm walking. Although it hasn't given out on me, I worry about my stability. I'm really hoping that it heals soon because hobbling around in pain is beginning to wear me down. 

If it doesn't subside soon, I think I'm going to have to get it checked out. While I don't think it is broken (I wouldn't be able to walk at all, right?), I am beginning to worry that something is amiss. Hopefully, everything will settle down soon. The prospect of schlepping Timmy to the doctor with me is not enticing!


Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Obstacles

After a week in Texas, my Mom is returning tonight. She has spent her week helping my brother get settled after a lengthy stay in a rehabilitation program. From getting ID to finding a place to live, he had nothing set up when he was released. 

Throughout his experience, my eyes have been opened to both the insane red tape as well as the lack of resources available to assist those who are striving to start anew. The path towards a healthy and functional lifestyle is riddled with unnecessary obstacles, obscenely long lines and a complete lack of regard for the human condition. I'm so glad that my Mom was able to travel to Texas to help him navigate through the red tape of resettling his life. If my Mom wasn't there to hold his hand and to help him sort through all of the papers and requirements, I don't think my brother would stand a chance against relapsing.

I worry about my brother on his own, but I feel more secure knowing that he has a safe apartment as well as the necessary paperwork and identification. I'm hoping for the best, but I am also a realist. Drug addiction is a beast of a disease and I realize that his chances are slim. I'm not one to give up- ever! I am choosing to believe that he is starting his life anew and that he will overcome his demons. 

This is not a great photo, but it makes my heart happy.


Monday, November 04, 2019

Halloween pics










Trick-or-Treating

My weekend was filled with giggles, marathon trick-or-treating and a generous helping of chaos.  Friday night the entire Cousin Crew, including an ecstatic Timmy, set out on the annual quest for candy. After they went up and down my Mom's street, I put the bowl of candy outside the door and we hopped into the car to visit other neighborhoods.  

The kids took full advantage of the short 120 minutes allotted for trick-or-treating. With careful planning and well-honed precision, the Crew managed to visit four neighborhoods and a Trunk-or-Treat event hosted by the local fire department. By the end of the night, each kiddo amassed a whopping five pounds of candy each!

The Cousin Crew was halved when my nephews went to their Dad's house for the weekend. Although the house was quieter, Robby and Tiffany had a great evening. I loved hearing the squeals of laughter roaring from the basement. (Timmy, exhausted by the trick-or-treating, fell asleep in record time.)

Saturday evening the kids donned their costumes one more time and we headed to a neighboring town for their Trick-or-Treating. Again, they stayed out for the full two hours. By the end of the night, they had accumulated another 6-7 pounds of candy (each). 

The kids had a fabulous time, and we now have over twenty pounds of miniature candy bars. If you ask me, it was a win-win for everybody!  Today we are back in Virginia and returning to reality. I know that it will take a few days to get back on track, and even longer to get rid of the obscene amount of candy on my counter, but it was worth it. 

(I have been trying to upload photos but the platform is wonky and I can't get it to work.  I'll keep trying!)



Friday, November 01, 2019

Halloween Do-Over

Yesterday my Mom's hometown broke with tradition and rescheduled Trick-or-Treat. Usually demonstrating a stern-faced, tough it out kiddo attitude, the decision to delay the event due to weather was a welcome surprise. I was not terribly keen on the idea of trolling the neighborhoods in torrential rains.

With Trick-or-Treat delayed and my adventure plans derailed, yesterday was a dreary Halloween for the boys. Robby played on his computer and spent time on some classwork, but by midafternoon he was bored and eagerly waiting for his cousins to come home from school.  Because of homework and assorted frustrations, we opted to just forgo any Halloween adventures and to concentrate our efforts on Trick-or-Treating tonight. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  

Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not going to cooperate. Trick-or-Treating in the rain is not ideal, but I doubt that the raindrops will be enough to keep the Cousin Crew from their mission. Tonight is free candy night, and nothing will get in their way.

Timmy is ecstatic to go out with the "big kids." Last night we visited a local Trunk-or-Treat event, allowing the kids to soak up some holiday spirit while nabbing a few snacks. Timmy was able to refine his Trick-or-Treat etiquette, so I know he is ready for the big night!



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Falling

So much for our meticulously created plans for getting my Mom to Texas. My brother, who was scheduled for release tomorrow, threw a monkey wrench into our plans by getting released yesterday. Although he was delighted to be out 48 hours ahead of schedule, we were left scrambling.  

In the rush to get to my Mom's house, and in an attempt to avoid the "pumpkin parade" that Timmy crafted on our front walkway, I hurried towards the car with our first round of luggage. I ended up stepping into one of the holes in our front yard and immediately began to teeter. It felt like it was transpiring in slow motion, but in reality, I'm sure it was a few fluid seconds before I fell over. 

My ankle is sore and my stump really hurts, but I'm able to hobble around. I'm hoping that I can walk through the discomfort today. I despise falling! My Mom is en route to Texas, and I am going to be wrangling five kiddos for the next few days. Thankfully they are all old enough to pitch in and help if need be.

Little reminds me of my vulnerability more than losing control during a fall!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Escape

In a not so veiled attempt to escape my growing anxiety about my brother being released this week, yesterday afternoon I packed up the boys and headed to play at the pumpkin farm. I was relieved to unplug from all electronics and my worries for a few hours. Playing with the kids in the warm sunshine was exactly what I needed to recenter for the days ahead.  After all, escape is what I do best!

The weather was absolutely beautiful for my impromptu autumnal adventure. Both boys had a great time playing together. Seeing Robby and Timmy jumping, running and giggling in unison made my heart swell with pride and love.  

After a guitar lesson and a quick Halloween party this afternoon, we will be heading up to Pennsylvania. My mom leaves tomorrow morning and I need to make sure I have all of the instructions. I'm not worried about taking care of the kids, but I have to admit to being nervous about caring for her elderly dog. 

Molly, her beloved Golden Retriever, is on the equivalent of canine hospice. I can't fathom having to be the one to make the final care decision, nor am I particularly fond of the idea of finding her deceased in a corner or under a tree. My ultimate goal is to keep her alive until my Mom returns from Texas.








Monday, October 28, 2019

Tests Ahead

The weekend of rest and extra sleep was exactly what I needed to beat the pesky cold. Robby and Timmy are both feeling better, so our family is again on the road towards health. I'm so glad that Scott remained healthy through the mini plague. Having him to pick up the slack definitely helped me relax and focus on getting better.

This is going to be an extraordinarily busy week. Halloween is on Thursday, so my kids the excitement is reaching a fevered pitch. In addition to the holiday festivities, my brother, who has been serving time through a court-mandated program, is being released on Thursday. He has been receiving treatment for the past several months, time which I believe saved his life.

While I am celebrating his sobriety, I remain cautiously optimistic about the coming weeks. I know that the true test lies ahead of him, and I can do little but hope and pray that he remains clean and sober. I have spent many sleepless nights fretting and worrying about his situation and the struggles ahead.

I'm feeling a lot of fears about him being released, but I am trying to do everything I can to support both him and my Mom. This week I am taking the boys to Pennsylvania so that I can care for my niece, nephews, and my mom's pets while she travels to Texas to care for my brother. I am feeling grateful to have the flexibility in my schedule to pack up and leave when needed. Sometimes cyberschool has huge benefits, and this is one of them.

Robby and Timmy are both excited to be reunited with their cousins, and I know that the Cousin Crew will have a fantastic time trick-or-treating. Who knows, maybe I can squeeze an autumnal Aunt Peggy's Adventure into the schedule. 


Friday, October 25, 2019

Sick (Still)

The best part of yesterday was finally going to bed at night. Between feeling achy and nursing a congestion headache, I was exhausted all day. Timmy and Robby started to run fevers by mid-afternoon, leaving Scott as the last healthy person in our little family. He spent his evening stocking up on both medication and chicken noodle soup.

For some reason, whenever I become sick I also experience the electrifying jolts of angry nerves through my limb. I'm not sure why it happens, but it is definitely unwelcome. I suspect that it has something to do with the decongestants I take, but I'm not certain. Despite the inclusion of phantom pain into my misery, I ended up sleeping well.

At this point, I am holding on until the weekend. Hopefully Scott remains healthy so that I can continue to rest over the next few days. Next week is Halloween, so being sick is simply not an option.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Sick Day

Please excuse the brevity of this posts. I woke up yesterday morning feeling icky. I muddled through the day, but I felt my symptoms worsening as the day progressed. This morning the ickies have morphed into a full-blown cold. 

I feel horrible. At this point I'm just looking at the clock, anxiously waiting for my respite to arrive home from work. It is going to be a long day!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Blending

At the end of an insanely hot summer, it is refreshing to finally put away the shorts. There is something especially cozy about sweatshirts and jeans at the beginning of the season. Curling up in my comfy clothes, hibernating under blankets, is one of my favorite seasonal activities.  I become an unapologetic hermit in the cold months, especially at night.

 I become accustomed to the second glances and stares, but I never really become oblivious to the attention. Walking around with shorts, I am always "different." It is comforting in a way to be able to become invisible within a crowd.  

After months of walking around with my prostheses visible, it is nice to completely blend in with everybody else. I always feel kind of sneaky at the beginning of the jean season, as if I am walking around incognito because people can't immediately see that I have a disability.  I find the ability to blend in oddly exhilarating. 




Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Slime Free Zone

Timmy has gone through a variety of phases in his short life, but none have been as long-lasting as his Ghostbuster obsession. For months he has found unending amusement reenacting the movie and hunting Slimer through the neighborhood. His "uniform," initially purchased for Halloween, is well-worn and will probably be in tatters by trick-or-treat night.

Not realizing the risk, Scott and I surprised Timmy with an enormous container of the green goo over the weekend. Timmy was delighted and eager to incorporate slime (from Slimer of course) into his game. Without missing a beat, and with lightning speed, he promptly placed the slime ball onto the top of his head. "Momom" he proudly proclaimed, "I've been slimed."

The main problem with slime, I unfortunately discovered, is that it tends melt quickly over whatever it contacts. In Timmy's case, it was his hair. Within seconds his beautiful blonde hair was caked with neon green, dripping slime. Being slimed might be fun in the movies, but my little Ghostbuster was not nearly as amused when he realized that it couldn't be easily removed. 

We quickly herded him into the bathroom. I stripped off his costume while Scott frantically began to search the internet for slime removal tips. We tried oil, vinegar and conditioner with little success. We only managed to grease him with no success removing the slime that was now caked through his long hair.  

Timmy was crying as I was trying to squeeze slime from his long locks. After nearly an hour and out of desperation, Scott brought me mayonnaise to try. It took nearly the entire bottle, but we had finally managed to remove the slime. Finally, something worked!

His hair is greasy and he still smells like a sandwich, but at least he is slime-free!



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!