About Me

My photo
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 23, 2019

Open Houses

Tomorrow our schedule is full with Open Houses for the boys. In the morning we are heading to an Open House at a local Pre-K program. It is hard to believe that Timmy is ready for Pre-k, but I know that he will absolutely love the experience. He is such a social kid and will thrive with the peer interactions and direct instruction.

In preparation for the Pre-K transition, Timmy and I have been spending a lot of time working on handwriting and letters. His little brain is like a sponge right now, eagerly soaking up every bit of information and instruction. Whenever Robby pulls out his laptop to begin his schoolwork Timmy goes running to the kitchen table, waiting for his "class."  

After the Pre-K Open House, we are going to a local music school for Robby. Robby has been asking to learn the guitar, and this unique program provides both direct instruction as well as the opportunity to participate in a rock band with other classmates. I think that the combination of activities is perfect for Robby and I am hopeful that it fits his schedule.

As silly as it may be, I'm feeling anxious about both Open Houses. I know that we are evaluating the programs, and that both schools would be lucky to have the boys as students.  But I can't help but feel nervous about being judged and refused admission.  I think I still feel the sting from the Montessori School on the side of a mountain. Now every time I connect with a new instruction opportunity I feel overwhelming anxiety and edgy.  

Fingers crossed it all goes well and that my worries are unfounded!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Energy

One more day until the heatwave is supposed to break, allowing crisper air to enter our area. I realize that it is only August and still summer, but my mind has been tricked into thinking it should be Fall because of the early start to school. In reality, it is supposed to be hot and my expectations for August weather have been skewed by back-to-school activities. Regardless, I'll be thrilled when the cooler air finally arrives. 

I haven't been to an indoor playground since the incident last Friday, but Timmy is becoming antsy inside so I think a play date is in our future. He is definitely a high-energy kid who loves all things physical.  I wish we had a pool membership, because swimming is always such a great outlet for his energy. Since swimming is off the table for the day, he will have to settle for a climbing playground.  

According to the weather forecast, tomorrow we should be able to play outside again. I'm looking forward to riding bikes through the neighborhood and jumping on our trampoline. Hopefully the predictions are right!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Forgiveness

I have taken the change in our family schedule as the impetus to make drastic improvements in my life. Over the past few months I have neglected to the time to care for myself. Between managing everybody (including the Cousin Crew) and the stress of looking for a new job, I have stopped caring about myself. 

I've gained weight over the summer, leaving me both lethargic and out of shape. I'm tired of getting out of breath when playing with Timmy. I'm frustrated with having a closet full of clothes that no longer fit. My body hurts every morning and I know that many of my aches and pains can be attributed to the extra weight I am toting.  

Things finally came to a tipping point last Sunday, when I couldn't button my fat shorts. I broke down and cried, angry that I had let my self get to this point again. After moping for a few hours I resolved to make some changes. 

The first thing I did was offer myself grace and forgiveness. Releasing the self-blame and destructive inner dialog was not easy but it was imperative for me to move forward.  I began to meditate, to journal and resumed taking long comforting baths at night. Slowly, I have begun to notice a shift in my perspective.

Last week I also started working out again. I didn't start with a dramatic, lengthy exercise routine because I knew that it wouldn't be sustainable. Instead I started completing a 20 minute exercise video every morning. It turns out that Timmy loves "dancing" with me each morning. His enthusiasm has kept me motivated when I begin panting from the routine.

Between the exercises and the changes in my diet (I've halted all snacking), I'm already noticing a difference. I know that the journey will be slow, but I deserve to feel better about myself!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

School Days

The school year adventures have begun.  Yesterday Scott embarked on his 26th year in the classroom while Robby begun year eight. Neither were particularly thrilled about the return to the school routine, but pair survived the stress and frustrations associated with the first day.

It is hard to believe that my sweet little Koopa is in eight grade. Robby thrived through his online school program so we opted to continue through this year. I realize his classroom is unconventional, but it works for him. 

After Labor Day his extracurricular classes begin which introduces another level of scheduling into my calendar. Most afternoons will be spent chauffeuring Robby from activities and schools for a variety of programs. His enthusiasm definitely makes spending so much time in the car worth the effort!

We plan to enroll Timmy in a pre-K program, but all decisions are on hold until we meet with his doctors next week. I need to make sure that my little guy is healthy enough for a classroom setting. Until then, he has begun working on his "schoolwork" at the same time as his brother. Fingers crossed he is cleared for pre-K, because I know that he would love every moment!



 



Monday, August 19, 2019

Hide and Seek Sirens

Friday I thought it would be fun to take Timmy to a play area in our local mall. Every time we have visited he has had a fantastic time, and Friday was no exception. As soon as we arrived he ditched his shoes, and his mom, and took off running with new buddies. Every once in awhile he stopped by to say hello and to have a sip of water, but other than that he was happy running and playing with his new playmates.

After we were there for nearly three hours the entire facility went dark. Within a few seconds emergency strobe lights started flashing, accompanied by an announcement telling everybody to shelter in place. My heart jumped as I joined the hoards of other parents frantically searching for their children in the enormous climbing structure.  

It felt like forever before I found Timmy walking out of a trampoline. I immediately scooped him up and began to scan the facility for a clue as to what we were supposed to be doing. I saw parents being turned away from the exits and overheard commands to hide. Not knowing where to go, I directed Timmy to climb up a red tube slide. Let me assure you, a plump one legged woman can still book it up a slide when necessary!

We stayed in the center of the slide for about five minutes, trying to remain as quiet and as still as possible. Timmy was confused as to why we were suddenly playing hide and seek, but I think he sensed the urgency of my directives because he obliged without argument. Finally the warning siren quieted and we were told that it was safe to evacuate.  

It turns out that there was a "domestic incident" at the other end of the mall involving a weapon, and the entire building was put on lock down and shelter in place as a precaution. Not knowing what was going on, my mind was flooding with recollections of mass shootings and worst case scenarios. Timmy and I were escorted into the parking lot by the police and we headed home.

Hiding in the slide with Timmy were some of the most frightening minutes of my life. Timmy was scared and spent most of Friday night reenacting the incident, which I think was his way of trying to process the events.I have a feeling it will be quite a long time before either of us wants to go back to that playground!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Bike Fun

Thank goodness it is finally Friday. Scott's dreaded week of prep meetings is drawing to a close, and Monday he will be in the classroom teaching. No doubt that he will still be tired next week, but teaching always trumps administrative meetings and I know that his mood will elevate once he is in front of his students.  

This has been a difficult week of adjustment for the entire family. Returning to the school schedule has been especially hard for Timmy, who misses the excitement and activity of having everybody home. He continues to cry each morning and requires near constant attention throughout the afternoon. I know that eventually he will adjust, but my goodness the transition is not easy!

Thankfully my Mom sent us a present that harnesses his energy in a productive manner. A little stationary bike, Timmy is able to steer, race and a play a variety of games on a tablet by riding his bike. The faster he pedals, the quicker his avatar moves on the screen. Hopped on as soon as it was assembled and pedaled for hours, allowing me time to clean the kitchen without disruption.

Over the weekend I plan to bring my stationary bike upstairs so that Timmy and I can ride together. I have gained some weight over the summer, primarily because walking was painful due to my socket and liner issues. 

I would feel better if I was at a healthier weight, but finding the opportunity to exercise is difficult. It seems that whenever I try to turn on an exercise video Timmy wants or needs something.  With his new toy, I know that Timmy will hop on his little bike whenever I am on my stationary bike. Riding together will keep him out of trouble while I'm focusing on my workout. Talk about a win-win for everybody!

Thanks Mom- you really are the best!




Thursday, August 15, 2019

Secondary Conditions

Several decades ago (yikes), I learned a statistic in school that has stayed with me. In reality I  learned a lot of statistics, the majority which I promptly forgot after the exam. For some reason, the fact that 90% of all health problems are experienced by 10% of the population  absolutely fascinates me. I find it both perplexing and sad, although as I have gotten older I have come to understand the cycle.

Our bodies are always teetering on the verge of collapse. It's depressing and scary to dwell on that reality so I try to avoid thinking about it too much. When one thing goes wonky, other issues arise as collateral damage.

My back and hip are starting to cause pain. Each morning I wake up tender and I have to calculate each move until I am fully mobile. My days of hopping out of bed are gone. Now I feel like an old lady, carefully contemplating each movement before creeping out of bed. I have no doubt that the pain is due to my prosthetic use and it stinks!

Earlier this week we recorded a podcast centering on the uneven distribution of both healthcare issues and spending.  The impact of secondary health conditions is staggering, and I'm glad it is starting to receive more attention.  You can listen to the podcast here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hypnotized

We are almost halfway through what I believe to be one of the worst weeks of the year. Between blathering meetings and the stress of classroom preparations, Scott is simultaneously exhausted and edgy. I am doing my best to keep things low key at home, but it hasn't been easy.

The boys, especially Timmy, are having a difficult time with the school year transition. He is quick to vocalize his displeasure each morning when his Daddy drives off to work.  Hopefully Timmy will adjust soon because the morning tantrums while I drink my coffee are becoming an annoying way to start the day.

Yesterday my attempts to distract and entertain Timmy backfired. Our favorite indoor playground has been remodeled and I am not happy with the changes. The lobby and play areas are littered with money grabbing electronic games. Between the flashing lights, cartoon figures and high pitched music, Timmy was hypnotized. I was frustrated that he wasn't playing, climbing and sliding and was, instead, begging to play electronic games. 

Sigh. I think it's time for us to find a new playground. If I wanted to play for arcade games I would take him to Chuck E Cheese.

 




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tiptoeing

Yesterday was the first day I have been alone with both boys for awhile, and they wore me out! I know that we will eventually ease back into our school schedule, but the transition is exhausting. Timmy was upset that his daddy left for work and seemed to demand my attention and focus from the time that he woke until he finally went to sleep at night. Between helping him write his letters to playing pirates and riding bicycles, I didn't have a chance to sit down all day.

Scott's transition back to work is just as tiring and frustrating, so I am trying to keep demands low when he comes home. This is historically a difficult week as he is forced to attend endless meetings while the administration constantly changes and tweaks his class schedule. I know that the stress will eventually normalize, but I have learned to lay low and tiptoe during the prep week before school opens for students.

Today is supposed to rain so Timmy and I will inevitably end up at an indoor playground. I have some work I need to do in preparation for a meeting tomorrow and I really need the time to focus and work.  I know it is only Tuesday, but I will be very glad when this week is over!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Home for a Surprise

After another fantastic week at my mom's, the boys and I returned home on Saturday. I am happy to be home, but I am always a tinge sad to drive away from my mom's house. No matter my age, it is always comforting to be around my mom.

The boys, especially Robby, always have so much fun visiting with the Cousin Crew. I know that he is going to miss the laughter, the inside jokes and the companionship in the weeks to come.  Thankfully school will be starting next week, so hopefully the return of his schedule and classmates will take the sting out of his loneliness.

Saturday was spent unpacking and getting settled back at home. Yesterday we headed out on a mini family adventure to the Animal Park. Jethro, the giant tortoise, was celebrating his birthday. Robby was looking forward to seeing all of the tortoises in party hats for the celebration.  Needless to say, he was not disappointed!

After we came home, Timmy and I were playing in the yard when a familiar silver truck turned into our driveway. I immediately recognized the truck and began to sprint towards the driveway. I was over-the-moon to be able to hug Mr. Bill again!

In town for a family wedding, he decided stopped by to surprise us.  I don't think I realized how much I missed him until he was sitting next to me, chatting by our fire pit. Timmy immediately began to showcase his new tree climbing and bike riding skills while Robby was just beaming chatting with his longtime friend. My goodness it was nice to see him again.  The neighborhood just hasn't been the same since he moved away.

Mr. Bill is in town all week so hopefully we will be able to connect again before he returns to Florida. I was sad leaving my mom's house, but I'm so glad that we were home for our surprise visitor.  








Friday, August 09, 2019

Returning Home

After the excitement and activity of Tree House World, yesterday we stayed close to home. Even though we didn't go anywhere, the Cousin Crew had a great time playing with water guns and foam swords. I love hearing the squeals of laughter echoing through the yard as they play! 

I'm going to be sad to leave, but it is time to return to reality. School is starting soon, so the Cousin Crew will have to say goodbye for a few months. Even though they chat through technology, it is not the same as when they are together.  

I'm always sad when summer comes to an end, but there is something to be said for returning to a normal schedule. Robby is already bemoaning leaving his cousins, but I know that he will be happy to be home with his cats. I'm glad that we will have a week at home to get settled and ready for the school year, because 8th grade starts in a little over a week.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Tree House World

We had a fantastic time at Tree House World. There is little doubt that the sprawling activity laden forest now ranks as one of my favorite kid activities. There was something for everybody to do, and many times the cousins (Timmy included) were able to participate together.  

From hatchet throwing and archery to tree climbing and exploring, everybody was busy from the moment we arrived. Timmy was particularly enthusiastic about tree climbing, inching higher and higher with each attempt. He is both physically strong and determined, traits which I'm sure will be beneficial as he continues to grow up.  

I chose to not participate in tree climbing. I didn't abstain because I couldn't do it, rather I really didn't want to climb. I don't like climbing and I no longer feel the need to participate to prove that I can do something. I was content cheering on all of the kids and acting as the official family photographer. I didn't climb trees, but I thoroughly enjoyed hatchet throwing and exploring the tree houses.  

Unfortunately storms rolled into the area in the late afternoon, forcing us to abandon our adventure earlier than anticipated. We were bummed to leave because everybody was having so much fun. I have no doubt that we will return!

















 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Night Out

The Cousin Crew spent a fun day playing games, eating junk food and having fun. In the evening we packed up and headed to the National Night Out celebration, which was hosted at the municipal building about 1/4 mile from my Mom's house. Talk about convenient!

The kids love the Night Out celebration, and I have to give credit to the local community. They put on a fantastic event for the community. From the concessions to the activities to the raffle, everything is free. Timmy loved jumping in the moon bounces and eating cotton candy while the big kids strolled through the aisles of vendors, scoring more swag and just having fun.

Today our adventures will continue with a trip to Tree House World. This adventure is special because both my mom and my sister are joining us. My niece and nephews are excited about their mom coming along to spend the day playing with the Cousin Crew.

The weather is perfect, so it is time for us to get packed up to head out on our adventure!





Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Bad Boo Boo Day

My little Hamlet was so excited to spend the day with his big cousins.  We opted to go bowling followed by a quest to get another stamp on the ice cream trail. Even though our adventure's weren't overtly physical or difficult, somehow Timmy suffered a series of accidents throughout the day which  led to his adventure being dubbed "Timmy's Big Boo Boo Day."

Excited for the day with his cousins, Timmy drew a picture on the sidewalk to start the day. He wore the chalk to the nub and ended up rubbing his knuckles across the cement sidewalk. Poor little guy tore up the skin on the knuckles of his right hand. I put on a few band-aids and corralled the kids to go bowling. 

After selecting a bowling ball and changing into his shoes, Timmy promptly slipped and fell on his face. His face tumble resulted in bleeding gash on the bottom of his chin. Although he calmed down and continued to bowl, he spent the rest of the activity worrying about his band-aid and his blood.  

At the ice cream place he jumped off the last step, slipped and skinned his knee.  By this point I wanted to just put him in a bubble for the rest of the day. With all of the band-aids, he was starting to resemble a prize fighter who had lost the match.

Unfortunately his bad boo boo luck continued into the evening. When trying to break a pinata (a surprise from his Aunt Sheri) Timmy became overly excited and managed to wack himself in the head with the bat. We didn't need a band-aid this time, but it did result in a large purple goose egg bruise in the center of his forehead.  

Poor kiddo.  This morning he is bruised, scraped and looks like he has survived the zombie apocalypse. Hopefully he will have a calmer, less injury riddled day today. 

Monday, August 05, 2019

Transitions

After a few weeks at home, Robby became antsy and wanted to go visit his cousins. Since Scott starts back to work this week (a transition which always leaves him both grumpy and tired), I was happy to oblige the request to get away.  Yesterday afternoon the boys and I packed up and headed back to Pennsylvania to reunite the Cousin Crew.

It's hard to believe that Scott is starting back to work this week. His school system is changing the school year calendar this year, resulting in a shortened summer vacation. It will be nice when he is done with the year three weeks earlier than normal, but going back to school early is a difficult transition. Looking forward to the end of May provides little solace in August.  

The Cousins still have a few weeks before their school resumes, and I plan to make the most of the time. Here is to another week (or maybe two) of Aunt Peggy adventures!   Let the fun begin....


Friday, August 02, 2019

Captain Underpants

Although they are brothers, Robby and Timmy hold so many opposite traits. Robby is calm and analytical where Timmy is impulsive and busy. Robby was always cautious, carefully evaluating a task to determine the risks and benefits before proceeding.  Timmy sees a tree and wants to climb higher than the squirrels, regardless of skill or the ability to descend. Despite our efforts to keep him safe, I worry that it is only a matter of time before Timmy's daredevil impulses result in a broken bone.

Last night I worried that our fears had materialized. After I tucked Timmy into bed, I went into the kitchen to finish the dishes. About 20 minutes later, as I was finishing wiping down the counters, I heard a loud thud, followed by crying, coming from Robby's bedroom. I found Timmy on the floor, curled up over his foot sobbing in pain.  

After I put him to bed he sneaked out of his room and into Robby's, where he climbed to the top bunk. He stood at the top, and leapt down (gravity sucks sometimes), resulting in a hurt ankle. When I got him calmed down, he declared that he didn't "flap his arms fast enough fly."  

His ankle was swollen and he had a difficult time walking.  It looked horrible and I was worried that he had broken something. Instead of rushing him to urgent care, we decided to ice the area and see how he was in the morning. After he became comfortable he finally fell asleep for the night.  

I was worried about his leg through the night, but I figured that his sleeping was probably a good sign. I woke up to a thump coming from his bedroom. I darted into his room (which took me a few minutes because my leg wasn't on yet) and saw him standing on the top of his bunk, overlooking his beanbag that he positioned below (which is lower than the one in Robby's room). With his Yoshi underwear on his head as a hat, he just looked at me and sang, "I'm Captain Underpants, ohh yeahhh" before jumping into the bean bag. 

I'm trying to focus on the positive. Timmy already shows great athletic prowess. He is fearless and determined, both traits that will help him in life. More than anything, I'm glad that his ankle isn't broken and he at least learned to position cushions to soften his falls.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Water park (Mis)Adventure

Our waterpark  adventure didn't unfold as planned, but that is part for the course with our family.  We arrived later than anticipated because packing for a one night getaway took an obscenely long time. From traffic to unplanned stops, it felt like the cards were stacked against us.  I felt a huge sigh of relief when we finally drove into the waterpark parking lot.

The skies were bright blue and the air was warm, creating perfect swimming conditions.  We immediately began to splash and play. Both boys were particularly fond of the wave pool and the belly flopper slide.  We stayed in the pool until the waves shut off, at which point we made a beeline for the slides.

After three hours, the skies began to darken and the temperature dropped.  We took the cue from the weather and headed inside to play in the indoor park until the storm blew over.  Timmy and Scott set out to go on a curly slide while Robby and I were floating down the lazy river.

All of a sudden, we heard a loud crash followed by darkness. The emergency lights flickered on while lifeguards were frantically blowing their whistles.  The entire park had lost power.  What a bummer!

We waited for nearly an hour before we decided to leave.  (Thankfully  we were given passes to return another day, which was unnecessary but very much appreciated.) We had a great time, even if the day was considerably shorter than planned.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Water Park Fun

To the delight of the boys, today we are heading to a "ginormous" water park to splash and play. Both boys, but especially Timmy, are excited about our family adventure. I love activities where everybody can have fun. The age difference makes it difficult, but going to a water park definitely fits the bill!

Because I'm still wearing a piecemeal prosthesis, I'm a little concerned about how it will hold up during our adventure. I'm worried about maintaining comfort, but I'm even more concerned that the socket will hold up through the strain of splashing, sliding and running through the water. I'm going to bring another device with me, but fingers crossed that it isn't necessary. The backup is more for hobbling around than it is for walking. A prosthetic failure today would be catastrophic for our water park adventure.

Pics to follow!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Behavior Molding

Our low-key anniversary celebration was, in my opinion, perfect. The day was spent riding bikes with Timmy through the neighborhood. After it became too hot to pedal, we packed up and took both boys to the splash pad. Scott and I saw in the shade watching Robby and Timmy's epic water gun showdown. 

Scott surprised me with a dinner reservation to my very favorite restaurant. The boys were well-behaved throughout dinner, and everybody ate their meal without complaint or drama. I can't remember the last time we all went to a restaurant without somebody (Timmy) experiencing a meltdown or creating drama.  Fingers crossed we turned the page on some behavior issues that we have been addressing!

Last week, after returning from visiting my Mom, Scott and I sat down and developed a plan for addressing Timmy's defiance and disregard for instruction. We figured out what doesn't work for him (yelling or punishment) and what seemed to elicit the quickest and most advantageous responses (praise and positive attention.)  Instead of constantly quipping no or putting him in time-out for misbehavior, we decided that we were going to triple down on positive reinforcement.  

After developing our plan, we knew that it would only be effective if Robby was on board. Timmy absolutely idolizes his big brother. Robby's power of persuasion is definitely greater than ours as parents, and we knew that we would be successful if we could leverage that control to mold appropriate behavior. 

Now every time Timmy listens, is helpful or is behaving,  he is lauded with praise and accolades. It didn't take long for us to see the benefits of our new behavior approach. Yelling and punishment have been replaced with happiness and hugs. I really wish that we had figured this out earlier! It is wonderful having two non-destructive, happy children!



Monday, July 29, 2019

15 years

15 years ago this morning my mom and I were waking up on the island of Anguilla. We strolled on the beach, had breakfast and went to a spa for the afternoon. In the afternoon, I walked down a sandy beach aisle and married Scott.

It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since that beautiful July morning. When I think about the number of years I feel overwhelmed reflecting on the life that has transpired. Where did all the time go?

So much has changed in our lives since we said our vows. The years have been filled with both happiness and sorrows, joys and stresses. We have certainly been tested over the years, but I would do it all over again.

Happy Anniversary Scott!


Friday, July 26, 2019

Riding Worries

Before I became an amputee I was fearless while riding a bicycle. I don't mean to imply that I was a daredevil, because that is certainly not true.  I've never been into performing tricks or acrobatics, but I was carefree. I used to feel both naturally comfortable and at ease, with no concern about falling and becoming injured.

It took nearly a decade after my amputation for me to regain my confidence to get back onto my bike. The hesitation wasn't because I wasn't physically ready. After my amputation, I had developed a paralyzing fear of falling off of a bike. 

It wasn't until Robby began to beg for me to join him on bike rides that I decided I needed to conquer my phobia. It took months of reflection and incremental steps for me to gain the confidence to start riding my bike again. It wasn't easy, but I am now able to ride with the kids through our neighborhood. Even though I'm riding, my worries and fears still haunt me with each turn of the pedal.

I have gone from being carefree to cautious. I was hopeful that my riding anxiety would lessen as I gained more experience in the saddle, but instead, I have only become more adept at masking my fears. The speed and freedom from my pre-amputation life have been replaced with a slow pace and intense (and sometimes exhausting) caution. 

Yesterday Scott was teasing me because of my slow and methodical pace. He wasn't trying to be mean, but I don't think he grasps the gravity of my fears. Given the depth of my falling anxiety, I think just riding through the neighborhood at a granny pace is a victory!



Thursday, July 25, 2019

My Little Climber

I don't like Timmy running around the yard when the lawnmower/ weed wacker are in use. I suppose I have too many friends who have become amputees because of childhood accidents involving landscaping tools. In order to keep him safe, I try to keep him either inside or away from the house while the majority of the work is in progress.

Yesterday while Scott and Robby were busy with yard work, I took the opportunity to take Timmy on a little solo adventure. We have noted huge improvements in his behavior over the past week and I wanted to reward the positive changes. He has been asking to go to a rock wall, so I figured that it was the perfect time to grant his wish.

My little climber was ecstatic when I invited him to go to the rock wall gym. He sang "Baby Shark" the entire drive, and was smiling from ear to ear as he was getting geared up. He looked so little flanked by the massive rock walls of the climbing gym! Without hesitating, he started to scale the first wall.

Timmy is little, but he is persistent. It took him a few times to get comfortable with the ropes and to feel safe, but as soon as comfort was established there was no stopping him. He concentrated, worked, climbed and pulled his way to the top of the tall structures for 90 minutes. He would have kept going, but I was worried about the blisters on his hands and I didn't want him to overdo it.

It is safe to say that Timmy is the best climber in our family.










Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Riding

Cooler temperatures have arrived and we could not be happier. I realize that this respite will be short-lived and that summer is forecast to return by the end of the week, but I am choosing to live in the moment. It feels so good to again be comfortable. 

The break in the heat has provided the opportunity for my leg to normalize. The swelling almost immediately receded as soon as the heatwave broke, providing me with some overdue prosthetic relief. Being able to wear my leg without the discomfort and limitations from limb swelling is simply wonderful. 

With my leg feeling better and the weather comfortable, yesterday we were able to play outside. Timmy put his shoes on in record time when I asked him if he wanted to play in the yard. He loves being outside and has become antsy with our indoor play dictate during the heatwave. Much like a dog who has been inside all day, Timmy went running outside as soon as I unlocked the door. 

It didn't take long for him to make his way to our garage to retrieve his bicycle. By the time I made it outside, I found him riding up and down the driveway, singing Baby Shark and grinning from ear-to-ear. I decided that it was a perfect day to join him, so I hopped onto my bike and we went on a long ride through the neighborhood, exploring every side street and stopping to pick blackberries. My little guy was so happy to again be on two wheels! 

My leg is still feeling great today, so I think we will spend a good deal of the afternoon outside. I plan on soaking up every moment of our good weather before the heat returns.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Relief

Finally!  

The rain arrived last night, bringing cooler temperatures to our area. As the rain began to fall, our house became more comfortable. I am so happy with this respite from the overwhelming heat. I am definitely not made for hot weather.

Yesterday morning Timmy and I worked on a new woodworking project. I was impressed with his concentration and his ability to follow instructions. My little feral wild-child seems to be settling down, which is a welcome improvement. After working for nearly an hour with my supervision, he constructed his very own pirate chest.  

The next few hours were spent playing pirates, a game for which I am aptly suited. Robby even got into the action, playing the role of Invader Pirate Brober who kept stealing and hiding our treasure. It was fun having everybody playing and laughing together. I saw a glimmer of hope that, someday, the boys might have mutual interests and share activities.  

As the heat built throughout the afternoon we sought refuge at the bowling alley. (The boys were both delighted that their daddy bowled with them.) By the time we returned home the storms were beginning to form so we spent the rest of the night playing and watching movies.  

I am hoping that the break in the heat will provide relief from my limb swelling. My leg has been feeling both tight and uncomfortable, forcing me to frequently stop to release the pressure and to slip it off. I am ready for the temperatures, and my body, to normalize!





Monday, July 22, 2019

HeatWave

After nearly two weeks away, Friday afternoon we packed up and headed back to Virginia. We had a fantastic time with the Cousin Crew (and spending time with my Mom), but it was nice to return home. With nearly two weeks packed with day trips and adventures, I am happy for a little downtime to recover and relax. Of course, Robby is already missing his cousins and is peeking at the calendar to schedule a return visit.

In case you have missed the news, the past few days have been beyond hot. It has been take-your-breath-away, knock-you-to-your-knees and melt-you-into-a-pile oppressively hot. Despite our large A/C unit and a variety of fans, we were not able to keep the house comfortable. 

Saturday the heat became so overwhelming and miserable that we decided to pack up and head to a hotel for a night. We checked in, cranked the A/C unit to high and headed to the indoor pool for a few hours. We had a great time and it was a wonderful way to beat the heat!

Our heatwave continues today but it is forecast to break tonight. Fingers crossed that we receive some relief from the obscene temperatures. I'm too old and too fat to handle triple digits with a heat index in the 120s.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Ice Cream Trail

Yesterday I packed up the Cousin Crew and we went on an ice cream adventure. It took us nearly six hours, but we visited five creameries on the Ice Cream Trail. The kids (minus Timmy) loved taking turns as my navigator. Unfortunately, each one managing to miscommunicate the GPS directions, resulting in our becoming disoriented and extending the length of our quest. The kids were so happy and excited that becoming lost was fun instead of frustrating.