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, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. Typically I would be at my Mom's house, visiting a craft fair and preparing for a cook out. Instead we are at home, sheltering in place. Like every other celebration and holiday in the past few months, this year we are breaking traditions and doing things differently.

Instead of having a picnic with extended family, we will grill burgers in Virginia. We won't be going to a craft fair, and Robby won't be playing with his cousins. With the exception of conference calls being removed from my schedule, today feels very much like every other Monday.  

If the weather were nicer we could play outside, but the drizzling rain is keeping us inside. The rain and the cloudy skies are adding further insult to my sullen mood. I know that soon the quarantine will lift and we will begin a new normal. Unfortunately, right now, I am missing our traditions and my extended family.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Butterfly Kisses

Over the past few weeks we have watched tiny little caterpillars grow, form cocoons and emerge into beautiful butterflies. It is amazing how tiny little caterpillars managed to capture Timmy's fascination. As soon as he saw the little crawling critters, he dutifully assumed his role as butterfly farmer. 

Every morning he greeted them with a cheerful hello and checking on their progress. When the caterpillars curled into their cocoons, Timmy cheered them on through their transformation. When the cocoons broke open and timid butterflies tore out of the thing walls, Timmy was there to sing a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday."  

Charlie Cat had developed a sinister interest in the flying bugs and we were worried that he was going to become aggressive about opening their netted home. Butterflies don't have a long life span, and I wanted them to experience nature during their short lives. The sun was shining and the temperature was warm, so Scott and I decided that yesterday was time to set them free.

I was worried about how Timmy would react to setting his new winged friends free. Instead of being sad or mournful, he was giddy and excited. He came tearing down the hallway when I told him it was time to set the butterflies free. Without missing a beat he took the cage from my hands, carefully walked down the steps and went outside.  

We had expected a butterfly exodus when the cage was opened. Unfortunately, the release was rather anticlimactic. (I have a four minute video of us just staring at an open cage, waiting for a butterfly to fly away.) Eventually, Timmy reached his hand into the cage and a butterfly hopped onto his hand. 

One by one, Timmy escorted his butterflies into nature. Each butterfly sat on his hand or his arm for a few moments before flitting away into the trees. He was delighted, thinking that each bug wanted to say goodbye to him. I have to admit, it was pretty neat to witness.Every time we see a butterfly in our yard, I will always wonder if they are a relative to our initial little family. I'd like to think that they are!








Thursday, May 21, 2020

Timmy's Piratical Adventure

Several weeks ago I won a virtual play date for Timmy. After reviewing our choices, I chose a pirate as his play mate for the session. Conducted through Zoom, I was unsure about how he was going to interact and respond to the pirate leading the experience. At the very least, I knew that I wasn't paying and it seemed like a good way to spend 30 minutes. 

Timmy was slow to warm up to his pirate friend, but as soon as he became comfortable he threw himself into the adventure. He is accustomed to video chatting, the Zoom platform was familiar and easy for him to use. After a few minutes of timid responses,  soon he was laughing and playing along with his new play mate. 

The highlight of his piratical adventure was the magic trick, where a toy that the pirate was playing with suddenly inside of our couch console. Even though I knew that the gift was mailed earlier and I was instructed to hide it in the couch,  seeing the magic unfold in his eyes made me believe as well! His excitement about discovering the magical gift is something that I won't soon forget. 

The first photo was captured at the beginning of his play date. His perplexed look and stand-offish posture had me worried.  By the end he was leaning into the computer, actively dancing and singing pirate songs.  I was unsure at first, but the virtual play date has become one of the highlights of quarantine. 



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Blessed

I had not been looking forward to my birthday. I knew that it was coming, but I anticipated it with the same dread that I feel before a mammogram or a pap smear appointment. I knew that it was inevitable and quickly approaching, and I hoped to get through the day with as little discomfort as possible.

To my surprise and delight, I had a lovely day. I definitely missed seeing my friends and family (beyond Scott and the boys), but I connected with everybody through video chat and messaging. Throughout the day I received messages and calls, wishing me a Happy Birthday and checking in.  I felt loved and spoiled and, to be honest, I couldn't ask for more.  

Thank you to everybody who reached out to me. Your messages and your kind words helped make yesterday a birthday to remember. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

My (Quarantine) Birthday

Happy (quarantine) Birthday to me.  

Sigh. I remember when I was younger and my birthday was my favorite day of the year. As time has passed and the number creeps up, I find myself more blase about my "big day." Although I try to switch my perspective, I can't help but focus on the age instead of the celebration. Regardless of whether or not I want to  acknowledge it, today I am officially one year older.  

This year my birthday feels even more anti-climatic. Social distancing from my family and friends is starting to wear me down. I miss human contact, adventures and just interacting with people. I know that so many people are in the same boat though, and I do take solace in the knowledge that I am not alone on this isolation raft.   

Today will be spent with Scott and the boys. Unfortunately it is going to rain (again), so we will spend the day inside. I don't think it will be hard to convince Robby and Timmy to snuggle up with me to watch a movie (or two) while we gorge on popcorn and milkshakes. 

Our celebration may be homespun and laid back this year, but I have decided that it will be a quarantine birthday to remember.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tooth Fairy

This was a big weekend in our house. Timmy, who has been excitedly waiting for the arrival, was finally visited by the Tooth Fairy. Saturday night he squealed and then ran into the living room, proudly showing a new gap toothed smile. 

Unfortunately, he became confused and excited when the tooth fell out. Not knowing what to do with the tooth in his hand, he reasoned that the safest bet was to swallow the tooth. When we tried to decipher what happened to the tooth, he carefully explained that it was staying with his body so that a new tooth would grow. I have no plans to launch a tooth recovery mission.

With his new gap tooth smile, he carefully wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining that he lost his booth but then ate it. We tucked the note into the heart pillow pocket and hoped for the best. Thankfully the Tooth Fairy was understanding and decided to leave Timmy a few treats to celebrate the milestone.  





Friday, May 15, 2020

Cheesy

A few weeks ago I saw a segment on Good Morning America advertising a cheese making kit. Honestly, it didn't take much to convince me to jump on the purchasing bandwagon. For some reason, making cheese has been something I've been wanting to try for the past two decades. Between the deal and the time afforded by quarantine, taking the plunge to chase my cheese making dreams seemed like a no-brainer.

To my delight, my kit arrived Wednesday night. After finishing my work yesterday, I cleaned off my kitchen counter and began my first foray into cheese making. I don't think I've been this excited since quarantine started!

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, but it has been a long time since I have had this much fun cooking. I had water boiling, my instructional cheese making video playing and pans clanging. I loudly belted out self-composed cheese making songs as I enthusiastically pulled and molded my cheese. 

At one point the boys were all standing in the doorway to the kitchen, quizzically watching my antics. I was loud, messy and having a blast. None of them quite knew what to make of my theatrics, but they all knew enough to leave me uninterrupted.  

Sometimes, I guess it's good to do something just for yourself.  I found an escape from the pandemic in a virtual cheese making class. Not only did I have a great time, but I have a bowl full of excellently pulled cheese in my refrigerator. 




Thursday, May 14, 2020

Minimal Complaints

We had another gorgeous day, affording us the luxury of being able to spend the day outside. Social distancing is so much easier when we can get outside to play. Listening to the boys laugh as they ran around the yard made me so happy. For a few hours, I escaped the pandemic anxiety and just enjoyed life.

Timmy spent hours hunting zombies through the yard. He was disappointed, but I was rather relieved that his hunt proved to be unsuccessful. Even though he didn't find any zombies, he had a great time and was smiling from ear-to-ear during his quest.

After the final zombie hunt we all hopped onto our bikes and rode through the neighborhood. Our nightly bike rides have become one of my daily highlights. I love spending time with the boys, just pedaling and talking. 

As we were riding our bikes through the neighborhood I couldn't help but reflect upon how very lucky I was feeling. Quarantining is difficult, but I cannot fathom how much more frustrating it must be for those who do not have a yard and readily accessible opportunities to get outside. I become cranky whenever we are stuck inside for more than two days. I promise, I am going to try to keep my complaining to a minimum!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Zombie Hunter

Timmy and I spent hours outside yesterday, armed and hunting zombies. He was carrying a rake while I was allotted a wooden spoon for protection. I have to admit that I'm relieved we didn't locate any zombies because I had doubts about the effectiveness of my assigned weapon.  

Although we didn't find any zombies, I did log nearly 16,000 steps during our quest. Being outside and getting some exercise was perfect consolation for our lack of zombie location success. Determined to keep the neighborhood safe, Timmy has vowed to resume the hunt today. 

He didn't locate any zombies, but he did find another skull in the woods. He surmised that it was the remnants of a zombie feast, but I think it was probably an opossum.  I love his imagination!



Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Sunshine and Coats

Another non eventful day of quarantine is in the books. It was too windy to go play outside, but the boys seemed content to just quietly play for most of the afternoon. I used the down time to catch up on work and to relax. 

As boring as it is becoming, quarantining has allowed all of my leg ailments to heal. The sores, burns and aching discomfort that were developing have all been remedied. I am no longer feeling any pain when I walk, and for this I am eternally grateful. It is wonderful to be able to walk without discomfort. The absence of pain has been liberating!

Timmy was quiet yesterday, which means he will probably be raring to go today. I anticipate an afternoon of running around the yard and riding bikes. The cold temperatures don't deter him, although it frustrates me that we are in the middle of May and I still need a warm jacket. As long as the sun is shining and the winds aren't howling, Timmy will want to play outside.  

With my leg feeling strong and finally being ahead in work, I think today will be the perfect day to play in the yard. I've given up on waiting for warmer temperatures. I'll just take the sunshine.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day has come and gone. Like all other recent celebrations, this year was different.  I think I have (finally) made peace with the disruptions caused by quarantine. Rather than being sad, I've decided to change my perspective. Traditions ended because of the quarantine but opportunities to reinvent a celebration were born.

We didn't go out for breakfast, but we did enjoy grilled burgers and fries for lunch. I made dinner for everybody but the boys cleaned up. We didn't do anything grand, but it was nice to just relax and unwind. 

Although I had a great day with my boys and Scott, but I definitely missed seeing my Mom. Video chat provided a connection, for which I am grateful, but I missed giving her a hug. Hopefully I will be able to visit her soon, but we are planning to wait until it is safe for everybody to reunite. In the meantime, we will continue to stay connected through the phone and computer.  

I hope that everybody had a Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 08, 2020

Redeemed

Yesterday was exactly what I needed to get my mind back in the quarantine game. The weather was gorgeous. The sun was shining and the temperature was warm. I spent the majority of the day outside, playing with the boys and working on our peach trees. 

Being outside, I felt so happy and blessed. I know that we are still social distancing, but just being able to breath the fresh air made a world of difference. Playing with the boys felt like a joy instead of a chore. My heart was happy!

Timmy, Robby and I spent a lot of time launching soda bottle rockets in the yard. My goodness, they thought that the soaring bottles were one of the neatest things they have ever seen! Finding an activity that delights and entertains both boys is rare. Yesterday, I hit the jackpot with the soda bottle rockets.

At one point, Timmy decided that he wanted a close up look at the launch. He positioned himself close to the bottle, which was set on a dirt patch. Unfortunately for my little engineer, the launched caused some unexpected mud splash back. He was covered with mud, and absolutely delighted.

I definitely feel like I redeemed myself yesterday!




Thursday, May 07, 2020

World's Best Mom?

Another day in quarantine has come and gone. At this point, the days are all running together. Robby's online classes are the only thing keeping me on track to remember, and to even care about, the days of the week. I feel like we are stuck in a perpetual loop of Groundhog Day. 

Like so many days before, yesterday the weather was miserable. The skies were dreary and rainy all day, forcing us to stay inside. Timmy and I built a fort, but even he is becoming bored of our games. He was content to veg out and watch cartoons for most of the afternoon. I never thought I would be a "watch TV Mom" yet here I am, killing it.  



Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Quarantine Anxiety

Quarantine is starting to wear me down. Most days I feel like I'm able to go with the flow, but yesterday was rough. I'm not sure why, but I woke up feeling claustrophobic, irritable and antsy. I wanted nothing more than to just hop into the car to drive and visit my friends. 

Being socially responsible, I knew that a friend visit was not feasible. I tried to occupy my mind with mundane tasks throughout the day, hoping that my stay-at-home malaise would wane.  The more I tried to pretend that everything was okay the more irritable I became. I finally decided it would be best for everybody if I just surrendered to the sadness for the rest of the day.

It's odd, because allowing myself to feel sad and restless actually helped me to feel better. This is hard for everybody, moms included. I think I have become so consumed with making sure that everybody else in the house is comfortable, happy and calm that I forgot to take care of myself. 

Sometimes I guess we all need to curl up on the couch and wallow for a little bit. After a good cry, a long bath and a bowl of cookie dough ice cream, I began to feel the quarantine anxiety lift. Today I'm feeling happier and stronger, ready to tackle another day of quarantine!

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Peach Trees!

Oh my goodness, the weather yesterday was unbelievably beautiful. We spent the majority of the day outside, playing and working around the house. The boys were thrilled to be out of the house, soaking up the fresh air and warm sunshine. From a Mom's perspective, it was refreshing to have everybody simultaneously busy, happy and not fighting. Over the past few weeks, those moments of zen calm have become increasingly rare.

Robby and Scott continued to work on dismantling the platform while Timmy bounced on the trampoline and soared on his swing set. After they took a break from demolition, we decided to go for a quick family bike ride through the neighborhood. Our "quick bike ride" turned into a one-hour, four mile adventure. Timmy's little legs were so tired he was wobbly by the time we returned home, but he was smiling from ear-to-ear.  

After lunch our peach trees were delivered, which was the cause for even more excitement. Everybody headed outside and began to dig holes to plant our trees. There is little Robby and Timmy enjoy more than digging holes! The brothers grabbed their shovels, went to their designated spots and began to dig. They were happier than a dog hiding a bone!

Unfortunately one of our trees was damaged during delivery, but we are hoping that it still might grow. (The company was wonderful and has offered a replacement as soon as more become available.) The trees were smaller than we anticipated, but we are hopeful that they will grow strong in a relatively short amount of time. The description promised a bushel of peaches the first year, but looking at our newly planted twigs, I am doubtful that the claim will come to fruition. 

I guess we will see. At this point, all we can do is wait. With the current stay-at-home order, we've got nothing but time.






Monday, May 04, 2020

Destruction

Our weather was gorgeous on Saturday, allowing us to spend the majority of the afternoon outside. While Timmy and I played (mainly consisting of my pushing him on the swing), Robby and Scott worked to dismantle the platform in out backyard. Mr. Bill built the platform nearly a decade ago for a pool. Unfortunately the concept never worked (it collapsed and sent the pool water rushing towards the creek), and we ended up using the platform for a trampoline instead. 

We recently moved the trampoline to the front yard and it felt like the perfect time to start the destruction process. Robby was more than eager to grab a sledge hammer and start breaking it apart. Of course, the task ended up being a tad more labor intensive than he anticipated and his enthusiasm quickly waned.  

I tried to be helpful, but between my having the upper body strength of a tyrannosaurus rex and Timmy's need for constant supervision around tools, my efforts were limited. Timmy and I did break up some boards with hammers, an activity that he found profoundly exciting. His zeal with the hammer caught me off guard and made me nervous!

Working together, we ended up tearing down about 3/4 of our platform. Our saw blade was worn down and we are waiting for a replacement to be delivered before continuing. Hopefully everything will be dismantled by next weekend and we can clear out the debris and start working on growing grass.











Friday, May 01, 2020

Dead -Not Dead

My Mom's sweet dog Molly, a beautiful Golden Retriever, has been on canine hospice since September. Although the Vet warned us that she would only have weeks to perhaps a few months, she has defied the odds. Yesterday, we thought that her luck had run out. I received a call from my Mom in the morning, informing me that she was en route to the Vet with Molly. My niece and nephews had said their goodbyes, and that it was time for Molly to be at peace.

My heart lurched with the news. Not only was I grieving Molly, but I knew the pain that my Mom was feeling. It is so hard to be away during difficult times, and I wanted nothing more than to just give her a hug. Instead, I told her that I loved her, asked her to kiss Molly for us, and I went to prepare my boys for the bad news.  

I have been setting the stage for Molly's death for awhile. Timmy is familiar with the Rainbow Bridge and the idea that pets leave this life to go play in fields with their puppy parents and cousins. He knows that Lizzie, my Mom's other dog who passed a few years ago, is already on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge and that she is very happy.  

Knowing that he was going to be heartbroken, I took a deep breathe and told Timmy that Molly was crossing the Rainbow Bridge. My stoic little boy dissolved in front of my eyes. His eyes swelled with tears and he was at a loss for words. He simultaneously became overwhelmed with anger and grief.  After holding him, rocking him and soothing him with the beautiful scene that was meeting Molly, he finally pulled himself together. Well, as "together" as a six year old can be after learning of the death of a beloved canine friend.  

When the phone rang a few minutes later, I thought it was my Mom letting me know that Molly was gone. Instead, I was met with my Mom's cheerful voice. In fact, she was nearly giddy. Apparently the Vet did not feel that it was time to put Molly out of her misery. It turns out she wasn't dying, she is just fat.  (I guess her hospice diet added nearly 30 pounds to her frame, making it increasingly difficult to breath and move.) 

I was relieved that Molly was not gone, but I knew that relaying the news to Timmy was going to cause confusion. He was delighted that Molly was not dead, and after some discussion he rationalized that she was too afraid to go to the top of the Rainbow Bridge. I was just happy that he wasn't crying, so I decided to agree with his rationale and try to move on.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Game Board

I am by no means a crafty person. While I enjoy going to craft fairs and shopping artisan shops, my talents and patience are limited. During the quarantine, I've been looking for activities to do with the kids while supporting local businesses. Robby's former art teacher started selling do-it-yourself wood painting kits, and I decided it would be a fun family activity.

As soon as I unpacked the kit I realized that it was not family friendly. Between the sticky stencils and the highly pigmented real paint (as opposed to the temper paints we usually use), bringing the kids into this activity was going to be a disaster. I put the kit to the side and figured I would give it to my niece.  

Yesterday, out of pure boredom, I decided to break my "no craft" resolution by tackling the kit by myself. I was surprised by how much fun I actually had crafting. Perhaps going into the challenge knowing that I lacked the talent and holding no expectations for creating a masterpiece are the keys for me to enjoy creating art.  

My color blocks are sloppy and the pattern is somehow wrong (although I still can't figure out how I managed to mess that up), but I had a really good time working on my little project. I know that it isn't perfect, but neither are we. Somehow this little game board perfectly reflects our family during quarantine. We are messy, somewhat off yet still trying to remain fun. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tired

Bleh.  Yesterday was dreary, cold and miserable. Timmy seemed content to stay under the covers, watching cartoons and playing on his little phone for most of the afternoon. I took the quiet opportunity to get a lot of work done, allowing me to actually get ahead of schedule. Dark and rainy days can feel miserable, but at least I was productive!

Today the sun is supposed to shine and the temperatures are forecast to warm. I'm looking forward to playing outside, getting some fresh air and enjoying the time out of the house. I've been holed up inside for so long I am going stir-crazy.  

Although I know that I'm not the only one feeling this way, it is worth repeating. Quarantine is becoming difficult. I want to be able to go to the park and to visit my Mom. I miss going to stores and eating in restaurants. While I know that normal will return, sometimes it feels like an eternity.  

Stay safe, and keep on social distancing.  This too shall pass, and we will all be able to talk about this with future generations. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Caterpillar Love

Yesterday's excitement was courtesy of a caterpillar delivery. I had ordered a caterpillar to butterfly kit for Timmy's birthday, but it didn't arrive in time due to the cold weather. (The company needed to wait until the base temperature was warmer before sending the caterpillars so they wouldn't freeze in transit.) To the delight of my little explorer, the caterpillars arrived safe and sound yesterday afternoon.

Timmy was beyond ecstatic with his new wiggly friends. He immediately placed them in a warm location and pulled up a chair to sit next to them. When I heard him say, "I'm so glad that you are here caterpillars," my heart smiled. All day he was running back to the kitchen to visit with his new pets. I hoped that he would enjoy watching the caterpillars morph into butterflies, but I underestimated his enthusiasm for our project.  

According to the instructions included with our caterpillar kit, the little crawlers will soon make their way to the top of the container and begin to form a chrysalis. About a week later, a beautiful butterfly should emerge. Fingers crossed our caterpillars are healthy enough to turn into butterflies!





Monday, April 27, 2020

Birthday Wrap-Up

Timmy's sixth birthday was rather uneventful but fun. He enjoyed being doted upon throughout the day. Although the celebration was low-key, he knew that he was loved and he was full of giggles and smiles. He was over-the-moon when he unwrapped his new lighted scooter and claimed that he was going to ride all the way to his Nana's house.  

Saturday we spent playing outside, mostly on the new scooter and swing set. I'm not sure where he learned how to ride a push scooter, but he took to it as if he was a seasoned pro. The difference in agility and balance between Robby and Timmy is amazing. They both have such unique skill sets with few crossovers. Being raised in the same house with the same parents, I am surprised that they don't have more common traits.  

Sunday was boring. The weather was dreary, forcing us to stay inside. Timmy played with his toys, Robby spent the most of his time on his VR with friends while Scott watched movies. I worked and tried to clean the house.  By mid-afternoon I became frustrated with being the only person not relaxing so I decided to log off, sit down and relax. I spent the rest of the day binge watching 90 Day Fiance.  










Friday, April 24, 2020

Birthday Boy

Birthdays always render me emotional, and this year is no different.  It is so hard to believe that my sweet little Timmy is turning six years old.  He is no longer a baby or a toddler. He is a full blown little big boy. I love him so much it hurts.

Where did the time go? I really don't know, but I do know that I love every moment of being his Mom. He has frustrated me to tears and tired me to my limits and beyond. But he has also provided me with more laughter, love and smiles than my heart can hold.  In six short years we have both grown and changed so much.

Timmy, my sweet little Hamlet, I love you to the moon and back. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday. Today we will have party #1. I promise we will celebrate again when the quarantine is lifted and when you can be with your cousins and Nana again. We will climb trees, have picnics and go on family camp-outs. Until then, I hope that you enjoy your special day.

We love you!