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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Camping

There is little doubt that Timmy is suffering from a growing case of cabin fever. Unable to mingle in public and with the weather too cold to comfortably play outside, he has been forced indoors for several weeks. I have a feeling that his being cooped up has greatly contributed to his recent mischievous escapades.  

Yesterday, in an attempt to breath new life into our boring routine, I set up the tent in the middle of our living room. Timmy was giddy with the prospect of indoor camping, and quickly retrieved blankets and supplies as soon as the tent was erect. We spent the afternoon playing inside our tent, pretending to sleep and fighting off bear attacks. I didn't realize how long it has been since I have heard his belly laugh.  

Timmy was so enthusiastic about the tent that he managed to convince us to let him eat his dinner while camping. He relished snuggling into his little burrow with his "camping dinner," happily munching and talking to us through the mesh. I don't remember the last time I saw him eat so heartily.

I have a feeling that my creativity is going to be put to the test over the next few weeks. Until he is cleared to resume playgrounds and bouncy houses, I want to keep him stimulated and happy. This week we will focus on camping, but I'm open to ideas for the coming weeks.



Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Bad Mom

After a long weekend, it is back to reality. Scott was home yesterday, allowing us to work together to get caught up on the housework that waited while we spent the weekend watching Robby's rock shows. Now the laundry is done and the house clean, ready for the busy week ahead.

Today I'm vowing to have a better day than I did on Friday. I hate to admit it, but I was not a very good mom on Friday. Never before have I had such a maternal meltdown and I hope that it doesn't happen again.

While we were playing downstairs, Timmy said "Momom watch this. I can make rainbow lines." Before I could stop him, he had proudly jumped on top of my cell phone. I quickly became enraged when I picked it up to discover the display screen was ruined. The glass wasn't cracked, but apparently he broke the liquid display inside. 

I was furious because he should have known better, and because I said no and he proceeded. Logically I knew that he didn't mean to break my phone, and that he was simply trying to recreate the rainbow effect he had discovered earlier when he pressed the screen too hard. Even though his breaking the phone was not his intent, it was definitely the result.  

Without thinking I herded him upstairs. Furious about my phone, instinctively I grabbed his roller skates and hurdled them off the deck into the woods. I didn't realize how far I could throw something! The skates almost flew into our neighbors yard.

Realizing that I was enraged, I sent him to his room where he stayed for two hours. During that time I fumed, cried and eventually calmed down.  I walked into the woods, retrieved his skates and put them next to the door. He was scared when I went to let him out of his bedroom. I felt pangs of guilt when I saw the fear in his little eyes.

Timmy and I spent time talking about what happened and why I was angry. He knew that he should not have jumped on my phone. I feel badly about my strong reaction but I think it made an impact on Timmy. Maybe now he will listen to me when I tell him to stop?

Scott came home with a new cell phone, which was a wonderful surprise but not entirely unexpected. He has a way of taking care of technology when it breaks down, and he knows that I rely upon the cell phone throughout the day. His thoughtful gesture did a lot to diffuse the situation.  

I am not proud of my explosion and I hope that I never experience that fury again. I felt like the worse mom in the world, despite Timmy's hugs and loving behavior throughout the rest of the day. I lost control. I am not one to yell, so hearing the volume of my voice even scared me!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Show Time!

Saturday we woke up to icy weather. Although we had no doubt that we would make the performance (after all, he was in the band), we knew that my family from Pennsylvania were snowed in. Although he was disappointed, Robby understood that his cheering section was going to be smaller than his friends. Sometimes living in Virginia when everybody else lives in Pennsylvania stinks!  He video chatted with his Nana before we left, and he knew that she was rooting for him from afar.

To our sheer delight, we spotted my cousin Dan as soon as we drove into the parking lot. He, his wife Erin and all four of their kids braved the roads and drove nearly 3 hours to cheer on Robby. Robby was so excited to see them, and was absolutely amazed at the efforts they undertook simply to watch him play. Having a considerably larger cheering section, he felt more confident when he slipped on his guitar. 

Robby's songs were a rousing success.  Despite his nerves and stage fright, he was able to put on a brave face when he took the stage. After a few chords I could see his body begin to relax, and by the end of the first song he was genuinely having fun.

By Sunday the roads had completely cleared, allowing both my Mom and my sister to drive down for his second gig. Although he was still nervous, he was more comfortable than he felt on Saturday. Nerves are good before a performance. Feeling petrified and nearly vomiting is not. Sunday we had nerves without the paralyzing fear.

After his show was over and when we were driving home, Robby started chatting about how much fun he had. He can't wait to do it again. Looks like I might have a budding rocker in our house!

 Here are some links to watch two of his songs:

 https://photos.app.goo.gl/S5e4NTXy72r5wtdV9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jHy3TK18Wece29D67







Friday, January 17, 2020

Band Weekend

This is a big weekend for our family. Robby has been taking guitar lessons for several months, and this Saturday he has his first performance. He is a bundle of excited and nervous energy right now, fretting about every detail and worried that he will make a mistake on stage. I would worry if his smiling and giddy demeanor were not also present to counter his nerves. 

Unfortunately, performances in January are always risky. The weather is supposed to be unfavorable, which means that his little cheering section will be impacted. It is going to be hard for my Mom and sister to travel to Virginia to watch him. Thankfully we have Skype and plan to live stream his performance. They may not be there in person, but they will be able to experience his band virtually. 

Initially only assigned to perform one song, Robby's dedication and increasing skill level has led to him playing a total of six songs.  Each week he has come home, floating on Cloud 9 and eager to fill me in on every single detail. Weeks when he is assigned to a new song he is especially animated.  

He has worked hard, has never missed a band meeting and has practiced religiously. I'm so proud of him. Although I know he is nervous, I also realize that he is going to do a great job. I can't wait to hear him play with his band! 


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Best Day Ever

For the past few weeks, Timmy has gleefully declared "today is the best day ever" when he wakes up. His little feet don't even touch the ground before he has decided that it is going to be an amazing day. He is happy and excited to embrace every opportunity he is sure the new day holds. I want to be like Timmy!

My little Timmy has every reason to be unhappy, yet his optimistic spirit continues to shine bright. I love his enthusiasm and his belief that everything is wonderful. He keeps me grounded and reminds me that happiness is simply more fun than being stressed and anxious.

I have been focusing on self-care over the past few weeks. While I'm not yet at Timmy's level for unabashed joy, I have been noticing some improvements in both my mood and outlook. Between the meditation and my gratitude journal, I am learning to pause and enjoy the moments.

I have a long way to go, but for the first time in over a year I feel like I'm on the right path.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Taking it Easy

I was delighted when both boys awoke yesterday feeling better. I was so worried that Robby was going to be sick for his band performances. Thankfully, the malaise from Monday was fleeting. Soon after they woke Timmy was zooming around the dining room on his roller skates while Robby busied himself with his VR and guitar.

Despite feeling better, I tried to keep both boys as calm and quiet as possible. The weather cooperated with my plan, providing us with a cool and rainy day. It wasn't hard to convince Timmy to stay inside to play when he saw the dreary sky.  

Usually I would take Timmy to an indoor playground on days with yucky weather, encouraging him to play and expel energy. Unfortunately he can't be around other kids right now, so I am forced to turn my living room into a playground. Between the roller skates, his push bike and Hot Wheels, my living room is bustling with activity.

I will be so happy when flu season is over and I can take Timmy into public spaces without fear!



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Day Off

Yesterday was quiet. Neither boy was feeling fantastic, so they spent the day quietly working on school assignments (Robby) or playing with toys (Timmy.) I hate that they weren't feeling well, but I rather enjoyed a day without the need to do anything of importance.  

While they were busy quietly working on their own activities, I was able to knock out some projects and clean the house. When that was done, I actually took time to relax. I became sucked into The Crown on Netflix and was happy to watch another episode in the middle of the afternoon. I know I'm behind the eight ball on discovering the series, but I always seem to be a step behind popular culture. 

I'm hoping that the boys are feeling better and that yesterday was just a blip. Robby has his band performances this weekend and I hate to think that he might be sick. He has been working so hard and is excited to showcase his new skills on stage. Fingers crossed yesterday was just a little health hiccup and not the precursor to more significant issues.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Riding Buddies

We were graced with amazing weather over the weekend. Our temperatures flirted with the 70s , making it feel like Spring in the middle of January. The sure-to-be brief respite from the cold was a welcome relief. My limb quickly began to feel like normal, allowing me to take full advantage of the unseasonable temperatures.

I spent a great deal of time outside, playing with the boys and working in the yard. Timmy and I rode our bikes for hours up and down our little street. Robby and I were able to steal away for a longer ride, meandering through the neighborhood for nearly an hour. It was invigorating to feel the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair.

Robby received an electric bike for Christmas. Even at the time of purchase, I recognized that his present was probably a gift for me as much as it was for him. With Robby receiving an electric bike I was insuring countless hours with an eager riding buddy.

I adore riding bikes with both boys, but going on riding adventures with Robby is special. In all honesty, I appreciate being able to just pedal rather than constantly stopping to set a ghost trap to fight imaginary apparitions. (Timmy is still all in when it comes to Ghostbusters.) 

Unfortunately, the weather will soon turn and we will again be bundled up inside. I'm so glad that we had a small taste of spring and the adventures to come. After Christmas I tend to become depressed, and being able to play outside all weekend was exactly what I needed to right my own ship.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Cold Limb

Perhaps it is a good thing that the snow has almost melted away.  A few days of running around in the cold has caused my limb to ache. Last night sleeping was difficult with my ouchy and angry leg. 

Despite the use of hand warmers in my socket to safeguard against the cold, my leg became icy during my time outside. The metal pylon that connects the foot to my socket is the perfect conduit holding and transferring chilly temperatures. Because my limb is seated on top of the pylon, it becomes cold since it is essentially on top of a giant ice pack.

It takes a long time to warm up my limb after it becomes cold, and the process is often anything than comfortable. A warm bath is often received with intense stinging as the nerve endings open up with the blood flow. When a bath doesn't work, which was the case last night, I wrap my leg with warm socks and snuggle under a heated blanket. 

The chill was finally removed in the early hours of the morning, allowing me to fall asleep for a few hours before Hamlet woke me up.  I am going to have to start wrapping the pylon before I play in the snow to try to insulate the metal. Hopefully I come up with a workable solution so that I can avoid the painful wrath of a cold limb in the future. 

Sometimes, always having to find a solution and a workaround, is frustrating.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Melting

Scott had off yesterday, allowing us a relaxed day with no where to go and little to do. I took full advantage of his being home by working as much as possible. It is so much easier for me to concentrate when he is home to entertain and wrangle the kids. 

When I wasn't working I was playing with Timmy in what little snow hadn't yet melted away in our yard. He delights in throwing snowballs and rolling snow people. I really hope that we have a major winter storm so that he can experience the childhood thrill of a massive snowfall.  Until then, we will make the most of these minor snow events. 

This morning the roads are clear, which means that life will return to normal. After the fun of a quick winter storm, normalcy feels boring. I know that I'm not the only one who is sad to see the snow melting away. Little Timmy broke down crying because the flakes were fading.


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Snow Day

Over the weekend we were playing in the yard wearing light jackets. Yesterday school closed early because of heavy snow. Welcome to winter in Virginia!

Timmy was ecstatic with the under anticipated snowfall. As soon as he saw the flakes begin to fall he was begging to go outside. After several hours of pleading and a few inches of accumulation, I acquiesced and we began to bundle up to go outside to play. After donning numerous layers, thanks to his cold urticaria, he finally waddled out to play in the snowy wonderland.  

We ran, tried to sled and threw hundreds of snowballs. He giggled, made snow angels and tried to catch the flakes on his tone. We had a fantastic afternoon!  

School was called off for today last night, allowing Scott to turn off his alarm before going to bed. I'm sure that the snow will melt quickly, but hopefully we will be able to play this morning. With the wonky weather lately, I don't know when we will have the chance to roll snowballs again.



Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Quarantined

My little Hamlet has gone from roller skating to a sick bed. Yesterday he woke up warm and complained about a headache. As the day progressed both his lethargy and fever increased. Welcome to the wacky world of a kiddo with an autoimmune disorder.

I'm hoping that his most recent episode is only a blip and that he will be feeling better soon. I hate seeing him sick! I think I was lulled into a false sense of "normalcy" because he has been so healthy over the past few weeks. In a way our family was spoiled by his good health. I'm so glad that he was well over the holidays, although it breaks my heart that he is feeling icky now. 

Flu season is upon us and is already filling up our hospitals and clinics, which means that we are resuming our modified quarantine. Timmy will not be attending any playgroups or crowded areas until the threat of flu subsides. Robby and Scott will continue to work and attend extracurricular functions, but I will stay home with Timmy. Until further notice, I will resume my role as primary playmate and teacher, trying to keep him both busy and happy at home. I know that he will miss playing with buddies and I hope that the threat blows over quickly. 

Wish me luck as I try to keep him healthy and happy while maintaining my own sanity!


Monday, January 06, 2020

Skating

Without a doubt, Timmy's favorite Christmas gift turned out to be a pair of roller skates. The skates were bought on a whim, after his fascination with Goofy roller skating during a scene of Twice Upon  A Christmas. I thought he would have fun and use them, but I never imagined that the skates would become a favorite possession.

This weekend was all about roller skating. We cleared the living room and hallways, set out cones and let him loose with skates. I worked a stop watch for hours as he happily skated through the house, trying to beat his time. He took quick respites only to eat and drink only to return to the thumping skating motions as soon as he was finished.  

Watching Timmy trod around on his skates brought childhood memories flooding back to me. I used to love to roller skate, probably as much as Timmy does now. I vividly remember going to the skating rink for matinee skates on Sunday, twirling around the rink listening to Funky Town and other disco era classics. I miss those days!

I would love to take Timmy to a roller rink, to rekindle my childhood experiences with my son. While I'm sure I could figure out a way to roller skate, the prospect of putting wheels on the bottom of a prosthesis terrifies me. I worry about balance, and the fear of falling is enough to keep me on the sidelines with this particular activity. 

As much as it saddens me, my skating days are behind me. I try to show the boys that I am not limited by my amputation, but I don't think that proving a point is worth broken bones. For now, I'll leave the skating to Timmy.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Advanced!

They did it!  

Yesterday afternoon I received the message that the Cousin Crew is advancing to the finals in the scavenger hunt.  We don't know yet where we will go, but I know that the location is secondary. The kids will have a blast simply competing. Talk about a great way to kick off the new year!

Other than the exciting news about advancing to the finals, the day was fairly low key. Scott returned to work and Robby puttered around with some school work. It is hard to get back into the swing of our schedule after a long holiday, and the adjustment is even more difficult because it is the end of a week. I'm thinking about throwing in the towel until Monday, when we will hit the ground running.  

Thursday, January 02, 2020

New Year Fun!

2019 was a difficult year. From being laid off to Timmy's wacky immune system, the year was wrought with anxiety, worries and heartbreak. Excited to turn the calendar and embrace new opportunities, we were happy to put the year in the past. The year was difficult, but we certainly ended it on a happy and jubilant note.

On Tuesday the Cousin Crew donned their 1920's themed outfits and tackled the second phase of our scavenger hunt. We didn't know the details until we arrived at the designated starting location, but it turns out that this hunt was both timed and considerably more difficult than the first round. Four hours was allotted but we learned that the average completion time was around 2 1/2 hours.

The kids worked together beautifully, deciphering the clues and scurrying through the city. We ended up finishing all of our tasks in 1 1/2 hours, with 100% of the questions answered correctly. I was so incredibly proud of them!

The questions and time were factored for 40% of the final score. The remaining 60% is in the hands of the judges, who will view and rate our photos. We were told to be energetic, silly and to demonstrate having fun. I have no idea what our competition did, but I do know that the Cousin Crew had an absolute blast tackling every photo challenge. Right now, we just sit and wait to learn if the kids will progress to the next round.  I'll keep you posted.

After the Scavenger Hunt the kids rested before we headed out to the Rock n' Bowl New Year's Eve Party. We had a great time bowling into 2020. I love seeing them all so happy and laughing so authentically. Ringing in the New Year with the Cousin Crew was the perfect way to end the year!