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.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Bowling Adventure

There is nothing that brings me as much happiness as hearing my kids laughing and giggling for hours. We are visiting my mom's house, and the Cousin Crew is finally reunited. Although our summer adventures are different because of social distancing, the kids have found unique and creative ways to become silly and have fun. It is impossible to feel sad or overwhelmed when the house is overflowing with laughter and mischief!

Yesterday afternoon I packed up the Cousin Crew and we headed bowling. The local bowling alley has gone to herculean efforts to provide a safe environment to play during the pandemic. They installed barriers between between every lane, they are thoroughly disinfect each ball after use. Each lane is pre-filled with a selection of bowling balls, eliminating the need to go and try to find your own. Every group of bowlers are distanced from another by at least two empty lanes. Between the barriers blocking us into our lane and the distance between other bowlers, we felt like we had the entire alley to ourselves.

In the evening, after our traditional card games and Bomb! trivia, the Crew took to the yard for an epic glow battle. They laughed and played outside into the wee hours of the morning. Between the full moon and the pre-storm stillness, it was the perfect time for outdoor glow games.

Today is raining, but I have no doubt that we will find something fun to do!








 

Monday, August 03, 2020

Showman

Although he was nervous, Robby took to the stage like a seasoned professional. He was poised and confident as he struck the first strings on his guitar. After the first few notes I could see his shoulders begin to relax and he started to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

This band went through a lot of obstacles to make it to the stage. The pandemic forced rehearsals online, which is difficult for emerging musicians. The songs were not as tight because the band was only able to practice in person two times. Considering all of the issues faced, the kids did a fantastic job. More importantly, Robby had fun!

Enjoy.


(Here is the YouTube Link:  https://youtu.be/Aqrt9QuVXdc











Friday, July 31, 2020

Ready to Rock!

We are all eagerly looking forward to tomorrow when Robby's band "Technicolor" finally takes to the stage. The kids have been rehearsing since February. They modified and began to practice through Zoom during the thick of the pandemic and only began in-person rehearsals two weeks ago. Although they haven't been together in person for long, I know that they are all looking forward to showcasing their songs. 

Robby has been practicing several times a day in preparation for the show. Unlike the last performance, this time he is seasoned. He knows what to expect and he is more excited than he is scared. I'm sure tomorrow morning he will be nervous, but I don't think he will have the bone-numbing terror that he experienced last time. 

In preparation for the big show, yesterday I took him for a hair cut. He hasn't had a trim since before quarantine and was long overdue. He opted to keep a shaggy, rock-n-roll look and the stylist did a fantastic job of bringing his vision to life. He even had colorful highlights to finish his look. Streaked with fire truck red, electric blue and Big Bird yellow, he is ready to rock for Technicolor!

Check back tomorrow evening- I'm going to try to upload a video of his show. 




Thursday, July 30, 2020

Bad Moods

Some days are better than others. Yesterday was definitely not one of the best days in our family. Despite it being our anniversary, the day was wrought with bickering, meltdowns, pouting and just global sour moods. Everybody was edgy, including Scott and me, which only served to exacerbate rather than diffuse.

We all ended up going to bed early and I'm hoping that moods have been elevated by good sleep. I know that I'm feeling better, so I already know that today will be better. For the first time in weeks, I didn't have any phantom pain when I was going to sleep. The absence of pain feels liberating! Even if the boys are still cranky, I'm optimistic that I'll have the energy to try to quell any growing irritants before they implode. 

I know that everybody is beginning to fatigue of being stuck at home. As much as I've tried to provide fun activities and home-based adventures, my efforts are falling short compared to our previous vacations. We need a change of scenery to break up the monotony of social distancing. The boys were delighted when I mentioned that we could pack up and go visit Nana and the Cousin Crew. 

Robby's performance is on Saturday. After his show is over we are going to pack up the car and head to Pennsylvania for a few days (or a week or two, we haven't really decided yet). Scott will stay home to decompress by himself and to look after the cats.

In a few weeks Scott has to return to the "virtual" classroom.  I know that he needs some time to figure out what that looks like for his students. Even though he won't admit it, I know that he needs some time away from the chaos and clutter of the kids during quarantine. 

We are all looking forward to our mini-vacation!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

16 Year Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my husband Scott.  

16 short (and long) years ago we married on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean. Surrounded by beautiful white sands, lapping blue waves and our immediate family we exchanged the vows that began our little family. It is hard to believe that 16 years have passed since that evening on the beach. As life always does, so much has changed!

We don't have any grand plans to celebrate our anniversary. In all honesty, our lack of revelry has nothing to do with Covid and everything to do with tradition. With the exception of going out for dinner last year, we have never really done much to honor our anniversary. Aside from saying "Happy Anniversary" and, sometimes, sharing a favorite home cooked meal, we keep this tradition simple. 



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Play Time

After a stormy and rather depressing weekend, yesterday the week began with a bright sun against brilliant blue skies. After working throughout the morning, I have to admit that I was nearly as excited to go back into our little pool as Timmy. I've grown to love our pool time. Our quarantine days go so much faster when we are able to hop into our little pool and play for a few hours. 

While Timmy and I are in the pool, Robby is usually gaming with friends on his computer. I've been lax about computer time during the past few months. Because he can't physically be around his friends and since there isn't really anything for him to do outside (by himself), I have accepted that his computer has become his vehicle for socialization. 

Don't get me wrong, he still rides his bike and gets some exercise, but he definitely spends the majority of his time behind a keyboard.  He goes into virtual chat rooms with friends through his VR, plays cards and games with his cousins and plays virtual Dungeons and Dragons with his classmates.  His way of socializing is different, but for him it is just as viable and effective.

Today we are supposed to again be hot and stormy. I woke up early to get a jump on my work with the hopes of finishing early enough to get into the pool before the rain rolls into our area. Let's hope that the rain holds off long enough for us to play!




Monday, July 27, 2020

Ugly Cry

This past weekend the monotony of social distancing wore me down. Saturday night, as I was pursuing past vacation photo memories that kept popping up on my social media feeds I broke down. I realized that I missed my family, my friends and adventures. Not knowing what else to do and having no way to change the situation, I broke down and allowed myself to cry.

I didn't just weep. I ended up in a full-blown ugly cry. My eyes were swollen, my nose was running and I had a fierce headache by the time I finally went to bed. I woke up Sunday feeling lighter and ready to continue to tackle pandemic life. I guess, sometimes, you just need to cry it out.

I am sure that part of my Saturday night breakdown was weather related. We weren't able to go outside on Friday or on Saturday because of rain and storms. Being forced inside only serves to fortify the feeling of confinement. At least when I am outside, feeling the sunshine and breathing the fresh air, I don't feel the constant constraints of the pandemic. I'm still limited in activities and in opportunities, but it feels easier and less overwhelming.

Sunday the weather finally broke, allowing Timmy and I to spend the afternoon in his little pool. He had a great time splashing for nearly four hours. I don't know where he gets his energy! I wish I had his energy, but at this point I'm just grateful that I can keep up with him.




Friday, July 24, 2020

Phantom Pain

These summer storms are wreaking havoc on my limb. My phantom pain was off the charts for the past few nights. Despite being exhausted, as soon as my head hit the pillow my leg began to jitterbug. The stinging and kicking continued until the wee hours of the morning, resulting in little sleep and a frustrated mood.  

I detest phantom pain. It feels like my bouts are becoming more frequent and increasing in intensity. Of course, that could just be my sleep deprivation. When the days are consecutive, my once or twice a month frequency suddenly feels overwhelming and oppressive.  I am trying to remind myself that I am fortunate I don't suffer on a daily basis, but I'm so tired right now that my self-talk isn't reaching a receptive audience.  

Today I am going to try to slow down and relax. Hopefully I'll be able to take a nap (I certainly need it). The weather is supposed to again be hot, so I'm sure I'll be in the pool with Hamlet. Fingers crossed I get some sleep soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Storm

We had some wicked storms blow through our area in the afternoon, forcing Timmy and I to abandon our pool fun early. I saw the dark clouds rolling in and the trees began to sway, signaling that the predicted storms were imminent. I hopped (literally because I wasn't wearing my leg) out of the pool and covered it with the tarp and tent. We made it inside moments before the rain began to fall.

The storm was strong, with torrential downpours and high winds. I watched helplessly as our pool canopy collapsed and landed on our little pool. My heart sank because, from my vantage point in the house, it looked like the pool had popped. After the storm we surveyed the damage and, thankfully, our little blow-up pool was still intact. 

Scott managed to reshape our pool tent. Although it now has a hole in the roof and the metal is a tad wonky, it will still serve as adequate sun protection when we are swimming. It is amazing how relieved and happy I felt when I realized that the pool had survived. I think I am enjoying our daily swims as much as Timmy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Another Day. Same Routine

Another summer day that felt very much like all of the others. With the exception of Robby playing his WWII role playing game with his friends and teacher, my day unfolded with no variations or surprises. I don't want to complain, but I really miss my summer adventures!

I woke up early, worked until after lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool with Timmy. I climbed out of the pool in time to make dinner, after which I continued working until it was time to go to bed. My schedule is pleasant albeit incredibly mundane and predictable. I'm doing my best to remain upbeat, but I have to admit that I'm bored.

The rising Covid numbers make me too nervous to venture into the community. Scott still does the shopping, trips which are both rare and carefully planned. I miss being around people (other than my immediate family) but I am trying to remind myself that staying patient is paramount.

I'm so grateful that we have our pool and that Timmy is at an age where he finds it wonderful. I know that his memories won't recall the small size of our pool. Instead, he will remember spending the summer splashing and playing in the pool with his Mom. If we didn't invest in our blow-up pool, I think that our summer would be very different.




Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Battle Class

Our social distancing summer is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day. I woke up early to tackle some work and hopped into the pool with Timmy in the afternoon. We splished and splashed until it was time to make dinner, and then I continued working until it was time to go to bed.

While I was in the pool, Robby and Scott played video games and tinkered around the house. Although he hasn't admitted it, I know that Robby is becoming bored. Thankfully today he has a fun disruption to his schedule, and I know that he will have a blast!

Robby's WWII role playing game teacher contacted all of his students a few weeks ago to gauge interest in taking the battle to a virtual platform. Without hesitation Robby enthusiastically signed on. Today he is meeting with his class (and teacher) on Zoom to continue their strategy game.

He was so excited last night that he kept saying he wasn't going to be able to sleep. He cleaned his computer area, polished the lens to his web camera and studiously watched videos detailing the battles his class use during today's game. I love his enthusiasm, and I am so grateful to his wonderful teacher for providing this experience for the kids.

While Timmy and I are hanging out in our pool, Robby will be (virtually) crafting battles in Europe. I am glad that he has something to look forward to, and something fun to do with his time. More importantly, I'm glad that he will be able to hang out with his friends again.  In person isn't possible right now, but virtual is fantastic.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hot Hot Hot

This past weekend was hot. I'm not talking about warm. I'm talking about walk outside, take your breath away and start to pant hot. While Robby and Scott hunkered down inside, trying to seek relief from our overworked air conditioner, Timmy and I took a more sensible approach. We put the shade over the pool and swam the weekend away.

My little fish and I spent nearly four hours every day in the pool. Although small in size, our blow-up pool has yielded an impressive amount of entertainment and fun. With everything else closed or restricted because of Covid, I am so glad I decided to go ahead with our pool. (I'm still lobbying for a bigger and more impressive version, stay tuned!)

Between swimming and trying to beat the heat, the rest of our weekend was uneventful. I love summer, but I don't like these "make your melt" temperatures. Of course, there isn't anything we can do about it so I'll try to withhold my complaints.  At this point, I'm just grateful I have our little pool in the driveway.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Swimming

I just realized that yesterday's blog failed to post. My apologies. I am really off my tech game this week.  Hopefully the weekend will allow me to recenter and refocus. 

Traveling always leaves me feeling discombobulated. The feelings are even more intense after a long trip to Ohio. Between the ordeal of traveling and being away from my comfort zone, it takes me a few days for me to regain my footing after we return.  

Yesterday was precisely what my soul needed to recenter. I worked through the morning and spent the afternoon in the pool with Timmy. Our pool may be little and made of plastic, but it is a summer utopia for my little fishy. He spends hours splashing and playing. He loves nothing more than when I agree to hop into the pool with him.  

Today will be hot (again), so I suspect that I will again be in our little pool. I'm lobbying Scott to get a larger, semi-permanent pool installed. I'm looking at a 16 foot by 48 inch above ground set-up, which is large enough for us all to enjoy. Wish me luck with my convincing!




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Finally Home

My apologize for not posting a blog yesterday. We woke up early and finished packing the car. By 7:30 we had the car packed, posed for all of the appropriate photos and said good-bye.  With an 8 hour drive ahead of us, we wanted to get an early start so that we were home with enough time for the boys to play and burn some energy.  

The drive home was long but relatively uneventful. The boys were more irritable on the way home than they were on the drive to Ohio, but I think everybody was fatigued and frazzled. Considering the situation and the length of the drive, they did a fantastic job!

As soon as we arrived home we unpacked the van and returned it to the rental location. I was sad to say goodbye to the minivan, but I suspect that we will become van parents soon. Scott and I both fell in love with the minivan way of life and the boys were happy to be spread out a little more than they are in the SUV. 

Today I'm catching up on work and laundry. Even though I'll be busy playing catch-up, I'm glad to be home.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Home

Despite being in Ohio, our social distancing protocols have remained in place. We arrived Thursday evening and, although it has been difficult to resist the urge to explore, we have stayed in place. Scott and the boys have been able to spend a lot of quality time with Grandma, quietly playing in both her house and her yard. It is odd not visiting our usual places but with the Covid numbers soaring, I know that we have made the right decision.  

Tomorrow we are heading home, so today we will be packing up and getting ready. I'm not looking forward to the long drive, but I will be happy to be home. If we are going to shelter in place, there is no place like home!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Off Course

Yesterday's road trip to Ohio was, without a doubt, the longest and most frustrating driving adventure of my life.  For comparison, when I was younger our car broke down in the middle of the Florida Everglades in August. Sitting in the van yesterday, I longed for those times on the side of a swampy road. 

Our 7 hour drive morphed into nearly 10, with no stops for food or breaks. The boys were troopers, barely complaining (although it would have been understandable) as we meandered through the back woods of West Virginia desperately trying to find an interstate.  Sometimes Waze is fantastic. Other times, like yesterday, its shortcomings become frustratingly clear.

Waze plotted out a new route to Ohio, which excited Scott because he was eager for a change of scenery on the long drive. Unfortunately, Waze diverted us through a National Forest in West Virginia, where reception was spotty. As we plunged deeper into the woods, eventually we lost all connection to both civilization and our app.  

Thankfully we knew the directions (I anticipated losing connection when I looked at the route) but I didn't expect our road to be closed.  We continued on the only route available hoping that the forest would open and that cell reception would return.  It took nearly an hour for us to regain our orientation, and by that point we were completely off course.  

Sometimes technology is great, but only when it works!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Heading West

This morning we are loading up a rented minivan and heading to visit Scott's family for a few days. Because of social distancing, we are forced to drive the 9 hour trip instead of flying. Fingers crossed that the boys (mainly Timmy) are content and amicable during the drive. He has never been in the car for this long and I'm worried about how he is going to cope.

Like everything else this year, our annual trip to Ohio is different. Driving is just the tip of the iceberg. We will be staying at Scott's Mom's house, not seeing or visiting other family members. Because of social distancing, we are not going to be going on day trips or adventures. I am sad that we are not going to be able to play tourist, but the Covid numbers have us all nervous and we are not willing to take the chance.  

Today is day one, which is our drive.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Covid Anxiety

As the Covid numbers creep (or leap in some areas) back up, I find my anxiety skyrocketing. I am having a hard time focusing and my mind frequently wanders back to the grim news. I'm scared, angry and frustrated simultaneously. It turns out that my current concoction of emotions leads to both mental and physical exhaustion.

Yesterday I realized that the constant stream of news on the television is not only impacting my mental health, but that it is also impacting Timmy. He referenced a lot of people going to a "dirt hole" because of the bad germs. He didn't want to go into his pool, which is in our driveway, without his mask for fear of becoming sick. When I asked him where he learned about that, he casually said, "from the news." 

As hard as it is going to be, I am going to have to disconnect from the news. I need to refocus on what I can control instead of what seems to be spinning out of control. I hate that Timmy is so scared! It is my job to worry, not his.

Timmy needs Paw Patrol, Wallykazaam and probably The Polar Express. Starting today, I am no longer going to obsess over Covid. I know how to protect my little family, but I am going to try to release my anxiety over the well-being of everybody else.  At least, that's the plan!

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Reality

After a quick trip to visit my Mom, yesterday we packed up and returned home. Per tradition (although not my favorite), Timmy cried most of the drive back to Virginia. I know that he is simply vocalizing his sadness about leaving, but my goodness, it becomes overwhelming. Logic doesn't work, but thankfully distraction and sometimes ice cream is enough to change his perspective.

By the time we arrived home the pool was uncovered and ready for action. Timmy didn't even go inside the house. He ran straight from the car and jumped straight into his pool, stripping away his close during the quick fifteen feet jaunt. He splashed and swam au natural for about two hours before going inside to rest and get dressed.  

While Robby was playing lifeguard I caught up on work and unpacked from our trip. Today we are back to reality.  Ugh.  Reality is overrated.


Monday, July 06, 2020

Holiday Fun

Bored and looking for some fun on the Fourth of July, the boys and I packed up and headed to Pennsylvania on Saturday morning. The promise of seeing his Nana, playing with his cousin and viewing fireworks more than offset the long car ride for Timmy. Social distancing made this celebration considerably smaller and different, but we still had a great time.

Saturday night the kids and I piled into the car and went out to watch the fireworks. We parked on the side of the rode outside Harrisburg and sat (away from everybody else) on the side of a hill. Timmy, who typically goes to bed around 8, was exhausted by the time the show began. Thankfully the excitement of seeing the fireworks perked him up enough to enjoy the show!

We came back to my Mom's house right after the display was over and Timmy was tucked into bed. The older kids and I were playing a card game when he wandered back out into the living room. He was tired before the fireworks began, but he had a hard time winding down and relaxing after they started to soar. Finally, after numerous attempts, we managed to tuck him back into bed for good.

Sunday morning Timmy informed me that he was angry. When I asked him why, he explained that his cousins had a party without him. I told him that we didn't have a party, but he was persistent with his claim. He contended that, when he came to the living room the night before, he saw "a game and Doritos. That's a party!"  

Apparently I set the bar low for his definition of a party.






Friday, July 03, 2020

17 years.

17 years.  

17 years ago I had my amputation. That time feels like a lifetime ago, yet the emotions of that morning remain vibrant in my memory. The petrifying fear I felt on the days leading up to the surgery is what keeps me going on difficult days.

Most of the time I am able to keep those memories compartmentalized and hidden in a little box in my mind, only to be released in small doses and around occasions.  My Ampuversary is one of those times when I allow myself to reflect upon the gravity of the experience, which often leads to me revisiting the pain and anguish I felt. Even though it leads to discomfort, I think it is good to remember and to revisit those emotions because it helps me to remain present when I mentor new amputees.

This morning, as I logged on to begin working, couldn't help but reflect.  I barely recognize that young woman who was just starting out 17 years ago, so full of optimism and excitement about the future.  I assumed that I would have my amputation, I would recover and that I would resume my set career path. 

I doubt that my younger self would believe the way my life turned out. I have settled into a wildly different career, predicated on the limb loss community. I have started a non-profit and I have found my voice for advocacy. Instead of accepting my amputation and putting it behind me, as I had planned, I am now embracing my "difference" and living my best life.  

Happy Ampuversary to me!

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Schedule

Yesterday morning I woke up early and immediately logged onto my computer and started working. By the time I was finished it was early afternoon, the temperature was 90 outside and Timmy was ready to play. I put away my laptop, pulled on my swimsuit and spent the afternoon in the little pool, playing and enjoying the time in the sun.  

Although I'm not particularly thrilled with waking up early, I feel like I'm finally settling into a comfortable schedule. Balancing work and family is always hard but I am optimistic that I'm finding my balance. Of course, by the time everything runs smoothly school will resume and throw chaos into my plans.  

Unfortunately Robby was busy with his Algebra tutor, guitar lesson and band practice so he wasn't able to join the pool fun. In all honesty, I don't really expect him to hop into our little pool. Somehow, a 12 foot pool isn't as exciting for a 14 year old teen. Wasn't it just a few years ago that I was splashing and playing with Robby in a little pool on our driveway?  He is growing up way too fast!

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Back Home

After a fantastic few days with my Mom, yesterday we packed up and returned home. I always hate leaving but probably not as much as Timmy. My sweet little guy cried for the first hour of our drive, lamenting leaving his Nana and fretting that he won't see her again. As much as I tried to console him, logic didn't work. Thankfully he quieted down when he was handed an ice cream cone, and the rest of our drive was relatively quiet.

As soon as we arrived home Timmy hopped into his pool and began to play. His tears were a distant memory and he was transformed into a happy little fishy. I hate that he is so sad when we leave my Mom's house, but I know that his grief is always short lived.  

Robby was ecstatic to show his daddy his new bass guitar. He sat on the couch with his new guitar, grinning from ear-to-ear and proudly strumming his song. Nana definitely hit a home run with that surprise!  

Today will be spent catching up on both work and housework. It seems like the laundry and cleaning just never stops!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Golf

Yesterday was relatively low-key. I was able to sleep in (thanks Mom) and work through the morning and into the early afternoon. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy being spoiled by my Mom?

After the teens woke up we played Taboo and other card games. I've learned that they don't really care what we do, they just enjoy having fun and being together. It was too hot to really do anything outside, so we hunkered down in the air conditioning. 

Early evening we headed to play mini-golf. I was hoping that the course would not be crowded at that time of day, and I was right. We were the only group on the course, so not only did we have a great time but I felt completely safe.

Today we are heading home. As much as I would love to stay, I need to get back to reality. Hopefully we will be back soon, because I will miss the late night giggles.





Monday, June 29, 2020

Drive-In

I had a wonderful weekend at my Mom's house. It was fantastic to just relax and hear the kiddos laughing throughout the day and night. I have to admit, being spoiled by my Mom was so nice! Every morning I woke up (after sleeping in) to fresh blueberry muffins and hot coffee brewing. I am so incredibly lucky!

Friday afternoon my Mom took Robby on a special trip. Robby didn't know where he was going and I was sworn to secrecy. After about an hour they returned and Robby was grinning from ear-to-ear. He was beyond giddy when he pulled out a beautiful bass guitar that his Nana just purchased for him. Right now he can only play it in short spurts because the stringers are thicker than they are on the guitar and his fingers need to build up deeper callouses, but he'll be playing for long periods in no time!

At night I packed up Robby and Tiffany and we went to the drive-in to see Grease. The kids are such good sports and eagerly gathered costumes for the event. (As a side note, Robby looks really good as a Greaser.)  My sister met us and joined us for the fun.

Saturday and Sunday were spent just playing around my Mom's house. Timmy spent most of his time in his "gym," which is basically a playground Nana built for him under her deck.  Sunday night we headed back to the drive-in, this time to watch Footloose.  Because of social distancing, it looks like the drive-in might become our "thing" this summer.









Friday, June 26, 2020

Free Berries

It seems that every summer I have a similar lesson. I vow to learn from the experience and to never let it happen again. This year, despite quarantine, has been no different. I forgot (again) that there is no such thing as a free berry. 

I always become excited when the blackberry bushes begin to fruit. Going for bike rides with Robby, it is so easy to just pull over to the side of the road and grab a few handfuls of ripe, juicy berries. Every single year I end up with a mouthful of delicious berries and limbs covered with poison ivy.  

Last night I began to itch. By the middle of the night it felt like my elbows and my knees were under attack. This morning the joints are hot, itchy and covered with large red welts.  Those berries were delicious, but they were definitely not worth the cost.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Team Pool

Yesterday was more laid back, which was a welcome relief. I was able to work through the morning but logged off in the afternoon. Timmy splished and splashed in his little pool while I just sat and relaxed. The humidity finally broke and it felt fantastic to be outside. 

Watching Timmy play and enjoy his pool has reignited my desire to get a pool at home. Our last attempt was a disaster and I swore I would never try again. The stage is still in pieces in our driveway, waiting to be hauled away. It's ironic that the junk hauler is coming today to remove the remaining pieces of our failed pool attempt while I am lobbying to try again.

This time I think we need to do it right. Bring somebody in to level the land before constructing a sturdy and sensibly sized above ground pool. The boys are all on board with our plan. At this point we just need to convince Scott. Hopefully, watching Timmy playing all summer in a little pool in our driveway will motivate him to jump to Team Pool!

The highlight of our day came during the evening, when Robby finally attended in-person band practice. He was thrilled to be back with his friends. I have to give props to his music school for keeping the program afloat, but I know that everybody was happy to return to their jam sessions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Busy

Between working on reports and marathon meetings, yesterday was both long and draining. Thank goodness Scott was home to watch the boys because I was in front of my keyboard most of the day. By the time the sun was beginning to set I was exhausted and had finally logged off for the day. What a long day!

I love working from home because I'm able to stagger my hours to fit my family. Every once in awhile I have to conform to the normal work world, and yesterday was one of those days. The experience reminded me how much I love the flexibility of working from home. I know that I will have days with marathon meetings, but those occurrences are rare. I would be miserable if every day were like yesterday.  

Today will be more relaxed. I'm hoping to enjoy some time with the boys, and maybe even go for a bike ride with Robby. The weather was muggy and miserable yesterday so the boys stayed inside for most of the day. Hopefully today we can soak up some sunshine!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Pool Side

Yesterday was busy with work in the morning and playing with Timmy in the afternoon. It was hot and humid which provided the perfect excuse to hang out in the pool with my littlest guy. Even though our pool is small, he still loves it and spends hours splishing and splashing each day. 

Because we are still actively social distancing, our recreation opportunities are limited. We are a water loving family, so having our public pools close has been difficult. (Although, in all honesty, we would not have gone this year anyway because of Covid.) Like so many other things, this summer will be different. But, different doesn't mean bad! I am determined to have an amazing summer with my family, even if I have to become more creative in my efforts.

I'm so glad that we decided to get the little pool this year. We were on the fence (well, Scott was on the fence) about having a blow up pool in the middle of our driveway, but it has provided the ideal summer activity for Timmy. He plays for hours and seems oblivious that his little oasis is relatively small. I guess it is small for adults, but for him it is perfect.

When the temperature is hot enough outside I join him in the pool to play and to cool off. He delights every time he sees me grab my swimsuit. I know that he won't always want to spend this much time with me, so I'm trying to soak in every moment of his adoration!  

Yesterday I spent a few hours playing volleyball and floating in the pool. Scott assumed the role of Cabana Boy, bringing cold drinks every 30-40 minutes and offering snacks and shade. Even though we were in our driveway, Timmy and I had as much fun as if we were in a tropical location.  

Monday, June 22, 2020

Bingo

In order to break up the monotony that has grown out of social distancing, I have started to sign Timmy up for fun little internet classes. He has had a virtual playdate with a pirate and he has participated in learn-to-read story hours. On Friday I found an ABC bingo class and knew that he would have a blast. He loves playing bingo, so I didn't hesitate to sign him up.

When it was time for his class to begin he came running to the table. He had his ABC bingo card in front of him and he happily covered his letters when they were called. The teacher took turns calling on different kids during the game, inviting them to say words that start with the called letter. Timmy was eager to participate and excitedly waved his arm in the air at each opportunity.

Halfway through the second game, the teacher finally called on Timmy. He was unmuted and asked to name a word that starts with the letter P. Without missing a beat, my sweet little cherub happily chirped his response. "Penis starts with P. Butthole and ballsack start with a B."

I almost spit my coffee across the table. His teacher quickly called the next letter, although I did notice that she didn't call on Timmy again. Perhaps the next class I sign him up for should involve finding and using a personal filter?



Friday, June 19, 2020

Father's Day

This weekend the country will be celebrating Father's Day. This holiday has been difficult ever since I lost my own Dad. I do my best to make the day about Scott because he deserves to be celebrated. As much as I try to stay focused on him my mind always travels to my own Dad. 

Ted passing away from pancreatic cancer has stirred up so many memories for me. As I witnessed his decline through his wife's eyes, I kept remembering my dad during all of those stages. It is a horrific disease!

Like every special event and holiday that has transpired since February, Father's Day will be a little different this year. We typically spend the day on a family adventure. A few years ago we went to DC for the weekend. This year we will probably "staycation" in our driveway. Our celebration will definitely be tamer, but am going to do my best to keep my focus on  Scott.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Hand Cuffs

Over the past few weeks, Timmy has been enthralled by playing cowboy outlaw. He loves nothing more than running through the house with a "money bag," prompting a chase and ultimately a cowboy showdown. Since Robby's cowboy hat doesn't fit his little head, I decided to enhance his experience by ordering some props on Amazon.

I logged onto Amazon a few nights ago and quickly found a child sized cowboy hat and an outlaw bandana. I also found a bank robber money bag and an "authentic" toy six shooter to complete the ensemble. When I was getting ready to check out, a pop-up suggestion came onto the screen, prompting me to add some metal handcuffs to the order. I clicked yes, satisfied that Timmy was going to be delighted with his new costume.

Yesterday afternoon the props arrived. Timmy gleefully tore into the box, excited to start putting his costume to use. Everything was perfect, with the exception of the handcuffs. It turns out that the last minute addition was not exactly child-centric.  

Instead of cops and robbers toy handcuffs, I had purchased bondage style adult handcuffs. Yikes! Thankfully I was able to snag the package before Timmy had a chance to examine the graphics, because I think that would have scarred his perspective for life.  

After throwing away the packaging, I gave the benign looking cuffs to Timmy. Out of the package, they appeared to be regular metal handcuffs. The keys, which were shaped like a penis with large testicles, were thrown into the trash with the rest of the packaging. I really didn't think much of it because I figured that  we could just disengage the cuffs with the escape button.

Timmy donned his costume while I finished tidying up the kitchen. Thursday is trash day, so I wanted to get as much out of the house as possible. As soon as my little six shooter was ready I tied up the trash and started to play.

I managed to rob the bank and fill my money bag, but I was caught red handed by the law. It wasn't until Sheriff Timmy cuffed me when I realize that these adult sex cuffs were missing the escape button. I was trapped in bondage cuffs, being held prisoner by a toy gun and my own stupidity. 

Robby came to my rescue, rummaging through the newly filled trash bag to retrieve the penis key. I tried to explain the mix up with the order, but he protested by claiming that he didn't want to know. He finally found the key and muttered that he never wanted to discuss this again. 

I was freed from the cuffs which were promptly packed up to be returned. I ordered another set of handcuffs, this time I took the time to make sure that they were appropriate kids. Although I'm fairly certain that Robby will never be able to look at toy handcuffs the same way again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ted

When I was pregnant with Timmy our neighbors threw us a small baby shower. I remember sitting around the host's dining room table, casually chatting with our neighbors. Sue, the lady who lives next door to us, mentioned that her husband was diagnosed with ALS. Instantly the tone of the shower changed and our collective hearts broke.  

Ted must have sensed the change in our moods, because he tried to soothe the blow by mentioning that the doctors gave him five to seven more years. He planned to use those years to continue to live life to the fullest. Slowly, the joyful mood of the shower returned and the banter resumed but I never forgot his words.

Over the years we have watched Ted slowly decline. He went from riding his bicycle through the neighborhood to slowly walking. Then he was walking with a cane until, one day, he was tooling to get the mail in a new power scooter.  As the disease began to change and ravage his body, his spirit and grateful outlook remained constant.  

After Mr. Bill moved away I have become closer to Sue. I guess we were both looking for companionship and sort of found each other. I have started to drop off meals and Robby has been volunteered to help with yard work. I have gotten to know both of them as more than neighbors. They both have become friends.

In April Ted's health began to fail. He was taken to the hospital numerous times for unexplained bleeding and bloating. A few weeks ago Sue called and asked for help. She was trying to transport Ted to the hospital and he fell on top of her in the driveway. Unable to move him off of her, she needed Robby and Scott's assistance. They immediately took off across the street to help. I didn't realize that it was the last time that they would see Ted. 

I recognized the symptoms from my Dad and I wasn't shocked when the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was revealed. Over the past few weeks Ted has been receiving hospice care. His family has surrounded him and rallied around Sue. We have tried to help and support from afar, periodically leaving food and toys for the grandkids who were visiting. 

Yesterday Sue stopped me in the street to let me know that Ted had just passed away. Immediately I felt transported back in time, revisiting the grief I felt when I lost my Dad. Pancreatic cancer is a horrific disease. He had been preparing to die from ALS but was ultimately taken by pancreatic cancer. I'm now sure which fate is worse, but I pray that he is now at peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Rough Day

All of the relaxation vibes that I had accrued over the weekend evaporated as soon as I woke up on Monday. I felt like I was running on fumes by noon, and the fact that I still had at least ten more hours to go before bedtime felt both overwhelming and depressing. It definitely wasn't my best day, but I survived so I will consider it to be a success.

Timmy, who hasn't been sleeping well, was "off" all day. He waffled between being whiny and needy to angry and destructive without warning. When I wasn't working I was spending all of my time and energy towards soothing, calming and redirecting my little guy. 

I know that he isn't feeling well and that he is doing the best that he can given his circumstances. It breaks my heart that his health is still not up to par. I'm hoping that we will be able to resume his treatments soon because I miss my happy little Hamlet.

Because I knew that the root of his issues was organic, I really tried to remain patient and loving. When he needed to cuddle I dropped everything and held him. When he was frustrated I did my best to help him work through it. I know it wasn't an easy day for him, but my goodness I felt absolutely drained by the time he went to bed.

I'm hoping for a better day for both of us.  Fingers crossed!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Relaxation

I wish I could write that we had an exciting weekend, but that would not be honest. My weekend wasn't bad, but it certainly was not overly exciting or entertaining. Social distancing is becoming very tiresome!

Timmy spent the majority of each afternoon in his little pool, happily splashing and playing. I sat poolside, listening to an audio book and watching him play. I enjoyed feeling the sunshine on my skin and hearing his giggles through the splashing. It didn't seem to both him that it wasn't hot and that the water was cold. He is my little water bug, happy to jump into a pool regardless of the weather.

Sitting by his little pool, I felt guilty for not working. I looked around the yard and began to make a mental list of everything that I should be doing. Instead of getting up and starting to knock through the yard work I just couldn't find the motivation. I opted to allow myself the luxury of relaxation. Sometimes, it's okay to just sit and chill, right?