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 27, 2021

Sad

After spending another night in tears, I have come to the conclusion that I am in desperate need of an escape. An escape from reality, from the news, from work stress, from my leg pain, from my family bickering and from cyber school stress. Although we have been so fortunate compared to far too many people (we haven't lost our jobs or our lives during the pandemic), this past year has been so difficult. I'm tired of everybody and everything.

I was unrealistically hopeful that 2021 would bring better days. Logically I knew that the symbolic changing of a calendar would change nothing in our pandemic situation, but I guess my heart was still hopeful. We are winding up the first month of the year and here I am, still at home and still struggling to keep everything together and still playing mediator to the bickering.

My leg is still ouchy this morning but it is better than yesterday. I'm hoping that another day will provide continued improvement and healing.  (I am fully aware that my leg pain is directly impacting my mood. Whenever I have trouble walking I become more frustrated and depressed.)

I'm sorry for my downtrodden mood. Hopefully today will be better. (I'm sharing a pic of Timmy's latest creation because, no matter how frustrated I become, his little face always makes me smile.)




Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ouchy

Last night, when I finally slipped my leg off as I was slipping into bed, I was hurting.  As the day progressed my body, especially my limb, became increasingly sore and ouchy. Between the impending ice storm and being extremely busy (I logged nearly 10 miles), I was not surprised by my pain.

Unfortunately, a mediocre night's sleep did little to ease my discomfort. This morning it feels like my limb was hit with a baseball bat. The bottom and boney regions are inflamed and angry. I can barely wear my leg and the impact from each step feels like a 2x4 is striking my prosthesis. Sometimes being an amputee really stinks!

Our yard is covered with ice instead of snow, which is a mixed blessing. I don't have the energy or the ability to really play in the snow today, so I'm happy for the reason to stay inside and relatively quiet. Timmy is going to be terribly disappointed because he was looking forward to sledding and snowball fights. 

Hopefully we will get another storm soon, when my leg is feeling better and I'll be able to enjoy it as well. In the meantime, I'm going to try to convince him that it is a perfect day for popcorn and movies on the couch. I really need to allow my leg to rest and heal and the prospect of walking makes me cringe.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Games

 Robby was on Cloud 9 after his classes on Friday. He loved being with his friends and to again in in the throws of his role playing games. I have to admit that I don't fully understand the rules and intricacies of his games. When he starts to tell me about the rolls of the dice and the various "stealth" ratings, I find myself zoning out. But I do know that he loves it, so as long as he understands its a good thing.

This past weekend was cold but uneventful in terms of weather. We were hoping for snow, but it seems that we are again going to be missed. So, instead of playing in the snow Timmy and I were playing in the woods and on his obstacle course. My goodness I wish I had his energy.

Both boys successfully completed their semester courses. This week we start semester two of kindergarten and 9th grade. I wish that we had time for a break between semesters, but it didn't work out this year. Hopefully the courses will ease back into academics so that nobody (especially me) ends up feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.




Friday, January 22, 2021

Return to Class!

Today is Friday and we couldn't be happier. Scott is looking forward to a weekend of watching sports and relaxing. Timmy is excited about enjoying a few days respite before the new semester begins. But Robby is probably the happiest of everybody. While everybody else is looking forward to the start of the weekend, he is ecstatic to return to his enrichment classes today.

It has been a long few weeks for my Koopa. He adores his Friday gaming classes and has missed playing and seeing his friends during the winter break. He has been counting down the days until his classes resumed. Today is the day!

Last semester Robby and his friends strategized and schemed to change the course of the Civil War during their role playing game class. All semester long Robby and his buddies worked for hours throughout the week to solidify their plans for the following Friday. When he came out of class on his final Friday of the semester, his smile was shining brighter than the Christmas trees. Much to their teacher's chagrin, the boys managed to break out of the Southern army, create their own forces and overturn both factions to establish their own government. They had managed to win the Civil War. 

Today marks the beginning of a new role playing adventure for Robby. It also marks the beginning of my driving season as I chauffeur him to and from his activities. Thankfully he is pretty good company in the car, and his enthusiasm definitely makes it worth my effort.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Finishing UP

I didn't think that I would cry watching Kamala Harris take the oath of office. As soon as she placed her hand on the bible, my eyes started to swell with tears. By the time she was officially sworn in as Vice-President, I was full on ugly crying in my living room. 

As I was watching the ceremony, my mind drifted back to my 4th grade teacher. I so vividly remember him standing in front of our class when we were learning about the Executive branch of government. The conversation drifted to Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale, and Geraldine Ferraro being on the ballot. I will never forget him emphatically declaring that a woman would never be elected to the Executive branch in this country. 

 It took a long time, but he was finally proven wrong. I am so excited that little girls everywhere are waking up this morning with a gender role model in the Executive branch. I look forward to the day when these elections are no longer breaking barriers or shattering glass ceilings. Slowly but surely, I think we are getting there.

Today is dedicated to finishing the semester strong. Robby has two finals to complete, and Timmy needs to complete two more worksheets and read a story through video. Both boys have been procrastinating on their final projects, but today they need to be complete. I would like to kick off the weekend tomorrow with an empty agenda.

Wish us luck, because trying to get them to finish these projects has been like pulling teeth!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Welcome 46!

I woke up this morning smiling, thinking about how yesterday was the last day this country has never had a female in the executive branch. Regardless of your political affiliation or preference in candidate, the fact that a female Vice-President is being sworn into her position today is a monumental step. I love watching glass ceilings begin to crack!

Per family tradition, today we will all watch the Inauguration. This is the first one that Timmy will understand, or at least be aware of, because he was only 2 when the 45th President was sworn into office. He is excited about the Inauguration, although he is probably going to be disappointed when he realizes that cake and candles aren't involved.

Happy Inauguration Day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Abracadabra

Slowly but surely, we are making our way through mid-term week. Robby has successfully completed the first semester of World Cultures and English. He is part way through his Algebra midterm and he has yet to attempt German and Biology. Timmy is done with the first semester of Kindergarten Math, Science and Social Studies. He needs to finish English by the end of the week, which is only going to require a few hours of attention and work.  Once this week is over I think we will all breath a sigh of relief.

Yesterday Timmy and I took a break from his academics to participate in a magic class. He has been enthralled by magic over the past few weeks and has been watching YouTube videos to try to learn tricks. I was delighted when I discovered a free Zoom magic class for Martin Luther King Day. My little guy was ecstatic and eagerly soaked up every moment of the opportunity.

After the magic class, he spent the majority of his time practicing his tricks and trying to refine his act. (His trick involves cutting paper strips and transforming them into rings with only scissors and slight of hand.) In the evening, after a lot of work and many sheets of paper, he performed his "act" for his Nana via video chat. She was appropriately impressed by his newly discovered magical abilities.  

Today we are back to the books, hoping to wrap up the first semester in the next few days. I am looking forward to relaxing (albeit for only a few days) before we embark on semester 2. What I would give for a vacation right now!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Hiking

The majority of the weekend was spent outside, hiking through our woods searching for one million dollars. Although Timmy and I failed in our quest, we had a great time trying. The weather was gorgeous and being outside and active was a wonderful break from reality. 

This is the final week of the first semester of school for both Robby and Timmy, which means that our days will be hectic and chaotic as they try to finish up the last minute projects, assignments and finals. It is going to be a rough few days, so I am grateful that I was able to relax and unwind before the school turmoil begins.  Wish us luck!




Friday, January 15, 2021

Dance Party

My goodness I'm sore this morning. Unlike most times, today I am sore from activity and not from phantom pain. I have to admit, it is a refreshing change. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous with bright blue skies, yellow sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Timmy and I decided to take an extended recess and played outside all afternoon. He was thrilled to be able to revisit one of his favorite places, our stream, to splash and search for interesting rocks and treasures. (He found two cans and a golf ball, which delighted him as if it were Christmas morning.)

After several hours playing outside, he finally agreed to come inside for clean and dry clothes. Almost as soon as he was stripped from his wet clothes and redressed it was time for him to login for a virtual dance party. He danced and rocked out with his friends for another 45 minutes. While he partied on camera, I have to admit that I was dancing in the kitchen. 

By the time the day was over, Timmy and I were both tired. I looked at my pedometer and realized that I had logged 21,000 steps throughout the day. My goodness, no wonder I was tired! As I was going to bed I was reminded that I am so lucky to be able to spend this time with the boys. They are exhausting and frustrating at times, but it is worth it. 






Thursday, January 14, 2021

Circle Time Adventures

Circle Time, which was previously a battle with Timmy, has become a favorite part of his weekly schedule. He enjoys connecting with his classmates and his teacher. Each week has a different theme which the teacher interweaves with reading, math and basic calendar skills. Although it is not in a traditional brick and mortar classroom, it is definitely an authentic school experience.  

In order to help debunk technical issues that may occur during the live streaming class, I continue to stay close during class. With the exception of crafts, Timmy no longer needs my assistance during the activities. Being able to sit next to him and work on my own computer has been wonderful.

Yesterday, his teacher led the class on reading a new book about bears. Each student took a page to read aloud. I was delighted when I heard Timmy read his page smoothly. His teacher was also proud of his improvement in reading and offered praise,  "Timmy, you did a great job reading.  Good girl!"  

Quick to correct his teacher, Timmy piped up. "You called me a girl. I'm a boy. You forgot that I have a very fine penis." 

I can't be certain, but I'm fairly certain I heard his teacher's husband spit his coffee across their table as Timmy spoke. I then saw him walking away, laughing hysterically. Without missing a beat, his teacher apologized for calling him and girl and quickly moved to the next activity.

I have to hand it to his teacher, she transitions like a pro. Timmy is definitely giving her a run for her money!


 

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Vaccine

Yesterday the US shattered the previous "record" for one day Covid deaths. My heart aches for the over 4,000 families that are mourning this morning. My brain is screaming in frustration because so much of the pandemic could have been controlled with social distancing and wearing a mask. Until my last breathe, I will never understand the aversion to this public health measure.

Scott received an email yesterday, indicating that he will be cleared to receive his first vaccine in two weeks. I know that he has never before looked forward to having a needle pierce his skin! Hopefully my vaccine date will be soon behind him. I will feel so much better after we have both been vaccinated. Although I know that we will still maintain our Covid measures, I hope that the omnipresent fear will wane.

This has been a very difficult 11 months. Timmy has not been able to play with another child, in person, since February. At this point, I don't think he even realizes how much he is missing his playgrounds and jump zones.

I am looking forward to unwrapping our new normal in a post-Covid world.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Craving Normal

 Despite my efforts, my news fast has been an utter failure. It is hard to avoid the constant stream of commentators and "breaking news" (which is rarely news nor breaking) when Scott is enthralled by the broadcasts. He turns on the news at every opportunity, forcing me to watch or at least listen because of my proximity.  

Something has to change though, because last night I had horrific nightmares sparked by current events.  I woke up because of night terrors on two separate occasions. It was hard to get back to sleep and, when I finally did, I was restless and plagued with disturbing dreams. Needless to say, I am going to need a lot of coffee to get me through the day. 

I've discovered that my safest escape from the constant stream of current affairs is playing outside with Timmy. I stream music on my phone and focus on him. We hike through the woods searching for treasure, play bank in the tree house and climb over his tree fort. During those few hours every day, life again feels normal. 

I am craving normalcy.




Monday, January 11, 2021

Car Picnic

 Although we didn't do anything terribly exciting over the weekend, the few days of disconnection was exactly what I needed to reset. The news continues to be terrible and I think I have reached my threshold. I am going to continue my news fast through the week. Should something monumental happen, I'm sure Scott will let me know.

Saturday Timmy and I spent the majority of the afternoon playing outside. We recovered our Christmas tree and set it up in his new wood "fort." I'm sure it looks a little wonky to our neighbors, but he is absolutely delighted. After nearly a year of being stuck at home, I will take any delight as a victory.

On Sunday I needed to meet my Mom to pick up a box from Christmas. We met at our typical halfway point, and to our surprise she had my niece with her. Because of Covid, we couldn't really hang out. Instead, we had a car picnic in the parking lot of McDonald's. It was great seeing her, even though it was brief. Timmy was over-the-moon having a car picnic with his Nana and Tiffany. (He cried as we drove away, sad that he isn't yet able to go to her house.)

Today we are back to work and back to reality. The weather is going to be gorgeous, so I'm sure we will spend a few more hours readying the wood fort.  Have a great day!

Friday, January 08, 2021

Too Much News

Logically, I know that I need to turn off the news. In practicality, I am finding it hard to walk away. I know that I'm not going to miss anything, but I feel a nagging anxiety when I am away from the news for too long. I am in a vicious, and unhealthy, cycle that needs to break. Right now, I am not in a good place.

The images of the Capitol breach from Wednesday continue to evoke the same degree of frustration, anger and astonishment as they did when it was happening in real time. My emotions have not tempered. Instead, they have grown exponentially. 

I know that going cold-turkey on the news is not feasible. For my own mental health, I need to severely taper back. This weekend, starting today, I am limiting my news watching to one 30 minute block per day. Hopefully this will help restore my emotions while allowing me to remain informed.

This weekend, I'm pledging to turn off the cable news stations and turn on Food Network and the Hallmark Channel. Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 07, 2021

Shocked

I had been dreading yesterday for weeks, warning my Mom that something catastrophic was going to happen. I was horrified, but not surprised, when I watched the Capitol building overrun by the mob. Scott, Robby and I were glued to our television yesterday afternoon, gobsmacked and disgusted by the scenes unfolding in the Capitol building. This is not the America I grew up in, and I mourn if this is the country that my children will know. 

 

Robby has always worn the label "Patriot" with immense pride. He has volunteered his time with Freedom Flights, and with wounded military. He voraciously absorbs American history and has curated an eclectic collection of military and US memorabilia in our basement museum. I often find myself astounded by his passion and love for American history.

Today he is afraid to refer to himself as a "Patriot." The moniker, which has always been worn with pride,  has been hijacked and perverted by the misguided terrorist mob. We've tried to explain that the actions yesterday were not completed by patriots, they were conducted by terrorists committing treason. Unfortunately, it is difficult to convince him when the President heralds the acts of domestic terrorists as Patriots.

I am sad for him, and for everybody who loves this country. Left or Right, Blue or Red. Patriotism suffered a blow today.

I hope that today we can all begin to heal.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Smoother

After an extremely chaotic day on Monday, I found myself dreading getting out of bed yesterday morning. I stayed covered up, hibernating from the world as long as possible. When I heard Timmy start to stir I took a deep breath, slipped on my leg and put a smile on my face. 

Timmy was chipper and happy when I greeted him. He eagerly sat down for Circle Time and flew through his schoolwork without complaint. My goodness, what a difference from Monday! He was my little scholar, finishing assignments and working through problems without any lamenting. 

Robby surprised me by following his little brother's lead. My Koopa took his laptop and immediately began to work through his Biology homework. By the time Timmy and I were finished with Circle Time, Robby had finished Biology and most of his German work. I found myself so relieved and grateful that we were not having a repeat of Monday.

After a day of fighting and tears, both boys worked diligently and finished all of their assignments shortly after lunch. We were able to play outside for several hours, enjoying the final clear day before the rain moves into the area.

Monday night I went to bed feeling like the worse Mom in the world. Yesterday I felt redeemed.  Here's hoping to smoother school days ahead!

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Stressed

After a nearly two week hiatus, yesterday was our first day back to reality. In the first 90 minutes of my morning the relaxed, vacation vibes I had accumulated completely evaporated. My day was chaotic, stressed and filled with bickering and lamenting. 

Everybody, including Scott, had a difficult time adjusting to the sudden influx of work. I spent my day alternating between listening to complaints, nagging and badgering everybody to stay on task and trying to hide in the bathroom. By the time the sun was beginning to set I was ready to go hibernate in bed!

I'm hoping that today is smoother, and that yesterday was just a blip in the road. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 04, 2021

In Plain Sight

Towards the middle of September I noticed a raggedy sheet of paper on the floor of our hallway. My arms were full of dirty laundry at the time, so I didn't stop to pick it up. Instead I let it lay and walked over top of it. As I was folding the laundry, I noticed both Scott and Robby walk on top of the sheet of paper, kicking it slightly with their steps. I then watched Timmy bounce over the paper on his ball, and my curiosity was piqued. 

How long would everybody in my family walk past, kick and ignore a sheet of paper in the middle of an otherwise clean floor? I had to find out. I carefully folded the paper and taped a $10 bill inside with a note marking the date the "prize" was added.  I was certain that the paper would only last a few days before it was picked up. 

I could not have been more wrong. The days wore on, and the paper became tattered and dirty. I sat on the couch and watched the vacuum push the paper right past everybody, depositing it on the other end of the hallway. It stayed there until the robot vacuum was again deployed and the paper was pushed to another location in the living room.

Boxes and bags of trashed have all been put on top of the valuable paper, but it was never picked up. Our Christmas tree was pulled over the paper when it was being set up, but Scott simply kicked it out of the way and continued to focus on the tree. Timmy has ridden his scooter and played with his cars right next to the paper, but he never bothered to pick it up.

As the weeks wore on, I added to the pot. By Christmas, more than 80 days after my little game began, the prize was up to a whopping $50.  Finally, a few days ago, I challenged the family by telling them that there was something valuable hidden in plain sight. If they found the item, the money was theirs. 

I set the timer and watched as they tore through the house, frantically searching for the valuable item. In plain sight, they failed to pick it up. When the timer rang, I bent down and picked up the paper, revealing the prize. 

I'm keeping the money. After 90 full days of walking around, over and kicking the same piece of paper, nobody in my family bothered to pick up the randomly placed sheet of paper. 


























I think I need to put the money towards a housekeeper.