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.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Scott and I already hit K Mart this morning, in preparation for our annual Black Friday shopping spree tomorrow. Somebody was already camped out in front of Best Buy and there was a line of at least 400 people at a local department store at 7:00 am.

We are expecting approximately 18-20 people today for Thanksgiving dinner. Robby is in his prime, helping his Nana set the table and cook. His favorite thing so far? Helping Nana make the stuffing. He got to crack nearly a dozen eggs.

Robby has been chatting about eating popcorn and toast for dinner. He apparently takes his "holiday cues" from Charlie Brown. I am fairly confident that his Nana will have a small bowl of popcorn on the table, which will thrill my little boy. Thanksgiving love to everybody!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings...

Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love every aspect of the day. From the hustling around to prepare the house for company to cooking for the masses, Thanksgiving just makes me feel happy.

The entire family converges at my mom's house for the holiday. I think our family is unique. Although we often see each other only for holidays, we remain in close contact. Between the telephone, email and Facebook, we all remain active in each other's lives. We honestly like each other.

We celebrate our victories and grieve when someone in our family is hurt. The cavalry unites behind any family member who has been wronged. We remain united despite the obstacles. I love that when we all get together, we laugh.

By many standards our family is small in size. We are often morphed in numbers at weddings and funerals. We have a saying that we repeat when we are outnumbered. "We may be small, but we are mighty." I believe that phrase best describes my family.

I am thankful for so many things this year; paramount among them is my family. I know that I am never alone. I know that support and encouragement is only a call or an email away, regardless of where we live.

Many family relationships crumble under the strain of a disability, but the challenge of my amputation has only brought us closer. I have met numerous amputees who have had their relationships disintegrate because of the limb loss. I am thankful that we have been able to tackle the obstacles together.

Scott and I are truly blessed that Robby is healthy and curious. I am so very lucky to be able to stay home with him during these formative years. Being his Mommy is one of my greatest joys. I wouldn't trade being home with him for anything, and he is worth every sacrifice we have made to make this possible.

My family has struggled through heartache during the past year. Substance abuse seemingly destroys the souls of the users. It is often difficult to differentiate between the disease and the person. Drugs affect the entire family, not just the addict. I am thankful that we have all survived. Recovery is an arduous journey. I know that the loved ones are not alone, and we all continue to pray that sobriety will continue.

My sister has three children. Both of my nephews have been diagnosed with seizure disorders. The boys are on seizure medication which appears to be working. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and faced her chemotherapy treatments with the tenacity of a soldier. She is now cancer free.

Through a miracle, Jakey has survived being struck by an SUV. His broken bones will heal and he will be recovered by the new year. For that, I could not be more thankful.

My mom is enjoying her retirement and remains busy with friends and her grandchildren. She is planning a much deserved cruise in January. Robby has been able to forge a bond with her which is reminiscent to the bond I held with my Nan and Pop. Seeing him play with her makes my heart happy.

Robby and I have been busy with Thanksgiving crafts. I asked him what he is thankful for. After thinking (a process which involves him tapping his pointer finger on the side of his head and repeating "think think think") he told me his answer, in this order. Robby is thankful for Mommy, Daddy, Nana, getting mail and sugar.

It is so easy to get bogged down with life's little dramas. I love Thanksgiving because it provides a platform to reflect on all of our blessings. Sometimes, when I count all my blessings, the struggles I am experiencing do not seem insurmountable.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Snoring Trouble...

I am tired today. I'm hoping that Robby will take a nap and grant me a reprieve from my fatigue, but the chances of that happening are slim. He is full of energy. After all, he seems to have received all the sleep a three year old needs.

I suppose the problem with my slumber last night began a few minutes after Scott turned off the television. He has always snored. When we first got together, it was a cute little snore. As time has passed, his snore has morphed into a disturbing loud snorting sound. It is reminiscent of the sounds the walruses made when I went to the Philadelphia Zoo as a little girl.

I've tried piling pillows between us to block the sound. Using my elbow for encouragement, I have positioned his body on his side, facing away from me. I have even resorted to putting the pillows on top of him to thwart the horrendous sound. Nothing seems to work.

Finally, about 1:30 AM I drifted off to sleep. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I had dreamt that I was on a fishing boat being led to shore by the fog horns. I suppose I just incorporated the snoring into my dream.

At 3:00 I was awoken by Robby. Apparently monsters had invaded his room again. I put on my leg and escorted him back to his room.

After thoroughly examining his bedroom, including under the bed and in the closet, it was determined that the monsters had left. Just to be sure we sprayed "monster spray" on his bed. Robby crawled back into his race car bed and I tucked him in. He asked me to stay because he was still "ascared."

My heart actually skipped a beat when he asked me to sleep in his room. His room would be quiet! My little guy had provided his Mommy with the perfect excuse to escape the sound pollution permeating my bedroom.

I took the cushions off the sofa in Robby's room and pulled out the bed. I took off my leg. Unfortunately I realized that I had left my pillow on the other side of the room.

I debated whether or not I should put on my leg. I opted to keep it off. For whatever reason, I really detest putting on my prosthetic after I have taken it off for the night. Logically, I know that putting my leg on is the wiser choice. It takes only a few seconds to slip into it. I suppose I just resent having to do it, so I opt to hop.

Hopping was a mistake. With my first hop my foot landed directly on top of Robby's Thomas the Train Engine. Ouch! I took a small step to relieve the pain and landed on top of the cushions that I had just removed from the couch. I came crashing down with half of me landing on the cushions and my shoulders landing on the "hood" of the race car bed.

After convincing Robby that the commotion was NOT caused by monsters, I retrieved my pillow. I crawled over to the sofa bed and rubbed my sore shoulder. I was mad at myself for not putting on my leg. I was tired. Finally, I would be able to sleep.

Then I realized I had forgotten to turn off the light. Robby has started using his Christmas tree as his nightlight, but it is brighter than I realized. In reality, it resembles the northern lights. If I were going to sleep, I needed to cut the illumination.

Again, I debated whether or not I should put on my leg. Hopping was quickly eliminated as a possibility. I devised a solution. I grabbed my leg and took aim. With one well calculated sweeping motion, I managed to reach the light switch to turn off the tree. I put the leg down, pulled up the covers and closed my eyes.

I was just drifting off to sleep when it started. At first it was a soft noise, nothing too offensive. With time, the volume began to increase. I discovered that, just like his Daddy, Robby snores!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Play Doh Mayhem!

I have tried to delay it, but those efforts proved futile. I knew that once it started, my house would forever be changed. Robby has discovered the joys of Play Doh.

Apparently Play Doh is one of the most magical things in the world for a three year old. Robby is enthralled by the soft clay, and it now occupies him for hours. He pulls out his Play Doh box several times a day and is eager to open the cans and start creating.

I am not sure which aspect of Play Doh is the attraction for Robby. I initially suspected the bright colors. However, the colors only lasted for an hour or two. After multiple extrusions through the toys, all of his colors blended into an unattractive baby poop brown. I find the shade disconcerting, but he doesn't seem phased.

Robby can spend hours making "hair." He loves pushing the clay through the various extruders, and seems just as surprised and excited by the creation of strands as he was on his first exposure. Lately his Play Doh hair strands have been morphing into snakes that attack Mommy. This is very funny for a three year old.

I am happy that Robby has found another activity that he enjoys. Play Doh has become a creative outlet for his active imagination. I don't mind being chased by clay snakes, nor am I bothered by continually "eating" his spaghetti and meatballs.

So then, what is my gripe with Play Doh?

Included in his Play Doh playset was the "chip" maker. This is another extruder toy. Robby twists the top of the hand-held wand, causing the clay to be pushed out of the bottom. A small cutter is constantly swinging along the bottom of the extruder, cutting Play Doh "chips."

Robby loves the chip maker. He eager grabs the toy and begins loading it with the baby poop clay. He then smiles and says, "chippies fly in Mommy's kitchen, high high up." Half inch ugly brown clay strips begin to rain down in the kitchen.

The Doh bits become stuck onto the bottom of shoes and socks, and are transferred onto the carpet. To add insult, I know that I am the culprit in the clay transfer. Robby has started to take off his shoes when he is done with the Play Doh because he wants the clay cleaned from the bottom. It is cumbersome to remove the shoe on my prosthetic, so I usually don't bother.

I have tried to put the chip maker away, out of his sight. Robby asks for it. I have tried to tell him that the chip maker went on "vacation." He then asks to go on vacation, and grabs his suitcase for "Bobby's house." (We went to my cousin Bobby's house this past summer when we went on vacation. It has made quite the impression.) I suppose I could draw a hard line and simply remove the chip maker, but I don't have the heart to do this.

I will continue to try to divert his Play Doh creativity to less aerial creations. I am going to have to take the time to clean the bottom of my shoe after playing because this is the easiest solution. In the meantime, does anybody know how to get ground in baby poop brown Play Doh out of white carpet?