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.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Thank You

I hate New Years Day, but I know that I am in the minority. The majority of people enjoy the holiday. For most, the turning of the calendar marks a new start, an opportunity to set new goals. I would be remiss if I failed to note the optimism most feel when starting a new calendar.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate your taking the time out of your busy life to read the words written by somebody whom you have never met. I love reading the comments that are left and receiving emails from readers. It truly makes my day!

I can honestly say that I am leaving 2009 feeling less isolated and more fulfilled than I did at the onset of the year. Knowing that my blog is being read and receiving feedback has made being a stay-at-home amputee Mommy a little less lonely.

I am looking forward to 2010 and all of the adventures it will bring. I will continue to share my stories and ideas. Have a wonderful new year. Talk to you on Monday.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, Same Me

Of all of the holidays, I would have to say that I dislike New Year's Day the most. My feelings towards the holiday were formed in childhood. New Year's Day was traditionally the last day of our school vacation and it was difficult to celebrate returning to the classroom, especially after the excitement of Christmas!

Before I met Scott, I used to fantasize about my New Year's Eve celebrations. I envisioned elaborate black tie affairs where beautiful people were waltzing until midnight. I don't know how to waltz. I used to be able to do the "Achy Breaky Heart" dance, but I don't remember the steps and I'm pretty sure I'd fall and get hurt. Not only have I never been to such a party, I am struggling to recall ringing in the New Year wearing anything but my pajamas.

I used to become depressed on New Year's Eve, embarrassed by my lame social life. I have come to realize that I am in the majority and that the extravagant parties are productions of Hollywood and the media. At least, that is what I tell myself when I see them play out on the television while I am licking powdered cheese from my fingers and sipping a root beer.

New Year's Eve, while revelers are shown whooping it up in Time Square and at parties around the world, I can be found in bed. It is difficult for me to stay up until midnight. I learned a long time ago that nothing really happens when the ball reaches the bottom of the tower. If you ask me, it is a tad anticlimactic.

Now that I am an adult, I have continued to dislike New Years. I hate that we are bombarded by the media to create resolutions to make drastic life changes. It is hard enough for me to remember to change the date on checks that I write. This year we mark a decade change, necessitating that I change not one but two digits. I think it is unfair to also expect that I change major aspects of my life as well!

Resolutions made and broken remain the topic of conversation until the middle of January. Seemingly everybody inquires about what resolutions I have made for the upcoming year. I am a relatively benign, boring person. I don't have that many vices that need to be changed!

Commercials after Christmas immediately change from "Merry Christmas-have a Pillsbury cookie" to "You're fat from too many cookies-- join Jenny Craig." New Year, New You. Television becomes depressing because I feel inundated with self-help messages, touting everything that is "wrong" with me. Cookie commercials are more fun!

If I could, I would go to sleep on December 30th and wake up on January 2nd. I would avoid every "You're not good enough the way that you are" message. For me, "New Year, New You" should be "New Year, Be Happy with Yourself." I guess that isn't as catchy!

Please don't ask me if I've made any resolutions, or what I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. I have trouble planning for next week, asking me to devise a plan for the next 12 months is both daunting and unrealistic. If you have any resolutions you've made that you would like to share, feel free. I would be happy to support you in your self-improvement quests. Just know that the offer stands throughout the year, not just because we are switching calendars.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Sad Entry

I am writing this blog with a heavy heart. When I first began this venture, I vowed that my blog would be a vehicle for my uncensored emotions and experiences. I have always striven to put a voice to my feelings and experiences knowing that others could relate to my situation. Sometimes just knowing that I am not the only Mommy to have experienced a situation helps to remove the isolation that often accompanies being an amputee parent.

To date, I have never held back from discussing my feelings about a situation I deem "blog worthy." I am proud that I have tackled some difficult and sometimes embarrassing issues, often trying to blend information with humor. Unfortunately, this is the first time I find that I am not free to openly discuss a topic I feel requires exploration.

It seems that the holiday season brings out not only the best, but also the worst in families. Family politics are difficult to navigate during the most relaxed of times. During the holidays, when increased stress levels prevail, maneuvering through family expectations and perceived obligations becomes increasingly difficult.

I have written a blog to be published today. At the request of some loved ones, I have opted to hold off on publishing my entry. Stress levels remain high, and emotions are raw. Perhaps, with time, the issues can be addressed.

I love my family, and I would never want to hurt them. For the time being, I suppose the "elephant will remain in the room." I am not sure that ignoring an issue is ever a viable solution. Perhaps time will heal some wounds and a composed, civil conversation can occur.

I want the readers of my blog to finish reading my entries feeling informed or entertained (ideally, a combination of both). I would never want somebody to be angry or to provide ammunition for future conflicts. Because of these reasons, I am opting to censor myself.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Things To Do...

Scott is beginning his second week of Christmas vacation. He was scheduled only to have off during this week. The snow we had a week ago caused his school to close, affording him an extra week off. We have resolved to make the most of his time off by tackling our "to do" list.

This morning I woke up excited to start our projects. We have painting to finish, Christmas decorations to be removed and packed away, carpets to be cleaned and the list continues. Since I don't have a priority for the projects, I gave the list to Scott and asked him to choose what he would like to do.

After perusing the list for several minutes he asked for the computer. Confident that he had decided upon a project and was researching instructions, I decided to not ask any questions. I got Robby dressed and made breakfast.

With the breakfast dishes done and the kitchen semi-cleaned up, Scott finally emerged from in front of the laptop. He was dressed (unusual during school breaks) and was putting on his coat. Car keys in hand, he asked Robby if he wanted to come. Robby and I put our coats on and followed to the car.

We have an overflowing list of things to do, and we were united in our resolve to tackle the list. Or so I thought. We didn't go to Sherwin Williams for paint. Nor did we go to Lowes for cleaning supplies. We didn't go to Target for plastic storage containers.

Where did we go?

We went to an ice rink, about 30 minutes away, to watch the Washington Capital's hockey team practice. Scott was giddy with excitement as he was holding Robby against the Plexiglas, watching the team skate and shoot the puck. He referred to the players by name which impressed me because they were not wearing their numbered shirts. Robby referred to the players as a "hockey man." I was getting scolded because I was taking pictures of the wrong players or because I was missing photo opportunities.

This is a picture of Alexander Ovechkin. He is Scott's favorite player. My husband became giddy when he skated by us. Ovechkin looked towards the "squealing" noises coming from our direction. Scott tried to blame Robby. I know better, and I'm pretty sure Ovechkin did too!

I have rarely seen Scott awe struck. This was the case this morning. We were not able to get any autographs. Apparently we were not the only family to have this idea today.

Not to worry though. Scott made sure that the address was saved in the GPS. It has already been "requested" that Robby and I return, during the week when the schools are back in session, to hopefully secure some autographs.

Scott thinks it would be "really cool" if the players signed my leg. I am not keen on the idea of taking my leg off and handing it off to somebody on the ice. Nor do I particularly want to walk around with autographs all over my leg until I need a new socket. It is not the type of fashion statement I would like to make. I think I'll splurge and buy a shirt or photograph.

We have returned from the ice rink. The "to do" list is on the kitchen counter. Scott is back in bed, ready for a nap. His back now hurts from holding Robby at the rink. In order to thwart any frustrations during this vacation, I am officially giving up. I am going to put the list back into the kitchen drawer where it will remain until Spring Break.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa Came!

I remember being a child on Christmas morning. I was in awe of the presents that Santa left under the tree. The anticipation of what Santa was going to bring was almost as much fun as unwrapping the presents to reveal my new treasures. I used to think that nothing could surpass being young on Christmas morning.

Then I became a Mommy, and I discovered the joy of watching my little boy experience the magic of Christmas. Robby feeds off of my excitement. Christmas Eve I managed to work him into a near frenzy. The anticipation of Santa's visit was palpable in our house on Christmas eve.

The cookies were baked, the reindeer food was prepared and sprinkled outside. Per our neighbor's request, I doctored the reindeer food recipe. Apparently field mice like oats, which is a main ingredient in "reindeer food." Last year the field mice came out onto the street, happily munching away on their "Christmas feast" that we sprinkled to attract the reindeer. The hawks then took advantage of the opportunity, swooped down and feasted upon the mice. Hopefully no animals were harmed because of our festivities this year!

Robby and I tracked Santa Claus all day on NORAD's website. We sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town all day. When the sun finally set, we were dressed in our Christmas pajamas. All we had to do was sleep and wait for Santa.

I was surprised at how quickly Robby fell asleep. One explanation of "Santa won't come until you are asleep" prompted him to run into his room, pull the covers over his head and begin to fake snore. I wish every night bedtime could be that easy!

Unfortunately sleep did not come that easy for me. I felt silly, but I was excited about Santa coming to visit. I was feeling nostalgic for my childhood Christmases. I was anxious for Robby's reaction in the morning. Scott and I were both eager for him to discover Santa's surprises.

His presents were carefully wrapped in specially selected Thomas the Train wrapping paper. They were neatly arranged underneath the tree. I made sure all of the toys had batteries and that the fasteners were removed. It took me nearly 3 hours to get everything ready. The bows were bright and shiny. Everything looked perfect!

I was worried that Robby would try to sneak out of his room in the middle of the night, so I opted to sleep in his room. I made the correct assumption. He woke up three times in the middle of the night wanting to see if Santa came to visit yet. I became something short of a jail warden, trying to keep him captive inside his bedroom until the sun came up. This was no easy task.

Finally, when the sun came up, I released my prisoner. He practically pulled his Daddy out of bed before running into the living room. Robby stopped dead in his tracks halfway into the living room.

Santa came!

Robby was finished unwrapping his gifts in 15 minutes. It would have only taken him 10 minutes, but we managed to convince him to stop to sing "Jingle Bells." By the time he was finished my carefully selected wrapping paper was shredded and discarded around the living room. My beautiful bows were stuck to the floor, to the table, to the couch and a red one was stuck to Scott's rear.

In mere minutes Scott and I found ourselves knee high in a post-Christmas tornado of boxes and trash. When asked about a favorite gift, Robby simply says that he got a "big big big pile of presents." He seemed most impressed that Santa ate the cookies that were left by the fireplace.

After the fury of the present opening finished, I managed to pull Robby away from his toys long enough to eat a Santa shaped pancake. Scott and I exchanged a high-five in the kitchen. We managed to execute the perfect Christmas morning for our little boy.

Driving to my Mom's that afternoon, Scott and I reflected upon Robby's reactions to the morning events. Pure joy shone on his face when he saw Santa's surprises. Our little boy was delighted and nearly giddy with happiness.

We both agree. The only thing better than being a little one on Christmas morning is being the parent of a young child on Christmas morning. Seeing him on Christmas morning, tearing into his presents and giggling, was the best gift I could have received. The memories will last me a lifetime, even though my special wrapping paper and meticulous presentation was destroyed within moments.