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, December 10, 2010

Ohio Bound

The laundry has been done, the house has been cleaned and our pet sitter has been oriented. The fridge has been purged, the tree has been watered and our tickets have been confirmed. Our bags are packed and our ID's and cash have been secured. Today we are leaving for Grandma's house in Ohio.

I am not sure why, but it is always a lot of work for me whenever we get ready to go visit Scott's family. It takes about three days of work to get prepared for a four day trip. Our little family of three sure requires a lot of preparation!

Robby is anxiously awaiting our "super big adventure." He is looking forward to getting on the airplane and going "high high up" above the clouds. My goal is a little more short sighted. I'm looking forward to hearing the TSA agent tell me that I'm "good to go" so I no longer have to worry about what I might encounter!

This is the first time that Robby is flying since our California TSA horror. He still refers to the "mean man in the uniform who yelled at him" when he talks about our trip. I am hoping that this trip yields less trauma for us both.

Flying with a preschooler is always stressful. My previous experiences have served to increase my anxiety exponentially. Thankfully, Scott will be present and able to watch Robby during my obligatory molestation, er I mean pat down. I know that the departure airport has a Cast Scope machine. I'm hoping that they have learned how to use their equipment since the last time I flew.

Once I'm cleared through security, I know that I will feel more comfortable. I resent that I feel this much anxiety about dealing with an agency that is established to protect us! Wish me luck with TSA and wrangling my husband and Robby through the airport, and hopefully we'll all make it to Ohio safe and sound. Deep breath, okay. Ready, set... fly!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Winter Liner Woes

I know that I've written this before but, with the recent temperature plunge it bears repeating- I despise being cold. I love crawling into bed at night after the electric blanket has been preheating for about an hour. On a cold night nothing feels better than lying down on warm sheets.

On frigid mornings, little feels worse than having to pull on an icy cold liner. Not only must my leg leave the cozy heated sheets, but I must immediately don a silicone liner that has gotten chilly through the night. The silicone feels like ice sliding up my previously warm leg. Talk about a shock to my system!

Putting on a cold liner is so uncomfortable (albeit it fleeting) that I have begun to dread mornings more than usual. I have actually laid in bed the past few mornings, without my leg, contemplating whether or not I wanted my coffee enough for me to put on the icy liner. So far my desire for coffee has won out, but it is becoming a bitter battle.

I have tried slipping a hand warmer into my liner before I go to bed, hoping that the heat would last until morning. The cold shock I experienced slipping on the liner let me know that my plan didn't work. The hand warmers might not work, but I have another idea. I am fairly confident I know what will keep my liner warm, and it is now on the top of my wish list.

A spa towel warmer, basically a heated box, could warm up my liner before I put it on. I figure that I can turn on the warmer about 10 minutes before I plan on getting out of bed and my liner will be toasty warm by the time I am ready to put on my leg. Right now the prospect of a preheated liner sounds luxurious!

I realize that the shock of the freezing liner is temporary and does not justify the price tag of a towel warmer, but I have an inkling that towel warmers will undergo steep price reductions in the January post-holiday sales. I figure I have only another month of shockingly cold liner mornings before I nab a bargain and my winter liner woes will be history!

True, I could just deal with the cold liner and save my money. I could also try keeping the liner under the covers with me, which would probably work. But a girl is entitled to a gadget or two, right? I will let you know if it works.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Emotional puddle

I hate admitting that I'm an emotional wreck, but since I'm writing this between sobs, I suspect that I can't deny it any longer. My raw emotions are probably due to the pituitary tumors (that's my excuse, anyway), but knowing the cause certainly doesn't make the feelings any less intense. I hate feeling this way!

During the past few weeks I have been in the process of clearing our house of unneeded clutter. Between Craigslist and Ebay we've been able to pad our bank account and gain more space in our house. I've sold underused yard equipment, appliances which were duplicates or unneeded, and a variety of toys that Robby has outgrown.

Last night I sold the Thomas the Train battery powered ride-on toy that Robby got from Santa for his second Christmas. He adored that train. It feels like yesterday that he was sitting on Thomas, going around in circles on the track constructed through our living room. He was such a happy little engineer.

Somehow several years have passed and I'm not sure where the time went because Robby is going to kindergarten next year. I can't believe that he is old enough to go to school. I'm just not ready to let him go.

I miss hearing his Thomas the Train horn and the peels of laughter as he circled the living room. He outgrew the train and it has been in our garage for at least a year. I know that another child will enjoy it. Still, for some reason it is hard letting this one go.

I feel silly crying over a train that I willingly agreed to sell. I should be happy for the money and for the space that will be created in our garage. I recognize that he is growing up and changing, and I love watching him grow up and discover new things. At the same time I miss the little baby that I used to hold and the toddler who adored his train.

Someday soon I will no longer be his best buddy. I'm glad that today I still am. I'm going to wipe my tears, take a deep breathe and put the future out of my mind. To avoid a complete meltdown, I need to focus on today. I'm going to sip a cup of coffee and watch Little Bear with my little guy. This afternoon, I think we'll decorate our gingerbread houses.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On Top of Spaghetti-O's

I hate my pituitary tumors. Although I know that they are benign, they have become a nuisance, seeming to become "active" at the most inopportune times. The holiday season is not hospitable to fatigue, mood swings and balance issues.

Typically the reemergence of symptoms is an indication that I need to adjust the medication. Although I hate being reliant upon a pharmaceutical, I have come to appreciate the little pill I swallow every morning. Until I finally have the tumors removed, the medication has helped to restore order and health. I called my doctor last week and went for a blood test which is required before any dose adjustments are made.

I can deal with the fatigue and the moodiness, but the impact on my balance has proven to be problematic. I had enough trouble maintaining my balance when I had two feet. Now that I am using a prosthetic foot, my clumsiness is amplified.

The past few days I have been bumping into walls. My laundry is piling up because I no longer feel safe carrying the basket up and down the stairs. (I figure Scott will take the subtle hint that I need help when he is out of clean underwear in a few days.) Despite seeing obstacles on the floor (having a four year old, there are plenty) I seem to keep tripping and stumbling.

Yesterday I was carrying a full bowl of Spaghetti-O's to the living room for Robby. (Yes, I was a "bad Mommy" and allowing him to eat his lunch in front of the television. In my defense I was rushed for time and needed to be uninterrupted so I could finish some work before a meeting--but I digress.) I tripped and began to fall. Before I could stop myself I was lunging towards our misshapen, strange looking Christmas tree. The bowl of sticky little pasta O's, with meatballs, flew out of my hand and into our precariously perched tree.

After cleaning up the shards of ceramic that used to be my favorite Christmas bowl, I spent the next 45 minutes picking up small O's and beige meatballs from the sharp needles on the tree. I learned that a can of Spaghetti-O's has a lot of O's! With the clean-up complete, I went back to the bedroom to change my clothes.

"Momom, Momom, hurry. Emergency." These are not words that I want to hear from Robby's mouth, especially after the Spaghetti-O shower I had just cleaned up.

I arrived in the living room in time to see Charlie, Robby's beloved kitten, scaling the center of our tree with a small meatball in his mouth. Apparently my clean-up was not nearly as thorough as I had thought! The tree, which was being held erect with the support of rocks from our yard and a thin line of dental floss (green, to be festive) attached to the top, began to sway. Before I could grab the cat, the tree toppled over spilling all of Robby's pretty yellow stars, more spaghetti-O's and a lot of needles all over the living room.

After several deep breaths and a cup of coffee, I started to reconstruct our Christmas tree. I was interrupted when I received a phone call with my blood test results. As I suspected, my medication needs to be increased. (I restrained myself from responding with a witty "D'uh!) Hopefully, with my medication increased, my dopiness will go away. I can't wait to return to my slightly more graceful self. In the meantime, Robby had a blast decorating the tree for a second time!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Our Perfectly Strange Looking Tree

I decided that this year we are going to create an old-fashioned Christmas for Robby. Part of my motivation is financial- it is a lot cheaper to make the ornaments and decorations than to buy them. But that is not my only reason for opting for homemade this year.

I am not sure why, but I've been feeling nostalgic for my childhood and I want Robby to feel some of the "magic" that is often lost by all of the ready-made, holiday-in-a-box decorations. The season will seem more meaningful if he had a hand in the creation. Right after Thanksgiving I found my craft books and got to work.

Last week Robby and I spent several hours, over three days, making his tree ornaments. I offered him a variety of cookie cutters, but he seemed drawn to the star. That's okay, I figured--we can have a lot of stars on the tree.

After the ornaments were dried, I went into my craft drawer and pulled out every color of paint. After all, a Christmas tree needs an array of bright and vibrant colors! Armed with the full color spectrum and a handful of brushes, I let my little artist create. He proceeded to paint every ornament yellow as he told me, "Yellow is my favorite color."

After all of his yellow stars were dried, we moved onto the glitter stage. I knew that it was going to be messy, but I wasn't deterred. Messes can be cleaned up, but the memories will last forever. With ten colorful glitter jars available, Robby used only one. He glittered every yellow star ornament with yellow glitter, again reminding me, "Yellow is my favorite color."

Determined to create old-fashioned memories, we bundled up Saturday morning in search of the perfect Christmas tree. I'm not sure if it was the cold wind or Robby's eagerness to get a tree, but he found the tree he wanted within 10 minutes. We cut it down, bailed it up and strapped it to the roof. I even convinced the family to sing Jingle Bells on the drive home.

I suppose that no old-fashioned Christmas would be complete without witnessing a parental fight while putting up the tree. Despite our "easy to use" stand, the tree kept falling. Frustrated, Scott and I began to snap at each other as we struggled to keep the tree from falling into the fireplace or onto Robby. The fact that the kitten seemed enthralled by the tree and kept trying to climb to the top wasn't helping our predicament.

I have vivid memories of putting our Christmas tree in the stand when I was growing up. After a torrent of curses from my Dad, we children were sent outside. Our job was to scour the yard for bricks and large rocks to wedge against the tree trunk to keep it in the stand. I had to smile when we were in the yard picking up rocks for the same purpose on Saturday afternoon, reflecting on how some family traditions will probably never die.
With the tree quasi-secured in its stand, we stepped back to admire our centerpiece. Despite our best efforts, it is extremely crooked. We also realized that we were a tad overzealous when lopping off the bottom branches. Our tree now has a bare two foot trunk. On the positive side, Robby thinks it is a fantastic "Christmas fort!"

Looking at the tree now I'm not sure why I didn't notice all of the bare spots in the tree. I suspect that the holes were camouflaged by the pounds of needles and debris that fell from the branches onto my floor. I have concluded that we may have found the ugliest tree in the field.

We let Robby have complete control over decorating the tree. He carefully hung each homemade yellow star with precision. Of course, he is only 3 feet tall. All of the branches above his reach are bare.

With the decorating completed, Robby told me that we have the perfect tree. I have to agree with him. Somehow, our crooked tree with a naked trunk and bare branches, positioned precariously between rocks and decorated with only yellow stars seems appropriate for our family this year. It is perfect, and Robby thinks it's nothing short of magical.