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, June 24, 2011

Too Tired for Words

I vow that this will be the last time I put off any "small" details before a trip. Yesterday morning it should have been quick and easy for us to pack the car and leave for Ohio. After all, I spent all day Wednesday getting prepared. Apparently I didn't finish as much as I thought. I spent nearly five hours finishing up small chores before we even started to load the car!

We didn't get on the road until noon, an hour later than projected. Of course, I also had planned on a laid back and relaxing morning, but that certainly didn't happen. I should known better than to plan on anything being easy or relaxing when it involves getting ready for a trip.

My two boys, ages 5 and 45, completely wore me out on our drive. Robby was a seemingly never ending pit of "I want" while Scott was grumpy, tired and irritable with other drivers. I spent much of the trip trying to keep everybody entertained. I am fairly confident that Larry the Cucumber's voice from VeggieTales is seared into my psyche and that I will be hearing him in my dreams for weeks to come. We drove only four hours (half way to Ohio) but by the time we pulled into our hotel, I was drained.

This was not the blog that I intended to write. There has been a long thread concerning grieving the loss of a limb on the Facebook fan page, and I thought it would be a great topic to revisit. Since my ampu-versary is next week, I have been reflecting a lot on my limb loss journey. I had planned on writing about this topic for today, but to be honest I'm exhausted and I can't seem to find the words to express myself. Rest assured, I'm sure to find my writing voice over the weekend.

Wish me luck for the second leg of our trip. I have a feeling I'm going to need it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heading to Ohio!

This morning we will be packing the car to the brim with assorted toys, suitcases and coolers. Judging by all of the accouterments that are being stuffed into our Highlander, our neighbors probably think that we are going on an extended vacation. In reality, we are only going to visit Grandma in Ohio for a few days. It never ceases to amaze me how much "stuff" a little kid needs when traveling!

Normally I would have had the car packed the night before our trip. Yesterday, however, I spent the entire day cleaning, doing laundry and getting prepared so I simply ran out of both time and energy. I worked too hard to get the house clean for the Icelandic film crew and I refuse to let it get ahead of me again! It was a lot of work, but I know that it will feel great to walk into a clean house when we come home. (Of course, considering that two college students will be house sitting for us, I am doubtful that our home will be clean when we return!)

Scott spent the day trying to get the car ready for our road trip. Our battery has been unreliable since last August when it left me stranded for the first time. Not wanting to have to jump the car in front of his family, he broke down and bought a new car battery. I'm thrilled that I no longer have to drive around with battery jumper in the back! With the battery changed, the tires properly inflated and the oil changed, we have been deemed "car trip ready" by our resident expert (and friendly neighbor) Mr. Bill.

This year we have divided the trip on the way to Ohio in segments. Scott was concerned that the eight hour drive would be too much for Robby. In reality, I think it is probably too much for Scott! I love my husband, but he is not a good road trip co-pilot. He becomes antsier than Robby on long drives. Last year I found myself fielding the dreaded "Are we there yet?" question from Scott more than my little boy.

Although Robby is the excuse for stopping and staying at a hotel, I have to admit that I'm happy about the decision. I used to love road trips before I became an amputee. Now that I wear a prosthetic I find that I become uncomfortable after about three hours.

My stump starts to ache in the socket when I sit for a long period of time. When I take off my leg, I can't find a comfortable position and the squirm fest begins. By hour five my back starts to hurt because both of my legs aren't carrying weight. Last year, by the time we arrived in Ohio I was not in good shape!

Today, we are going to drive to Beckley, West Virginia where we have a reservation at a hotel with a pool. Robby is looking forward to swimming and playing in the water all afternoon. Of course, that also means that we need to remember to pack both his life vest and my water leg. Let's hope there is room for all of us!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lightening Bug Magic

Yesterday was the official start of summer. Of course, I didn't need to look at the calendar to let me know this- I only needed to look outside. The magic of the summer evening has returned.

I had nearly given up, worried that the bug barrier we sprayed in our yard in the spring killed them. I have to admit that I was nearly as happy as Robby when I looked outside and saw that the neighborhood was filled with lightening bugs.

Robby, unconcerned by the fact that he was wearing his pajamas, frantically put his shoes on so that we could go on a "bug hunt." I slipped on a pair of shorts that were on the floor, grabbed the bug box and went after him to join the hunt.

Robby and I must have been quite the spectacle running around the yard chasing bugs. I was wearing my pink Winnie the Pooh nightgown with what turned out to be Scott's shorts underneath. My shoes didn't match because I put on the wrong leg in my rush to get outside. (That certainly isn't an excuse most people can use!) Robby was running around the yard with his shoes on his wrong feet wearing a Spongebob pajama top and pirate pants.

We had a great time catching lightening bugs, and Robby's bug catching ability has certainly improved over the winter. He thinks that we caught "one million and eighty one" bugs. I estimate the number closer to thirty. In any case, I had a great time running around the yard with him in our mis-matched clothes and shoes trying to catch the little glowing bugs. His giggling filled up the neighborhood!

On the way back into the house, Robby told me that he wanted to be a lightening bug. I agreed, telling him that it would be fun to fly around the yard and twinkle. My fellow bug hunter stopped in his tracks and he became serious. "Momom, you would not be a good lightening bug. Your bum would be too bright if it glowed."

There went my feel good, I'm a super Mommy happy moment! I spent the remainder of the evening evaluating my backside. I became defensive about the fact that I would indeed make a magnificent lightening bug.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fan Page

Almost a year ago I started the AmputeeMommy Fan Page on Facebook. Much like this blog, it has been slow to take off. I had a vision of creating a supportive community for amputees where support, advice and friendship was fostered. For months I was the only member posting on the wall, always thrilled when somebody wrote a response.

Just as I continued blogging when I was fairly certain my only readers were my mom and mother-in-law, I tried to keep the Fan page active despite the lackluster response. I was beginning to lose hope, but I am nothing if not stubborn and persistent! Finally, about three months ago the page started to turn a corner.

I am thrilled with the activity the page has been receiving. The support that it is garnered for those who reach out to celebrate victories and setbacks is heartwarming and affirming. The videos and photos that have been posted are uplifting and have made me smile- even on days when Robby Rotten has been wreaking havoc!

I am proud that my goal for the Fan page is being realized. Finally, after a year, we have created an uplifting, encouraging and loving place where amputees of all experience levels and from all backgrounds can meet and share encouragement and ideas. Thank you for making this possible!

Scott works diligently to make sure that the place remains "safe" and void of unsavory devotees. If you are looking for friends who understand and are ready to offer a cheering section, check us out! There is always room for more encouraging and loving fans.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Fun

Our house was in full celebratory mode this weekend. Scott's last day of school is today, meaning that he will be home for summer vacation. As if having his Daddy home everyday isn't exciting enough, Robby was in full Father's Day preparation. He loves nothing more than a party or any occasion that necessitates a cake!

It feels like time has just flown by during the past few weeks. If it weren't for the non-stop Hallmark commercials I wouldn't believe that Father's Day was Sunday. Thank goodness the advertisers wouldn't let me forget!

I took Robby shopping a few weeks ago where he found a kite that he thought would be perfect for his Daddy. I agreed and we bought it with the understanding that it was to remain a secret until Father's Day. I was impressed with how Robby kept his vow of silence on the subject.

Correction- I was impressed until Saturday afternoon. Scott and I were talking about Father's Day, in particular what he wanted for dinner. Robby chimed in, "I cannot wait to give you the special blue and yellow kite that we bought you for Father's Day. Daddy, you are going to love your kite surprise." So much for a surprise! We went ahead and gave Scott the kite when we got home.

Sunday morning Robby and I woke up and made Scott breakfast in bed. (We ran out of regular bread so we substituted Goldfish shaped bread for toast.) Robby was so proud carrying the plate of quasi-warm eggs and fish shaped toast to his Daddy! The two boys cuddled in bed and watched Scooby-Doo for the remainder of the morning.

Robby had a wonderful time showering his Daddy with hugs, I-love-you's and Happy Father's Day wishes all day. In the afternoon he helped me bake a cake. After spreading the batter in the pan, Robby asked me if we could bake two more cakes. He explained that he wanted to make one for Mr. Bill because "it makes him smile" and one for Mr. John (our other neighbor) because his daughter is "very far away." (She is currently deployed and serving in Afghanistan.)

I was proud of my little guy's thoughtful idea. My kitchen became a disaster area covered with flour and sugar, but it was worth it. Robby looked adorable as he proudly presented the cakes to the two men. Hopefully the gesture made their Father's Day away from their children a little happier!