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, November 04, 2011

Daycare Dilemma

I flew to San Antonio yesterday for the opening of Bulow Biotech Prosthetics. While I was thrilled with the opportunity, I felt a surge of panic when I first received the invitation. The logistics that need to be settled before I travel are exhausting.

Before Robby entered school, my traveling was relatively easy. He typically spent the time with my Mom who was willing and able to help us out. Now that he is in Kindergarten, going to stay with Nana has been relegated to an option of last resort. We needed to devise a workable plan for Robby when I travel.

I spoke with Robby's teacher and discovered that many of his classmates move to the adjacent daycare facility at the conclusion of their school day. I saw a glimmer of hope! I spoke with the Director and, to my delight, they would be happy to watch Robby on an "as needed" basis. (Of course they are charging us what I dub the "oh $*%#" hourly price, but in this case convenience trumps price.)

Wednesday night Scott and I explained to Robby that he was going to be staying at school on Friday a little longer. His eyes welled with tears, and he immediately began to protest. He wasn't upset about staying longer at school, nor was he particularly upset that I was traveling. He was devastated that he was going to be expected to take a nap.

"Momom, you're not listening to me. I really really really REALLY don't want to go. They make you sleep on the floor. I don't sleep on the floor! I sleep in a race car bed. Do you want me to just throw my race car bed away and sleep on the floor? I am not a cat or a puppy. I am a big boy who sleeps in a race car bed. I am not going to sleep on the floor! Please don't make me sleep on the floor. A worm might crawl on me. My teacher might step on me. I don't want to sleep on the floor."

My attempts at convincing him that he will lying on a cot and not on the floor were futile. I explained that he is expected to lie quietly but that he does not have to sleep. He continued to complain for the remainder of the night.

I made the best plans for Robby under my current circumstances. He will be with friends, and he is in a safe environment. I know that he is going to be okay, and I feel relieved that we finally have a workable option for when I travel, even if it does involve "sleeping on the floor."

However, I would like to go on record with my prediction for today. I don't think that Robby will lie down on a cot at all. I predict that Scott will take a few hours leave and pick up Robby before nap time thereby rescuing his son from the onerous cot. The two will then spend the remainder of the afternoon watching cartoons, playing the DS and eating chips and dip in their underwear. I'll let you know if I am right!

Don't forget to vote... you can do it everyday!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Faker Betrayal

In the amputee community, a "faker" is an individual who pretends to be an amputee in order to elicit attention or sympathy from others. Typically this is done through the internet, although I have heard of cases of "fakers" feigning amputations at support groups. In addition to being a faker, it is not uncommon for this individual to also be a devotee.

Fakers infuriate me! They are often active on social networking sights, waiting to pounce on the sympathies of their unsuspecting prey. They will say that they are not hurting anybody, but in reality, their words and actions harm the entire amputee community.

Constantly soliciting pity by providing horrific stories of victimization casts all amputees in a bad light. Although it is sometimes easy for me to forget, many people don't personally know an amputee. Suppose their first interaction with somebody with an amputation is online. What impression will they have if that person is a faker? The perception that amputees are weak, dependent, and deserving of pity is perpetuated by the faker.

Scott and I work diligently to keep my forum and Facebook fan page devotee, wannabe, and faker free. I estimate that we allow only one out of every five membership requests into the group. I want to keep this little section of the internet safe for amputees who want and need to share very real issues.

Last week I was heartbroken to discover that I had been fooled when two active members were exposed as fakers. In reality, we were not supporting a young new amputee and his mom. We were being manipulated by a 24 year old, fully limbed, pathetic man. I became furious when his betrayals were revealed.

Living with limb loss can, at times, feel overwhelming for even the strongest of individuals. As if learning to adapt to a new body, prosthetics and societal changes isn't hard enough, amputees must also contend with these toxic subcultures. I feel fooled and frustrated when the Faker was revealed. Rest assured Scott and I will remain vigilant. Hopefully, this will not happen again.

(Don't forget to vote...) http://www.cheapsally.com/profile/peggy-chenoweth/

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I Would Like to Win... Please Help

Last month I received an email from a friend encouraging me to enter a contest that was offering a blogging position (with a $100,000 salary) to the winner. Typically I don't pursue these competitions because I figure I don't have a chance.

For some reason, I felt compelled to enter. At the time I reasoned that I had nothing to lose except a few minutes of my time, and since I was bored at that moment, time wasn't a particularly highly valuable commodity. I filled out the required fields and hit "enter" without much thought.

To my delight my ranking in the competition rose quickly. I asked my friends on Facebook to vote, and within a few days I was number 2 in the state. My competitive nature kicked in, and I decided that I wanted to become number 1 in my state.

The first phase of the competition ended on Monday, and at that time my ranking was wafting between 1 and 2. I have the feeling that very few votes separate me from my closest competitor. I am now in the semi-final round, and I am asking for your help. No need to worry, I have no intentions of stopping this blog should I win.

I'm beginning to feel like I actually have a chance in this contest. I have found myself dreaming during the early hours in the morning about how the $100,000 salary would change our lives. For starters, our roof could be fixed so it doesn't rain in my bedroom. I have been trying to imagine how my ceiling will look without the various holes. Robby and I had so much fun splashing in his little blow up pool during the summer. Can you imagine how much we would love having a real pool?

I don't know if I can win this contest, but I know that I want to give it my best effort. Voting takes place daily between now and November 30th. You can vote everyday, and I will be posting a link to the site at the end of every blog post to make it easier. No registration is necessary, and no information is solicited. It will only take a moment of your time everyday. I would really appreciate the support!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween Hero

I am not sure who was more excited about Trick-or-Treating: Scott or Robby. Robby woke up bright and early yesterday morning, excitedly chattering about getting into his costume and getting candy. Scott sent me text messages throughout the day, counting down the hours until Trick-or-Treat. In an effort to stay busy, Robby and I spent the afternoon baking cookies and cake balls for our neighbors.

Fueled on pumpkin and bat shaped pancakes, we dressed in our costumes and took off to tackle the neighborhood. The boys happily skipped from house to house, ringing the doorbell before I made it halfway up the driveway. Yes, they were moving quickly, but I also knew that I was extremely slow. Last night I was having a dreaded "bad leg day."

It feels like the timing of my bad leg days is always poor, but I doubt that I could designate a good time for painful walking. These painful events are few and far between, a fact for which I am grateful. However, when bad leg days do occur, they serve to frustrate and to anger me. I hate feeling disabled or debilitated because of my limb loss. I felt both of those last night!

I knew that they would have slowed the pace had I asked. But I remember being a child on Halloween, and I didn't want them to slow down on my account. I simply became a lame little kitty cat, limping behind the elated Billy the Exterminator and Bumble Bee. I knew it was going to be a long night.

Thankfully Mr. Bill (my neighbor) adopted the persona of Superhero for Halloween. He saw me limping when I dropped off his cookies and cake ball treat earlier in the evening. He decided to swoop in and save the day. Or, at least he saved me a night of painful walking! He loaded some straw in the back of his pick-up truck and offered us a "Trick or Treat hay ride" through the neighborhood. Robby was over the moon excited to be chauffeured in the back of a pick-up. I was grateful for the respite from walking.

Despite my aching leg, we had a great Halloween night. I have no doubt that I would have been utterly miserable by the end of the night had I walked through the neighborhood. Sometimes being an amputee stinks--but a caring and thoughtful friend can make it a little easier!
*** This year Robby wanted to go as A&E's Billy the Exterminator. To be honest I tried to point him in a different direction, but he was insistent. We decided that Robby would be Billy and that Scott would dress as a bumble bee that needed to be exterminated. (Robby's favorite episode shows Billy removing a honey bee hive from a large tree.) Yes, Scott is a really REALLY good sport when it comes to donning costumes!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Boy, Happy Halloween!

On Friday I hosted my inaugural room mom event. We were celebrating Halloween in Robby's class, a party that was fun for all who participated. His classmates made monster popcorn hands, caramel apples and "dead worms in dirt" cups. Pumpkins were carved and seeds were roasted. His little friends had a great time with the limbo contest, regardless of the fact that none of them seemed to understand the rules. On the way home from his party he told me that it was the "best day of his whole life."

Saturday morning we awoke to a wonderful surprise. Well, it was considered wonderful from the perspective of a five year old, it wasn't nearly as celebrated by most adults. Our area was blanketed with snow!

Robby and I spent the afternoon baking Halloween cookies and brownies. We made a roaring fire and watched The Great Pumpkin at least six times. At night we made popcorn, roasted marshmallows in the fire and curled up on the couch to watch Ghostbusters. Tucking him into bed, he whispered that it was the "bestest day of my whole life" before kissing my cheek.

By yesterday morning the snow had melted and the sun was shining brightly against the blue sky. Still cold, Robby bundled up and went running outside when he saw Mr. Bill working in the yard. The two picked up sticks and hickory nuts for hours before sharing a cheese and cracker lunch.

After taking a break to watch The Great Pumpkin (again) I told Robby that he needed to get into his Halloween costume because I had a surprise. (I didn't know he was capable of getting dressed so quickly!) We picked up his little friend Rowan and headed out to Trunk or Treat.

Trunk or Treat is a community event hosted by a local church. Members of the congregation decorate the trunks of their cars and trucks, dress in costumes and pass out candy. I don't know who had more fun, Robby and Rowan trunk or treating or me watching them. I simply love seeing him so happy!

Robby doesn't eat candy, but that didn't stop him from acquiring as much as possible. We had to double back because he was convinced that we had missed a car. It turns out that he was right. We came home with a pumpkin overflowing with candy. It was promptly dumped in the center of our bed so that he could show his daddy the loot.

After taking his bath and getting dressed in his soft new Halloween pajamas, he proclaimed that it was "the best day ever!" Tonight we are going Trick or Treating through our neighborhood, which I have no doubt will create another "best day ever." Robby's enthusiasm for life and effervescent joy are two of his best qualities. He is such a happy little boy, and I am so lucky to be his Momom!

On a similar topic, Scott and Robby dress in complimentary costumes every year. It is a tradition that started with Robby's first Halloween, when he was only 5 months old. The unveiling of their costumes has become highly anticipated by our neighbors and friends. Tomorrow I will post pictures of their costumes from this year, but I wanted to share our previous Halloween costumes.

The first Halloween they were hotdogs.

For the second Halloween Robby was Curious George and Scott was the Man in the Yellow Hat.

The third Halloween Robby was a runaway Gingerbread man and Scott was the cookie sheet.

For the fourth Halloween Robby was a dinosaur and Scott was a caveman.

Last year Robby dressed as a pirate and Scott was his piratical first mate.

??? This year, well you'll have to check back tomorrow!