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 01, 2012

Robby's Piratical Party!

The excitement in our home is palpable because tomorrow is Robby's much anticipated birthday party! To be completely honest, it will be his first birthday party. Scott and I have been lax about hosting a birthday party before this year because he hasn't been in school and his friend base was limited.

This year everything changed when he went to school. Robby began to receive invitations to parties of his friends, introducing the expectation of his own event. He began planning his birthday party in December, carefully paging through the Oriental Trading catalog and circling everything that caught his fancy.

After much debate, Robby settled on a Pirate Party. I was thrilled with the selection because we already have pirate costumes from last Halloween and, if I do say so myself, my prosthesis makes me a natural for the role. Our kitchen table is now buried under pirate paper plates, napkins, cups, flags, and assorted themed decorations and trinkets.

Today I will finish cooking and baking for the party. Cookies need to be baked, cupcakes need to be decorated, and food needs to be prepared. I have a list and a timeline and hopefully there will be no snags. I have a lot to do and a limited amount of time. Who would have thought a Pirate Party would be so much work!

Saturday the Moonbounce Slide, cotton candy machine, and hot dog cart will be delivered. Thankfully the owner of the amusement company is a coworker of mine and has provided us with a discount which makes this event affordable. Hopefully the rain that has been forecast for our area for the early morning hours will not stay. We have to hang the Jolly Roger flags around the yard, blow up the water balloons and set up the scavenger hunt. In the afternoon over 20 five and six year old friends, along with their parents, will descend on our home for a Piratical good time.

This party has been a lot of work, but it has also been fun. Scott and Robby have both been involved with the planning and setup so I don't feel like I'm doing this event on my own. Robby is looking forward to celebrating his day with his friends from school and his cousins. Admittedly I think we have gone a little over the top with this party, but he's worth it. This hasn't been the easiest year for us, and we all need a reason to celebrate right now!  Look for pictures Saturday night!  ARGGHHH!!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Profile Procrastination

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I have finally updated my profile. For the past two years, my description listed my age as 36 and Robby's as 4. After much prodding and some not so subtle reminders that I am no longer 36, I broke down and updated my profile yesterday.

I am no longer listing my age. I'm 38, and to be completely honest, I am not pleased with that number. Something about being in my late 30's makes me feel old as if I'm encroaching on middle age and leaving the carefree and youthful years in my wake.

I don't dislike my age because it is close to 40. Growing up and growing old is inevitable, and I plan to do it as gracefully as possible. Rather, I am resentful because I feel like I was robbed of the carefree time in my life when I was supposed to be just young and happy!

I envisioned that I would be living a Friends lifestyle when I graduated from college. I pictured myself mulling over current events and gossip while sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by a close group of whimsical buddies. Instead, my 20's were more reminiscent of ER with my being wheeled into a seemingly never ending corridor of operating rooms.

While my friends were going to bars and concerts, I was at home either in pain and preparing for a surgery or recovering from a procedure. I never had the frivolous, fun experiences that I anticipated because a silly (albeit heavy) computer monitor fell on my foot. I feel like the experience has aged me prematurely.

Typically I don't spend a lot of time pondering the "what if" scenarios.  I don't invest a lot of time thinking about what I've lost because, despite the disability, I love my life. I am basically a happy, well-adjusted person. For some reason though, the past few days have left me feeling old and haggard.  I have finally adjusted my profile by completely eliminating both Robby's and my age. I don't like feeling this way and would like to avoid revisiting these feelings on an annual basis!  Best answer for me?  Just avoid and delete specifics.  Now I can be any age I wish! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Super Big Six Year Old!

Six years ago today at precisely 2:11 PM I experienced a miracle. My little boy was born, and my world was forever changed. I am, without a doubt, the luckiest person I know because I am Robby's Momom.

It is hard for me to fathom that today Robby turns six years old. Last night it occurred to him that he will no longer count his age on one hand. He was delighted, but I felt a small part of my heart break. I've toyed with the idea feeding him a steady diet of beer and cigarettes to stunt his growth, but I don't think it'll work.  I cannot deny it. My little guy is growing up, and I am helpless to stop it.

Although I don't want him to grow up so quickly, I can't help but feel proud of the young man he is becoming. He is compassionate, inquisitive, and empathetic. He demonstrates an awareness about the emotions and needs of those around him that continually leaves me in awe. I fully acknowledge that I am biased, but he is simply an amazing person!

This morning I will make our traditional birthday pancakes--this years chosen shape is from CARS. We will bake a cake in the afternoon and he has asked for steak, corn on the cob and cheese fries for dinner. I fully intend to spoil him today! After all, he will only turn 6 once and I want to make it a day he will remember.

Someday, many years from now, Robby inevitably will read the entries in this blog. (I have my posts in a bound hard copy, courtesy of my Mom.) Maybe he will read it during his own sleepless nights after he becomes a father? Or perhaps he will discover the volumes after I pass away (hopefully after a long life)?

Regardless of when, I know he will see me with a new perspective after reading about my struggles, worries, and successes. He might chuckle at his antics and become embarrassed through the documentation of his milestones, including toilet training and the transition to Kindergarten.  Most of all, I hope that he will understand how very much I love him.

Robby, every night when I tuck you into bed I tell you that I love you "the moon, the sun and all the stars in the sky." You are my greatest accomplishment and source of pride. I love you now and forever. Happy Birthday to my super big six year old!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fitness Forward...

It is difficult for me to end a professional relationship whether it be with a hairstylist or a plumber. I have been known to tolerate inept work simply because I don't want to hurt feelings. Part of me worried that I would have a difficult time switching gyms because I wouldn't feel comfortable severing the relationship. As it turns out, it was easier than I anticipated!

Last week I was still suffering from the affects of the swarming yellow jackets. My welts were itchy and raw. I felt toxic and the epinephrine administered at the hospital on Sunday kept my heart rate elevated through Wednesday. Needless to say, I was forced to cancel my training sessions.

I left a message on Sunday explaining that I was advised not to exercise for the coming week. I cancelled my sessions and asked about the rescheduling policy. I received a curt email informing me that I would not be permitted to reschedule my training sessions because they have a "no cancellation, no exception policy." Of course, they would be willing to waive the exception policy if I was planning to renew my contract.

My break-up with the facility was made easy by their communication. I responded with a succinct "screw you" followed by an explanation that I have not given up on myself, but I have abandoned all confidence in their abilities to help me achieve my goals. Pressing the send button felt wonderful!

The past few days I have been investigating new fitness facilities. After numerous tours and interviews, I am delighted that I found a gym that suits me. I felt at ease during the tour, liked the staff, and was thrilled that the clientele were not all sporting perfectly sculpted bodies. I felt comfortable, which is something that was lacking at my previous facility. I was impressed that the head trainer asked if he could contact my prosthetist for information concerning my prosthetic and working with an amputee. I certainly never expected a trainer to have experience with an amputee, but I am encouraged by his willingness to learn!

In addition to unlimited sessions with a personal trainer, my membership entitles me to participate in a variety of fitness classes. When I first embarked on my fitness quest, I chose a private gym because I felt uncomfortable working out in front of other people. As my confidence and competence have increased, I am no longer concerned about how I look working out. I may be pudgy, have one leg, and uncoordinated, but I will be working out with a lot of enthusiasm!

Today I will be going for my first session and fitness class. I am looking forward to continuing my training. Wish me luck. I know I can do this!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day! I have to admit that this is one of my favorite holidays. I love any celebration where friends and family can gather without spending an obscene amount of money on gifts. Warm weather, burgers, corn on the grill, and making s'mores over the fire pit is how I plan to spend my day!

Of course I realize that Memorial Day is not simply about barbecues and picnic fun. This is also a solemn day to honor the sacrifices made by our military. I have been fortunate enough to visit Walter Reed on many occasions throughout the years, and with each visit, I leave a changed person. I am in awe of the strength and courage that is shown by our men and women in the military. Looking at the young faces on battered bodies leaves me with an overwhelming sense of debt and gratitude. I simply don't possess the courage that is demonstrated by members of our armed forces on a daily basis.

During the past few days my Pop (maternal grandfather) has been on my mind.  He spent his career in the Air Force serving during World War II, the Korean War, and the beginning of Vietnam.  It was only when I became older that I realized the magnitude of his sacrifices.  I can't imagine packing up my family every few years because I was obligated to "follow orders." Leaving my spouse to fight a war in a foreign country, not knowing if or when I would return home requires a sense of sacrifice that I am not sure I would be able to muster.

A few nights ago I had a dream where my Pop was hugging me. In my dream I told myself to remember the feeling of his embrace because when I woke up he would be gone again. I felt like a little girl, so safe and loved as I was wrapped up in one of his bear hugs. When I woke, I immediately closed my eyes trying to recreate his presence. I wasn't successful, but his hug, while it lasted, felt wonderful.

My Pop was an amazing man and, although he has been gone for nearly 20 years, I still mourn his passing. I am a better person because he was a part of my life. Today I will be thinking about my Pop and about all of the men and women who have passed away during or after their service to our country. Happy Memorial Day!