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 29, 2012

My Socket List

Since I started working out at my new gym, I have been feeling renewed and energized. I've dropped two sizes so far, and I am stronger and happier.  In spite of my emerging limb issues, I am feeling fantastic!

I hadn't realized how lethargic I had become until I started to feel more energetic. Looking back, I spent a lot of time during the past few months sitting and fretting instead of being fully engaged in my life. I'm tired of worrying about things that I can't control, and I'm tired of living on the sidelines. This summer, I am vowing to turn things around and live my life to the fullest.

I've decided to create what I am dubbing a "socket list." The concept is based on the traditional bucket list which is essentially a register of things that you want to do or accomplish before you die. I am feeling a need to extend myself and to try new experiences. Creating and writing down my goals help me maintain focus, so I've decided to share the top five items on my socket list.

1. I want to go on a zip line adventure. I don't want simply to  go to an amusement park; I want it to be a real excursion. There are several opportunities in the mountains, and I'm investigating which will be the most feasible. It's ironic that this is a dream of mine considering that I hate heights and speed. Despite my various phobias, zooming down a zip line just seems like it would be exhilarating!

2. I'm not sure when or how, but I am going to get to the beach this summer. It has been years since I've walked along the shore looking for shells and feeling the salt water come over my foot. Robby would be utterly mesmerized by the lights, sounds, and smells of the boardwalk, and I want to provide this experience. 

3. I live outside of Washington, D.C., which is a hot spot of cultural events and activities. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my familiarity with the city's landmarks is sparse at best. I've only traveled into the city on one occasion to sight see, and that was when we had guests in town!

This summer I want to expand my tourist repertoire by visiting the main monuments and taking a double decker tour bus. Robby is now old enough to begin to appreciate the significance of where he lives, and if he doesn't understand the importance now, he will at least have a faint memory of seeing the monuments.

4. In addition to touring D.C., I have decided to designate one day a week to be "family fun day." We will spend the day doing something  in our area, such as visiting the Pirate themed water park, going fishing or camping. Robby is six and right now he actually enjoys spending time with us. I realize that this will change in a few years, so I plan on taking advantage of the opportunity while I have it!

5. Going to the gym has been a positive change in my life, and I plan on continuing. This summer I will try to work-out at least four times a week. I am hoping to lose another 10 pounds before the end of summer, but I'm learning that the scale isn't nearly as important as I thought.

I'm looking forward to embracing the changes and adventures that lie ahead during the next two months!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Revenge... Courtesy of Mr. Bill

Yesterday, as Scott was pulling off  the Interstate and making the final turns towards our house, we congratulated each other on another successful trip. We also admitted that we were fully saturated by the abundance of "together" time that the last week afforded us and that we both desperately needed some "alone" time. When it comes to family vacations, too much of a good thing can, indeed, be a bad thing!

The first indication that our fuses were running short occurred early in the morning. Scott turned on the television before 7:00, despite the fact that both Robby and I were sleeping. Already sleep deprived, I was not pleased to have my slumber interrupted so rudely. I let my displeasure known which in turn put him on the defense as well as souring his mood.

The morning was not off to a good start! Knowing that we had at least another four hours of driving ahead of us, I offered an olive branch (after drinking my morning coffee) and apologized. To be clear, I merely made that gesture as a peace offering and contend that the television should have remained at least muted while his family was sleeping!  I decided to apologize in the hopes of creating unity during the long drive home, all the while plotting my wake-up revenge in the coming days.

Turning onto our street, we were travel weary but elated to finally be home. We were talking about relaxing in separate rooms and were looking forward to decompressing from the trip. We have been nearly inseparable for a week and were getting on our last nerves. We pulled into our driveway to discover Mr. Bill's truck, and I immediately began to giggle.

Mr. Bill was working on our pool and as soon as he saw us, Scott was solicited to help. I offered to help, but, being rather old-fashioned, Mr. Bill refused. Instead I was delegated to sitting in my rocker and quietly sipping on my drink while watching Scott dig post holes under Mr. Bill's supervision. In this situation, revenge was a dish best enjoyed in my backyard, with a refreshing glass of iced tea!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vacation Fatigue...

Yesterday we packed our suitcases, loaded everything into the car, and kissed Grandma goodbye. We had a great trip and Robby thoroughly enjoyed his adventures in Ohio, but he began to feel homesick towards the end of our visit. He cried himself to sleep on Monday night because he missed Charlie Cat and Mr. Bill.

Somehow packing to come home is always messier but less time consuming than packing to go on the trip. Scott simply scooped everything off the floor and shoved it into the suitcases. I am going to have a small mountain of laundry waiting for me as soon as we get home, but I will have to dig through the piles first to remove our toothbrushes, assorted toiletries and various plastic toys that were picked up in the packing process!

I had meticulously packed all of the paperwork that I would need to keep up with my work while in Ohio. I had planned on carving out several hours everyday for me to concentrate on my projects and was optimistic that the dedicated time would allow me to actually get ahead of schedule. My plan might as well have been a fairy tale because the "down time" I had envisioned never materialized.

We were busy visiting with family and friends throughout the duration of our trip. I'm certainly not complaining because I love the people and I always enjoy chatting and catching up with them. We don't get to Ohio often and, since our visits are limited, we try to fit everybody into the schedule. Something had to give and, in this case, it was my time to work.

Of course, just because I sacrificed the time for my work does not mean that the workload has decreased. I am going to have to double up when I get home to catch up on all of the projects that I now find behind schedule. I'm feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety as I think about trying to get everything done when I get home.

Today we are making the second leg of our trip home. After swimming and getting breakfast, we'll hit the road and drive the final four hours. I'm going to utilize that time to make a list of everything that needs to be done in order for me to be back on schedule. If I'm organized, I know I can do this. The first thing I'm going to delegate is that Scott tackle the vacation laundry.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fishing Hole

Yesterday was our last day in Ohio. When we woke up and asked Robby what he wanted to do, his answer was firm and immediate. "Momom, I want to go fishing." Thankfully Grandma knew a great little fishing pond, and his request was easy to grant!

Robby's Uncle Jeff assembled the fishing pole that Robby won during the fishing derby last month. He gave us all a brief tutorial on how to use it and explained the various items in the tackle box. We grabbed a few hot dogs from the freezer and headed out to fish.

Robby was excited to give his new prize a whirl and raced his Daddy down to the pond as soon as we parked the car. I baited the hook and handed the rod to Robby. I asked him to hold onto the pole and turned my back to hand Scott the remaining hot dog. In those few seconds Robby had dropped the line and hooked a fish. I no sooner handed off the bait then I was wrestling with a flipping fish on the dock.

I tried to steady the poor little fish with my foot so that I could remove the hook from his little lips, but my efforts only seemed to agitate him. It took a few seconds for me to realize that trying to hold him still by steadying him under my prosthetic foot was probably not the best approach. I can't distinguish how much weight I'm applying under my prosthesis and, although I tried to be gentle,  I think I partly squished the poor little fishy's tail. I finally freed the hook and put him back in the water, but he didn't swim away quickly and I'm pretty sure he wasn't just relaxing when I saw him floating in the distance.

Almost as soon as I freed (and disabled) the first fish, Robby was pulling in another. This time he enthusiastically screamed, "I've got you now you little fishy b@st@ard." Poor Grandma almost fell into the water hearing that exclamation come pouring so naturally out of my little boy's mouth. 

While Scott pulled Robby to the side to discuss his use of colorful language, I worked on unhooking the wiggly and scaly catch. I learned from my prosthesis squishing mistake and steadied the remaining fish with my biological foot. Although using my right leg changed my angle of approach, I was able to get a rhythm unhooking our little swimming friends. I had a lot of practice figuring out the most efficient, and the safest way to free the fish from the hook during the afternoon. In total Robby caught twelve fish!

My little fisherman had a great time fishing in Ohio and, although we had a lot of fun visiting with family, I'm fairly confident that this experience will be his most vivid and fondest memory. After all, it isn't everyday you hook so many fish so quickly!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Shore

My childhood summers were never spent at home. Seemingly as soon as school was over, we would pack up our shorts and bicycles, hitch the travel trailer to the back of the blue Chevy station wagon, and head to the beach. We spent our summers living in the camper, playing with transient summer friends, and going to the shore (that's what we called the ocean since our summer residence was in New Jersey).

I don't recall ever being bored during the summer (although I'm sure my Mom has memories of our whining) because we were always playing and having fun. I remember a few specifics about our summers at the shore, but those memories are piecemeal. Riding my yellow Huffy bike through the trailer park while singing "Leader of the Pack" at the top of my lungs with my pigtails flying in the wind is one of my strongest memories.  More than anything, I remember feeling extraordinarily lucky and happy.

Robby has been to the beach in Florida and California. He's swum in the ocean and has hunted for shells in the morning tide. But despite these experiences, he has never been to "the shore," seeing the sights that are so vivid in my childhood memories. 

New Jersey certainly doesn't tout the prettiest beaches. The Caribbean has the bluest, clearest water that I have ever seen. In Florida my toes were never cut by shells on the ocean floor. Inevitably I would always sustain one or two puncture wounds swimming in the waters of New Jersey. Still, despite the cloudy water and rocky and shell pitted sands, "the shore" is special.

For some reason I am feeling drawn back to the shore this summer. I want to walk the boardwalk, have a crack at spin art, and eat a peanut butter sandwich dusted with wind blown sand. Pizza and taffy bought on the boardwalk taste better than anything you can buy in a restaurant or candy shop!

I find myself thinking about my summers at the beach, and how lucky I was to have those experiences. At the time it was simply what we did, and I never gave our summer pilgrimage much thought. Now that I'm a Mom, I appreciate how fortunate we were, and the extraordinary sacrifices my parents made to provide us with those summers.

I'm not sure when or how, but I am going to get to the shore this summer. It has been years since I've walked on the familiar sand, looking for shells and feeling the salt water come over my foot. I know that Robby would be utterly mesmerized by the lights, sounds, and smells of the boardwalk. The odor of pizza and taffy mingling with the scents of decaying fish and seawater is quintessentially summer and oddly comforting. Even if it is just for a day, I want Robby to experience "the shore!"