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 02, 2012


Yesterday I received word that my friend Vashni passed away. She has been bravely battling cervical cancer and, despite her determination and will to live, she succumbed in her home. While I find some solace that my friend was surrounded by her family and felt an abundance of love during her final days, her passing remains difficult to comprehend.

Between learning of Vashni's passing, the hurricane, and Halloween, this week is ending with me frazzled, disorganized, and exhausted. I am amazed by the amount of clutter, excess laundry, and dirty dishes that Scott and Robby created during their days off of school. Looking around, I feel overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. I know that I need to stop fretting and start cleaning because time is of the essence. I have company arriving in a few hours!

Several of Vashni's mutual friends are going to be staying at my house in preparation for our race on Sunday.  Despite her passing, we have decided to proceed with our plans to walk in the National Race to Cure Women's Cancers.  Although the timing is bittersweet, I know that she would support our decision to walk. I can think of no better way to honor a great woman than to stand united while trying to cure the disease which took her life!

It is mornings like this I wish I had a fairy godmother. I'd ask her to clean my house, or at least hide the clutter, so that I could recover from and reflect on the past few days. Unfortunately I think that she must have been distracted because, despite wishing upon more than one star, my house is still a mess. I guess I have no choice but to turn off the computer and turn on the vacuum.

Although I am woefully unprepared for company, I am happy to open my home during this difficult time. Being together will help us all mourn our friend and celebrate her life. I'm glad that, in the smallest of ways, I can help with our mutual healing. Thankfully girl friends are forgiving of misplaced toys and dirty dishes as long as we are together and have chocolate!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween FUN

Yesterday was all about celebrating Halloween. I woke up early and surprised Robby with ghost and pumpkin shaped pancakes for breakfast. I even dyed his milk orange. Unfortunately he refused to drink the festive milk because he was somehow convinced it came from a pig, not a cow.  Lesson learned!

He was delighted that he was able to wear his Halloween costume to school. He looked like such a cute little paratrooper. Apparently I am not the only person to have found him particularly adorable. When we walked into his classroom, a little girl dressed as Alice from Alice in Wonderland looked up from her coloring, smiled broadly and said, "Well hello there, soldier." By the time I had hung his coat on the hook, he was being chased around the room by a line of girls all clad in various princess dresses. 

His school party was a rousing success. I fully solidified my role as "World's Best Room Mom." We had a costume parade, various arts and crafts, did a lively Monster Mash dance contest and made eyeball cake pops. Everybody had a blast, and Robby thanked me for being "the most awesomest Momom in the whole world." 

Keeping with our Halloween theme, I promised Robby "mutilated rats and ghost toots" for dinner. I spent two hours making and freezing mashed potatoes into silicone ghost molds and forming meatloaf into the shape of rats. Robby sat at the table, looked at the food (artfully decorated) and refused to eat. He declared that he would "never ever eat a rat or a ghost fart." We tried to convince him that it was a joke and that I had made meatloaf and mashed potatoes, but the damage was done. He had two rice krispie treats before dressing to go trick or treating.

This year Robby decided to go as a paratrooper army man. I was hoping that he would choose to be a Ghostbuster, but he was adamant in his decision. It wasn't my favorite Halloween costume for the boys, but I suppose that the years of picking his costume are long gone. Seeing Robby in fatigues made my heart sink, but his smile quickly dispersed any premonition Mommy fears I was experiencing. He was delighted with his costume, and the fact that his Daddy was also an army man made his night!

Finally, after nearly four months, Scott has found a good use for his scooter. He and Robby scooted around the neighborhood, trick-or-treating at more houses than ever before. They came home twice to empty their stash and Scooter bragged that Robby couldn't stop giggling between houses. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Counting Our Lucky Stars

Monday night felt like a nightmare. We heard howling winds, sounding like planes were flying above us, followed by the ominous cracking of wood. Every once in awhile the ground would shake, and we knew that another tree had fallen. It is a terribly vulnerable feeling trying to protect your family when you know that your safety is no longer in your control. It was one of the longest nights!

We were relieved when the winds finally calmed and our house was not damaged. Despite the sounds of falling trees, nothing hit our home. We finally fell asleep, comforted that we were safe yet dreaded what we would see when we awoke. 

When the sun finally came up and I gathered my courage to peek behind our curtains, I saw a large tree embedded into what had been my neighbor's kitchen. The tree looked like it just sliced through the roof with the ease of a knife through softened butter. Every direction provided another view of the aftermath of the storm.

Our neighbor on the opposite side lost three trees, one of which was lying in the center of what had been her porch. Root balls are now sticking up like large bushes throughout her previously manicured lawn. I was panicked when I saw a tree landing on the roof of the elderly lady's house at the end of our street. Although she frequently calls the police on us, the result of her dementia, I certainly didn't wish this damage upon her home. Thankfully I saw her walking in her front yard, so my panic about her being injured quickly faded.

Looking across the street we saw a large tree laying on Mr. Bill's shed. Thankfully it missed his prized, fully restored 1957  Chevy! I saw him standing in his driveway, in the cold rain, stunned and staring at the storm damage. I threw my raincoat on over my pajamas and went to talk with him.

Seeing me leave, Robby immediately threw on his cowboy boots and coat and came running after me. We had to maneuver around the large branches and sticks which were littering our yard, but thankfully all of our trees were standing. Walking outside, I began to appreciate the scope of work that was going to be necessary to restore order to our small neighborhood.

Robby, amazed by the sheer size of the downed trees, walked over to his friend and gave him a hug. "Mr. Bill, I am going to help you when the rain stops. I don't want you to worry because you have a lot of sticks that need to be picked up. I'm good at picking up sticks and I'm going to help you because we're friends and friends help each other out."  I was proud of my little guy for stepping up and instinctively offering to lend a hand simply because it was the right thing to do!

All of our neighbors sustained structural damage from the storm, yet we were spared. It's surreal seeing the massive destruction surrounding us while knowing that we had nothing more than debris. Robby's tree house didn't even lose a shingle! We have to contend with little more than a few fallen branches and a lot of leaves.  Surveying our neighborhood, it looks like our home was protected from the winds by an invisible shield.

The rain continued yesterday, thwarting any cleanup efforts. Instead, Robby and I turned our attention to what we do best: we baked treats for our neighbors. Scott and I both felt like we were in a daze, so grateful that we were spared the damage sustained by our neighbors. I can't help but believe that, for some reason, we were protected. I remain thankful that nobody was hurt and happy to be able to help our neighbors with their clean-up!

*Along a completely separate theme, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  My boys go trick-or-treating tonight... can't wait to post their costume pictures tomorrow.  *

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Update

Yesterday morning Scott and I woke early, probably out of nervousness, to finish preparing for the highly touted "Frankenstorm." I was delighted that the school cancellations were reported on Sunday night, although to be completely honest I had no intention of sending Robby out in 80 mph winds. I was relieved to hear of Scott's school closing because I knew that our little family needed to be together to ride out this storm.

I worked to clear a path to the safest part of our house, underneath the steps in our garage. I am hoping that we won't have to retreat, but I wanted to be prepared. If a tornado warning is declared, the last thing I wanted to do was contend with boxes of Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and assorted metal tins blocking access to our safe zone!

Scott visited five stores before securing ice for our coolers. We packed them full with milk, hotdogs, cheese and Robby's medications. Looking at our six coolers and counter overflowing with junk food, I think we might have been a bit overzealous in our preparations.

As the rain began to fall Scott and I made a final mad dash outside to grab firewood. We filled our fire rack, which we moved inside next to our front door. Bringing the wood inside, although seemingly a good idea at the time, was perhaps not our best idea.  Within 15 minutes large black ants were marching out of the wood and exploring their new home!

We quickly moved the firewood back outside and piled it against the house, under the overhang. In the meantime, Charlie Cat had a great time hunting for little bits of protein!

Robby, Scott and I moved downstairs when the winds began to pick up.

**If we lose electricity, this is where my blog post will end. Rest assured that we have done everything to remain safe and to prepare for an extended outage. The winds are picking up, the trees looking like they are bowing in unison. At this point I'm expecting to see Dorothy and Toto fly by our window!

I am worried about a tree landing on our house, so we are going to "camp out" in our safe spot. Wish us luck! **

UPDATE--  power is back on. Our house survived without damage! I suspect our day will be spent helping the neighbors clean up- they were not nearly as lucky.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Storm.

On my way to pick up Robby from school on Friday afternoon, I decided to surprise my little guy with a trip to Cupcake Heaven. I knew that he was going to be excited that it was Friday and eager to celebrate the start of Halloween weekend! Peeking into his classroom window, I instantly knew that my plans had changed.

Unbeknownst to me, Robby had become sick during the day. I was angry when I learned that the substitute directed him to just "sit quietly and put your head down" when he complained of a headache in the morning. I wish that they would have called me, or at least taken his temperature. By the time the school day was over, he had a fever of 102 and was visibly ill. 

A trip to the doctor revealed that he had a trifecta of illnesses: double ear infections, a sinus infection and strep throat. Antibiotics, lots of water and cuddling on the couch were the doctor's orders for the weekend. Saturday was spent watching Ghostbusters (three times) and the Bearenstein Bear's Halloween DVD twice. Thankfully by Sunday morning his fever broke, and he was feeling better.

Robby recovered just in time to help Scooter and I prepare for the much touted "Frankenstorm." According to the meteorologists, our house lies in the middle of the anticipated path of this monster storm. We are hoping not to lose power but realized it was better to be proactive and to prepare. We bundled up and headed to our new Walmart to buy supplies.

We bought new flashlights (yellow, of course) and bottled water. While I scoured the store to try to find batteries, Scooter and Robby headed over to the food aisles to stock up on provisions. By the time I found them (after nabbing what I suspect were the last eight batteries in the store) the boys had filled the cart. I should have sent them to find the batteries. Left alone to buy hurricane food, they overflowed the cart with soda, potato chips, crackers, summer sausage, a variety of cheeses in a can and assorted cookies. Apparently nutrition has little value during a storm! 

I threw a few cans of soup into the cart, grabbed fresh bread and a new jar of peanut butter before checking out. I ignored Robby's protests as he informed me that we didn't need the soup because during the storm "daddy and me are going to eat man food, not healthy stuff."  Seeing the man in front of us check out with three cases of beer and a box of Honeybuns, I realized that our storm preparations were probably typical. We bought our junk food and flashlights and headed home to batten down the hatches. 

Robby and his Daddy spent the afternoon in bed, quietly watching football and the Weather Channel. I worked in the yard, packing up our Halloween decorations and putting away our outdoor furniture. I noticed the sheer size of the trees that are around our house and immediately felt an ominous sense of vulnerability. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to thwart damage from fallen trees. At this point, all we can do is hunker down and hope for the best!

Wish us luck!