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 28, 2013


Yesterday morning I woke up and quietly sipped a cup of coffee, basking in the tranquility of the house. I suspected that once I started to move, the day would become exponentially more chaotic. I was correct,  and by the time I finally sat down for dinner (at 9:30 pm) I was bordering on exhausted.

I arrived in Orlando without any hiccups which was an unexpected surprise. As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I was slipping on my Ossur shirt and going to work. Between meetings and standing in the booth, I was busy every moment.

Although it was tiring, I was energized by seeing so many of my friends. Many who came by to see me I have known via Facebook and through email, but this was the first time we were able to meet. It is odd finally meeting people whom I feel like I know already!

It was surreal having so many of my peers recognize me as the AmputeeMommy. Walking through the lobby when I arrived, I was approached and asked to pose with pictures with readers of this blog. It felt odd being asked for my autograph, but I have to admit that I was tickled by the requests!

Today will be another long day, but I am feeling energized. I'm looking forward to spending the day with friends, new and established, and learning about the new technology which is becoming available. I wait to see how the day unfolds!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mommy Night

Yesterday morning, after a few frustrated rants from both sides, Scott and Robby were finally packed for their trip to Ohio. Fed up with his procrastination, I swore that I was not going to contribute to the last minute panic packing. Of course when the frantic searching through drawers began, I ended up helping. I just couldn't let them go away for the week woefully unprepared.

As soon as the boys drove out of the driveway, I felt an unexpected surge of excitement. (I'm sure the fact that Scott and I were scrapping before he left contributed to my relief when he drove away.) While I knew that I was going to miss them, I was also looking forward to my first quiet evening at home in over seven years.

Almost as soon as I realized that I was going to be here alone, which was 6 weeks ago, I began planning my evening. There was a time I would have taken the opportunity to get together with my friends, drink wine coolers and go dancing. Now taking a bubble bath with the door unlocked, eating cupcakes for dinner and curling up to watch Big Brother has become my idea of an ideal evening.

I spent the afternoon at the salon getting my grey covered and hair trimmed. I had planned on maintaining the color and cut that I have been wearing for the past year, but on the spur of the moment I decided that I wanted to do something more exciting. I told my stylist that I wanted to rediscover my inner sexy. My hair is now red, my eyebrows have been shaped and my upper lip has been waxed. (Unbeknownst to me I was growing a mustache?) I emerged from the salon two hours later; feeling sassy, youthful and ready to tackle the conference. It is amazing what a new color and hair removal can do for the psyche!

I came home and I decided follow my own advice and pack for the trip. I'm glad that I did because I realized that my Proprio foot was not functional. Thankfully, I discovered the issue with enough time that a replacement can be sent via overnight mail to my hotel. With the crisis averted and my bags packed, I went out to secure the evening's supplies: cupcakes.

I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed my evening of solitude. I thought I would miss Robby and Scott, but to be honest I had a wonderful night. Yes the house was quiet, but the novelty of being by myself overshadowed my lamenting their absence. I'm sure my friends will tease me for my choice of activity, but I think that the down time was exactly what I needed.

I ended up going to bed early and woke up feeling refreshed, energized and ready to conquer the conference! With my sexy new red hair, I'm feeling unstoppable. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and to meeting new people and exploring opportunities. My plane leaves in a few hours, and I am ready for what lies ahead!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Preparing for Orlando

This morning has all the hallmarks of being nothing less than chaotic. Scott and Robby are leaving for Ohio in a few hours. Despite my casual suggestions and reminders, some might call it nagging, they are not yet packed.

It is going to be difficult seeing Scott drive away today, but I know that they will both have fun with Grandma. Scott has not visited his Mom without me in tow in nearly eight years, and this is Robby's first Mommy-less visit. To be honest, I think that everybody is looking forward to visiting in my absence. I have no doubt that Grandma will relish the alone time with her son and grandson. 

While Scott and Robby are in Ohio, I'll be heading to the Amputee Coalition conference in Orlando. I leave tomorrow morning which means I will be alone in the house for the day. Preparing for this trip, I realized that I have not slept alone in this house since Robby was born. I've become accustomed to the quiet of the house during the day, but I suspect that the solitude at night will feel uncomfortable.

Although I'll miss my boys, my schedule will keep my lamenting to a minimum. Today I need to get my hair cut and colored. Last week I looked in the mirror and realized that I am sporting more grey than brown. I'm not sure when that happened, but I am not amused.

After the salon I'm going to try to buff the stains out of my foot shell. Since my prosthesis will be the focal point during my talks and work in the booth, it is important that it is as pristine as possible. Unfortunately, there is only so much magic Mr. Clean can be expected to perform. I'm afraid that the leather stains from last year's sandals are now a permanent fixture on the plastic foot. Another frustrating element of living with a prosthesis: it is almost impossible to clean! There are always a variety of stains on the foot and unsightly nicks in the socket. 

My evening will be spent cleaning the house in preparation for our house sitter. While my sister is looking forward to a mini vacation at my house, I'm not overly excited about the cleaning I need to do in advance of her arrival! I don't want her to step into my clutter and take off running for less chaotic surroundings. Who knows, maybe with all the Legos picked up, we'll be able to locate the snake!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Robby has inherited many traits from me, among them being the love of being in the water. While I would never categorize myself as a swimmer, mainly because I don't enjoy swimming laps, I can spend hours playing and splashing. Like me, Robby is a water bug and simply adores playing in the pool.

After the pool fiasco of last summer, I decided to abandon my dreams of pool ownership, instead  opting for a membership to our local community pool. We joined last week, and I can already tell that it was money well spent. Robby and I have gone to the pool every day and we have been having a blast.

Although I knew that we would enjoy going to the community pool, I was hesitant about joining. I am accustomed to the stares I receive when I'm wearing shorts. When I'm in a bathing suit, it feels like the gawking is magnified. I realize that much of this perception is the result of my own insecurities. Sitting objectively, I probably do not receive more glances than I do when I'm fully dressed. However, it was difficult to garner the courage to reveal myself in a swimsuit.

I continue to feel a surge of nervous energy each time I slip off my swimsuit cover, but it is becoming easier. It is oddly comforting to know that people are more shocked by my carbon fiber water prosthesis than the jiggle in my thighs and bum. Believing that they are staring at my leg instead of my body shape makes the experience less personal. It's odd that I can strut around with a cyborg-looking leg with full confidence yet I am flooded with insecurities and self-doubt when revealing my biological body.

My body image insecurities dissolve as soon as I slip into the pool. I suppose I feel concealed by the water, allowing me once again to be comfortable in my own skin. Once we are both submerged, Robby and I spend hours playing tag, going up and down the slides and engaging in his favorite pool activity--"Toss a Robby." Each afternoon I have been in awe of his seemingly never ending supply of energy! By the time we climb out of the pool, we are typically exhausted and famished.

I still wish that we had our own pool, but joining the community pool has turned out to be a fantastic decision. I have no doubts that we will be utilizing our passes on a daily basis. Maybe with all the exercise I'm getting by playing in the pool with Robby, I'll eventually become more comfortable with how I look in a swimsuit! 

Monday, June 24, 2013


Saturday was the "Great American Camp-Out." If you watch any of the Nickelodeon channels, the event was difficult to ignore. Thanks to some clever advertising directed towards kids, Robby was determined to participate and has had the date circled on our calendar for the past six weeks. The excitement about the Great American Camp-Out reached a fever pitch by the end of the week, and I knew that I was destined to spend my Saturday night in a tent.

We had a busy day on Saturday. Between going to a Pirate festival in DC in the morning, swimming in the afternoon and hockey in the evening, I was hoping that Robby would be too tired to camp-out, providing me a reprieve. My plan was flawed because I forgot one important fact: Robby does not tire. By the time the sun was setting, I was ready to head to bed and Robby was gathering our blankets and supplies for the camp-out.

Accepting my fate of another inadequate night's sleep, I decided to embrace the experience with Robby. Scott made a fire in the firepit while Robby and I gathered the rest of our supplies.  He certainly has a strong, albeit slightly misguided perception of what was considered an essential. I added a bottle of water to the supply pile and Robby quickly removed it, suggested instead that I fill his Spongebob canteen, just like in the "olden days."

Once the mountain of supplies was assembled, we began carrying it all to the tent. It took us no fewer than 8 trips to carrying everything outside! It looked like we were going on a week long wilderness trek by all of the "necessities" that we were schlepping outside. I had to giggle when I saw Robby's numerous contributions to our supply pile. In addition to Black Bear and his pillows, he brought his bow and a few arrows, his fishing pole, markers and a tablet, walkie talkies and his Pirate gun (to scare off camping pirates should they invade in the middle of the night.) I was also fairly confident that we were not going to need our umbrellas, and I suspected that the 6 flashlights were probably overkill, but I decided to relax and just go with it. Robby was adamant that it was better to be prepared, and I was too tired to employ logic. So we spent 30 minutes schlepping seemingly everything out to the tent.

I did insist that we carry out the mattress from our pull-out sofa (I'm too old to sleep on the ground). Robby begrudgingly agreed but only after Mr. Bill confirmed that he slept on a mattress when he was growing up. (Apparently Mr. Bill is the yardstick for "olden days.") By the time our stockpile was relocated to the tent, there was barely enough room for us to sleep!

Robby and I spent the evening by the fire pit roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while telling stories. We caught lightening bugs, played with glow sticks and he gleefully peed on several trees. He toiled in the tent, getting everything organized and ready.  In short, I managed to recreate the camping experience mere feet from the comfort of our front door.

By the time we crawled into the tent and zipped into the sleeping bags, Robby was blissfully exhausted. After talking for a few minutes about the epic nature of our camp-out, he finally settled down and fell asleep. Surprisingly, he slept through the night without stirring. I know this because I was awake for most of the night. Our yard becomes surprisingly noisy once the sun goes down!

Despite my enduring another night of inadequate sleep, the camp-out was a rousing success. Robby woke up early (5 am) and wanted to know if we were going to make scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire pit for breakfast. Somehow I managed to convince him that most campers just go to IHOP. We were met with a torrential downpour as soon as we unzipped the tent. I guess we did need those umbrellas after all.