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 01, 2013

Pajama Bound

Yesterday was Halloween, a holiday which I have always loved. Despite my valiant efforts, the day turned out to be quite lousy. Thankfully my bad luck/ blue funk never rubbed off on Robby. He had a great day and a fantastic time Trick-or-Treating with Scott.

My day started out jovial and happy. I made pumpkin and bat pancakes for breakfast and continued my culinary efforts by preparing Robby a spooktacular lunch. Envisioning his delight and smile when he opened his lunch box definitely made the efforts worthwhile. Of course, my kitchen was a wreck by 8:00 AM and the dirty dishes only increased throughout the day. Thankfully I'm quite adept at working in a "well used" kitchen.

I drove Robby to school and was shocked when we walked into his classroom. All of his classmates were in full Halloween costume. Since the Halloween class party is today, I assumed that costumes wouldn't be worn. I could see the look of disappointment wash across Robby's face when he realized that he was the only one without his costume. So, I quickly drove home to pick up his get-up. Although the problem was easily rectified, I left the school for the second time feeling frazzled and frustrated.

After going home and throwing a batch of cupcakes in the oven, I sat on the couch hoping to unwind a little bit. I turned on my laptop, fired up my Hotspot VPN (virtually transporting me to New Zealand) and prepared to begin shopping for Christmas presents.  Apparently I became too relaxed because I woke up to the buzzer dinging and the smell of burnt cake wafting through my kitchen. I angrily tossed the charred cakes into the sink and started another batch.

I was walking downstairs to retrieve more flour when I heard a pop. Thankfully the sound caused me to instinctively slow down because on my next step my socket completely failed. I lost suction and tumbled down the remaining four stairs. 

Falling always leaves me feeling with an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. I'm reminded about how fragility of my ability to walk. It is terribly humbling to know that, at any moment, I can lose my mobility. At moments like these, I truly despise and wholeheartedly resent being an amputee.

Thankfully, I wasn't injured by the fall. I was shaken and scared, and my prosthesis is broken, but I emerged physically unscathed. Unfortunately the incident rendered me jittery and frazzled for the rest of the day and evening. I tried to regain my holiday spirit but it never happened.

I was able to regroup enough to bake another batch of cupcakes, prepare a themed dinner and get the boys dressed for Trick-or-Treating. By the time they walked out of the door I just wanted to curl into bed and cry. Of course the constant ringing of my doorbell kept that dream from becoming a reality. I typically love handing out the candy, but hobbling around on my "beater" leg made walking to and from the door more difficult. 

I'm glad that today is Friday. We have Robby's Halloween party at school. His costume is carefully stowed in the car should he need it again. After hosting the party and putting down my stamp as "School's best room mom" I plan on coming home, changing into my pink comfy monkey print pajamas and relaxing for the remainder of the day. Who knows, I might just extend my vacation into the weekend and stay in my comfy jammies for the next few days.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2013 Costume Reveal

Granted, the costumes were more fun when Robby was younger.  But this was his choice and I felt obligated to help put it together. 

Robby is Steve, the Minecraft guy.  Scott is the Creeper, the character that chases Steve.



We are in full blown Halloween mode at this house. Robby is looking forward to pumpkin and bat shaped pancakes for breakfast followed by "slaughtered noodles" for lunch. Dinner is a surprise but is always spooky! I'm thinking roasted raven and mutilated ghosts (chicken and mashed potatoes) might hit the spot.  After all, I have to make sure that he is well fed before tackling the neighborhood trick-or-treating.

Yesterday evening we carved the first of two pumpkins. I learned an important lesson this year when we went to the pumpkin patch. Robby needs guidelines when choosing his gourd! I have no doubt that he chose the largest pumpkin in the patch, weighing in at over 45 pounds. The walls were three inches thick and were a bear to cut through. Undeterred, he toiled for over an hour, carefully carving and scooping out the seeds. This is the first year that he has carved his own pumpkin without assistance, and he is proud of his creation!

I know that I have admitted this before, but it bears repeating. My husband is a really good sport when it comes to coordinating/ matching outfits. He never balks and compliantly puts on whatever outfit I request. Robby doesn't realize how lucky he is to have a Daddy who will don a coordinating costume to take him trick-or-treating.

Since Robby was born, he and Scott have always worn complimentary Halloween costumes. The first few years were a lot of fun, primarily because Robby was too young to make any requests so my creativity could flow freely. As he has become older, he has taken the lead on choosing his costume. This is the first year that he specifically requested both his and his Daddy's special outfits. I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled with the selection, but I obliged and began to assemble the ensembles. 

I'll post this year's Halloween costumes tonight, after the boys dress for Trick-or-Treating. In the meantime, have a Spooktacular Happy Halloween!

                                                             Goo fight!

                                                 Hot Diggity Dog(s)!

                               Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat

                             Oh no!  The Gingerbread Man ran off the cookie tray!

                                       Dinosaur and Caveman

                                                      Argghh!! Pirate fun.

                    (Billy the Exterminator and the Bubble Bee being exterminated)

                                                      Army men

                                               Check back tonight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Emotional Blip

Yesterday, typical to my routine, I worked all morning. After wrapping up my last appointment early, I headed home for lunch. Usually I would invest the afternoon fielding phone calls, answering emails or writing reports. Instead, I opted to do something that has become a rare luxury but was well-overdue. I turned off my phone, turned on a movie and escaped for a few hours before picking Robby up from school and jumping back into my hectic reality.

I am notoriously bad at taking care of myself, often trying to juggle multiple hats and projects simultaneously. Although I've become quite adept at multitasking, every once in awhile it catches up with me. I suspect that being pregnant pushed my breaking point closer and increased its intensity and my extreme reaction. When I found myself driving down the highway with tears running down my face, I knew I needed to step back and gain perspective. My emotional blips are now not only impacting me, but are certainly not good for the baby!

I think that everybody has moments of weakness, where they want to scream, "It's not fair" to the universe while kicking and shaking their fists. If I were 35 years younger I would have been holding my breath and throwing a tantrum. Instead, I decided to handle the emotions like an adult: I ate melting ice cream with a Hershey bar spoon while hiding from the world. 

When I had my fill of ice cream I felt renewed and ready to tackle a new project, so I decided to bake some cookies and brownies. My house smelled amazing!

After my self-imposed isolation and mini pity-party, I felt wonderfully refreshed. My problems didn't change, and I have no doubt that my feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated will resurface. (Hence the reason for the brownies and cookies.)  But I  feel like I have regained control over my own emotions. I realize that can't dictate what others will do, but I can control my own reactions. I choose to be happy--with a fully stocked cookie jar. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


A variety of incidents converged yesterday morning making for a hectic experience trying to get Robby ready for school. He was quite vocal (to say the least) about his disagreeing with our decision that he was recovered enough to return to school. He dawdled getting dressed, couldn't find his coat (which was hung on the hook by the door) and complained about the lunch I packed. The fact that he didn't know what was inside his lunchbox was irrelevant. 

Trying to rush a little boy who was purposely moving at a snails pace, I became flustered. By the time we were in the car, we were running 10 minutes late. I detest being late, and the fact that he had never before been tardy for school only increased my frustrations.

Robby continued with his "I don't want to go to school today" mantra, and I just tuned him out. He finally abandoned his complaining when I stopped responding. Pulling into the parking space in front of the school, I was delighted that the clock read 8:57. We made it with three minutes to spare!

Unfortunately my putting the car in park and directing Robby to gather his lunchbox only reignited his complaints. Not again! I was at my breaking point with his whining about not going to school. I looked at him, firmly instructed him to follow me and stop complaining. His "But Momom" was cut short by my scowl as I grabbed his lunchbox and hand to walk into the school. 

Standing in the foyer of the school, pulling my stubborn little boy behind me, I began to sense that foreboding feeling that I had made a terrible mistake. It took a few moments to register, but soon it became crystal clear: I had driven to the wrong school.

After stopping in my tracks and muttering to myself, I tried to leave the building without being noticed. I quickly ushered Robby back into the car and wanted to crawl into a hole as I sat in the driver's seat. The last thing I wanted was to be seen by a meanie parent!

Without missing a beat and almost gleefully, Robby simply said, "Momom, I tried to tell you that we were at my old school but you wouldn't listen." I apologized for not listening, but then reminded him that his incessant complaining made it difficult. I drove to his new school in near silence, only mumbling to myself about my own stupidity. I ended up checking him into his classroom 15 minutes late. I hated seeing the red tardy check mark on his otherwise perfect calendar! 

Robby promptly explained to his teacher why we were late adding that, in addition to driving him to  the wrong school, I was mean and not showing good listening skills. For good measure, he finished explanation by offering that "Momom also said bad words. She said sh*t a whole bunch of times when we were left the other school."

I guess I won't be hearing from the Mother of the Year committee anytime soon!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Brave Little Koopa

Friday morning we woke up early (5 AM) and drove Robby to the hospital. Although he was difficult to rouse, it is safe to say that neither Scott nor I slept well. In the scheme of things, Robby's surgery was minor. But when it is your child that is going to be on the gurney, nothing feels routine.

Although he was nervous, Robby handled the situation like a champ. He never cried even though it would have been justified and maintained a calm demeanor throughout the admittance process. He charmed the nurses and fellow patients as he calmly waited for his name to be called. Of course, the fact that he was browsing online for new XBox games certainly helped to boost his spirits.

Because of his age, a parent was encouraged to accompany him into the operating room.  Without discussion I took the gown and suited up. It only occurred to me afterwards that we didn't even discuss which parent would go. Scott later admitted that he was glad I took the lead because he was concerned that he would faint seeing his little boy on the stretcher. Robby giggled when he saw me, gleefully explaining that I looked like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.  After looking at the photos I have to admit that he is correct.  I should have saved the paper white suit for Halloween!

The only time Robby's brave demeanor cracked was when he was on the stretcher in the operating room. Holding his little hand and stroking his head, it was difficult for me to keep from breaking down. Thankfully, he was sleeping in record time, and I was being summarily dismissed by the operating room staff. 

With Scott anxiously pacing and asking for a time check every two minutes, we both nervously waited for the doctor to come to speak with us. After making sure that my Hotspot Shield VPN was activated (a habit I developed whenever I am in public) I fidgeted and played on my SmartPhone, checking emails and updating family and friends via Facebook and Twitter.  It's amazing how everybody can remain connected despite the distance!

I'm fairly certain that we both jumped up and pounced on the doctor as soon as she entered the waiting area. She spoke the best words we've ever heard: "Robby is doing well. I inserted the tubes and managed to remove considerable scar tissue. I expect that this will help his hearing."  For the second time that morning, I had to hold back tears.

We met Robby in recovery where Scott was able to scoop him off the gurney and place him on my lap.Cuddling him never felt so good!  Before we knew it, we were getting him dressed and heading home.

Between the pain from the surgery and lingering anesthesia, Friday night was difficult. Robby alternated between whimpering and crying because of the pain in his ears. The drops, which were supposed to alleviate some of the discomfort, caused intense stinging and bleeding from his ears. I called the doctor Saturday morning and a new formulation was called into the pharmacy.

Saturday was spent alternating between quietly playing and resting. By Sunday morning Robby declared no pain, and his normal energetic demeanor had returned. We tried to keep him quiet, but he was growing restless. We packed up and headed to the apple orchard. He picked a bag of apples, ate a cupcake and declared it the "best apple picking day ever." Scott and I both smiled, knowing that our little boy was back!