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 22, 2013


As soon as Scott got home on Wednesday, he changed his clothes and headed outside. Although we've tried to keep up with the leaves this year, the recent wind storms have brought on the foliage final assault. I knew that he wasn't looking forward to the chore, but we found some solace in the fact that this would be the last leaf removal for the season.

After working until dark, I finally heard the lawnmower pull into the garage. Scott came up the stairs a few minutes later.  My dirt averse husband was covered in dust, dirt and mulched leaves. We both agreed that he needed a shower before dinner.

I spent the evening reading with Robby, working on some paper work and tidying up the house. At about 7:30 Scott came into the living room, shaking and showing me his hand. It took me a few moments to register what he was showing me, but when I did, I understood his panic. Sometime during the day, he had lost his wedding ring.

With his quickly melting into a full-fledged meltdown, I tried to remain the voice of reason in the situation. I asked questions, trying to determine the last time he knew for sure that he was wearing the ring. He knew he had it at work because he was spinning it during a faculty meeting. I purposely ignored the fact that a cherished possession was relegated to a toy and opted instead to narrow down his activities starting with the faculty meeting.

I felt fairly confident that the ring was left at work and would be easily recovered in the morning. Scott was not as convinced, and began to frantically search the driveway and yard with the aid of a small flashlight. I went through his dirty clothes to make sure that it didn't slip off during his various wardrobe changes, and was happy when I realized that the shower drain had a protective covering  which would certainly keep the ring from washing away.  After searching for nearly two hours, we decided to delay our recovery efforts until he checked at work. 

When he called yesterday morning, I could tell by the tone of his voice that his ring was still missing. I offered Robby and Rowan (the little girl whom I watch each morning before school) $20 each if they found the ring. The speed with which they jumped off the couch and ran outside reminded me of the Roadrunner cartoon from when I was a child!  

Unfortunately my two little detectives were not successful in the ring hunt. After taking Rowan to the bus stop and dropping Robby off at school, I came home and searched the yard. I remain doubtful that the ring was lost while mowing because he was wearing gloves. The only time it could have been lost outside would have been if he took off the gloves to wipe or scratch his face. Assuming that he would only have done that when he stopped, I concentrated my search on the leaf dumping piles around the perimeter of our yard.  

I spent a total of three hours walking through the yard, searching with the metal detector. I discovered that using a metal detector while wearing a prosthesis is a tinge tricky. I had to make sure that the detector was always alternating from my prosthetic step. I dug through more leaf piles than I care to acknowledge before I realized that the detector was picking up my pylon and not the ring.  

I finally suspended the outdoor search, opting to retrace his steps inside. Despite crawling on the floor with a flashlight and searching every logical location, I never found the ring. I haven't given up on finding the ring, but I am at a loss as to where else we should look.

I'm hoping that the weather holds this weekend so that we can do another search of the yard. I'll keep looking around the house, but I'm no longer in frantic mode. Too many times missing items resurface as soon as we stop searching. I'm really hoping this is one of those times!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Great Grandmom?

Driving Robby to school last week, I was shocked by the number of Moms I saw mulling around the bus stop wearing their pajamas and flip flops. If it had been early I would have understood their extremely casual attire. But considering that it was 9:00 and that they were standing near busy intersections, I couldn't help but think that they were under dressed. I walk our neighbor's little girl to the bus stop every morning at 8:00 and I have never gone in my pajamas. Despite the fact that we live on a quiet lane, I'm fairly certain that she would be mortified if I accompanied her wearing my pink monkey pajamas!

Despite the fact that I have only one skirt and one pair of jeans that I can still wear, I try to maintain my appearance. Although I would prefer to stay in my over sized and oh so comfy sweat pants, I force myself to squeeze into a more appropriate garment whenever I am venturing out of the house. After all, I may not feel the most attractive, but I certainly want to maintain some basic pride in my appearance. I also want Robby to be proud to see me at his school. I would hate to think that he was embarrassed by my appearance.

Yesterday was particularly hectic. After dropping off Robby I spent the remainder of the morning and much of the afternoon in various meetings. I barely made it home before it was time for me to go pick him up from school. Although I love being busy and I adore my job, I wish I had a little more time to recover and rest before the Robby Tornado overtakes the house in the evening.

Despite feeling run down and tired (my sleep issues have returned with a vengeance), I quickly brushed my hair and headed to the school. I can't say that I was feeling particularly attractive, but to be honest I haven't felt pretty in a long time. I suppose that the hormones and seemingly never ending swelling is takings its toll! Regardless, I tried to do the best to make myself presentable.  

I checked Robby out on the school's attendance computer and said hello to the Principal. She looked up and remarked, "Oh my, you look really tired. Are you getting sick?"  I just chuckled and replied that I have had a long day. Yikes! I knew that I wasn't looking primed for the catwalk, but I certainly didn't think that I looked like I had rolled out of my sick bed either. Walking to Robby's classroom, I wondered just how bad I must be looking if others thought I was ill?

When I walked into Robby's classroom a little boy met me at the door. "Robby's Mom, did you know that you look just like my great grandma? She's really old too!" Seriously? I look like his great grandmother?  Needless to say I was not amused.

I looked at the teacher, who must have seen the horror on my face. She just shrugged and tried to assure me that I did not resemble a geriatric patient. I think she could tell by the drained look on my face that I was not in the mood to debate my age with a second grader.  

Robby grabbed his coat and returned to hear his little friend repeat the similarities between me and his great grandma. Without missing a beat, Robby grabbed my head and looked at his friend. "Well Nicholas, your great grandma must be very pretty." 

I love my little boy! He fails to see obvious flaws, always focusing on the positive. My pants still don't button, I still have dark circles under my eyes and I doubt that there is enough anti-aging cream at CVS to undo the hands of time. Despite all of this, he still isn't embarrassed to be seen with me. In the end, I guess that's all that matters.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unwanted Warnings

Yesterday I finally received the call I have been anticipating. I have to admit that my heart jumped when I looked at the caller ID and recognized my doctor's office. I knew that they were calling with the results of my "old lady having a baby" tests. Answering the phone, I knew that I was either going to be elated or devastated by the news. In this situation, there would be no middle ground.

The nurse must be accustomed to making these phone calls because she wasted no time with chit chat. I don't think I took a breath between answering the phone and hearing her say, "Everything looks good." With 98% accuracy, our baby has been deemed free of any chromosomal anomalies.  Hearing those words, I felt all of the fears and anxieties melt away. For the first time since discovering the pregnancy, I felt a liberating sense of excitement.

We don't know the gender and won't until the baby is born. We didn't know with Robby and, much to the chagrin of our family and friends, we won't find out with this baby either.  There is something special about discovering the gender at the time of birth.

Robby still doesn't know the big news, but we plan on telling him soon. Scott and I both know that we need to bring Robby in on the announcement before Thanksgiving. After all, we don't want to ruin his holiday with the news.

It probably doesn't help our anxieties that numerous acquaintances have taken it upon themselves to provide their two cents. From Scott's co-workers to my cleaning lady, we've been told at least three times that Robby will be "ruined" by the news. I've also been warned that he will "never be the same" and my "sweet little boy will be gone." Seriously, people? I really don't need somebody whom barely knows our family dynamic to make us feel guilty about having a baby.  We don't require reminders that he is an only child. The fact that another sibling is joining our family does not mean that we are going to stop loving and doting on Robby!

I know that Robby will eventually come around, but I am fully aware that my little guy and he does not like change. I expect him to be initially upset by the news, but I also believe that his emotions will quickly morph into excitement at the prospect of teaching a younger sibling. I know he is going to be a great big brother, but I think that we all need the opportunity to adjust without being judged by others.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Yesterday morning I dropped Robby off at school and drove directly to the auto mechanic. The brakes started squeaking and squealing, and the grating sound was only becoming magnified.  Apparently my trying to reason with the brakes to keep working and to stay strong was futile.  Wanting to drive something safe and hoping to beat the Thanksgiving rush, I decided to bite the bullet and make the necessary repairs.

I despise auto repairs. I resent the fact that I have to spend a lot of money and don't have anything fun to show for it. Whether they be brakes, rotors, tires, or batteries, there is nothing fun with the purchasing process. The fact that I'm fairly confident I am always being taken advantage of because of my ignorance does not help the situation!

After doling out an obscene amount of money and wasting two hours sitting in a McDonald's stewing over the bill, my car brakes were successfully replaced. I left the lot frustrated but trying to focus on the positive. My family would be safe and the obnoxious squealing was gone.

It wasn't until I pulled into my garage that I realized that I had a problem, but thankfully it wasn't
mechanical. Somehow the top of my socket had become wedged under the clip of coin compartment on the dashboard. I tried to move my leg but only succeeded in further strengthening the car's grip.

Adjusting the seat had no impact on the position of my prosthesis. Unable to remove my leg and not being able to switch positions, I found myself trapped. After wasting the morning waiting for repairs, being stuck in my car felt like the ultimate insult!

I did the only thing I could think to do: I drove over to Mr. Bill's house and frantically honked the horn until he heard me. I wish I had taken a picture of his face when I explained my predicament. He chuckled, and went through the same seat adjustments that I had just tried. Nothing was working, and I was still trapped in the driver's seat. To make matters worse, I had consumed two large beverages while waiting at McDonalds. I needed to use the bathroom and the situation was becoming dire.

Mr. Bill went into his garage emerging several minutes later with an armful of tools. I felt like he was bringing out the jaws of life to un-wedge my leg. After evaluating his options, he began by positioning a crow bar by my heel.  Tapping the top of the crow bar with a mallet, my leg finally began to shift positions.  After about 10 minutes of pulling, hitting and pushing, I was finally freed.

I have no idea of how I managed to wedge my socket under the lever, but it is certainly an experience I never expected. Thankfully Mr. Bill was there to help me out! I can't imagine the embarrassment of driving to the firehouse and saying, "Help, I'm wedged in my car and I can't get out." This was certainly an amputee experience I never envisioned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Relaxing Weekend

Much of last week was spent working on a massive proposal. The imposing paper forced me to put everything else on hold so that I could complete it by the deadline which was last Friday. After working seemingly nonstop, I felt a sense of both relief and pride on Thursday afternoon when I converted the final document to a PDF and hit the "send" button.

With the document successfully completed and sent, I spent Friday decompressing and relaxing. I wanted to do something fun that would help me get into the holiday spirit. After wasting some time searching the internet, I resolved to be somewhat productive and decided to go to Toys R Us.

I had a wonderful afternoon just walking through the aisles, looking at all the possibilities. Despite the temptations, I ended up purchasing only two things. I was proud of myself for the restraint I demonstrated, and I was also delighted that I had managed to nab what turned out to be the last Lego Advent calendar in the DC area. I know that Robby is going to be so excited when the Elf leaves the countdown toy for him on December 1st. 

Robby wasn't feeling well on Saturday, so we spent much of the day watching Scooby Doo and Christmas movies on the couch. Thankfully by Sunday his fever was gone and his energy had returned. Although he was feeling better, the fact that he was content quietly playing with his army men was an indication that he had not completely recovered. My leg was hurting on Sunday (probably because of the weather) so I was just as content to sit in my rocker and watch him play.

My plans of decorating for the holidays never materialized. I figure it's a good thing that I have decided to start early because I might actually get around to doing something by the time Christmas rolls around. This week is gearing up to be busy, but not nearly as hectic as the past few have been for us. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish something beyond my professional obligations in the coming days. After all, Christmas is only 36 short days away!