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, December 13, 2013

Emergency Cupcakes

Yesterday morning, after dropping off Robby at school and running a few errands (which unfortunately involved pumping gas in 17 degree temperatures), I came home and settled in front of the wood stove. I had my binders at the ready and was preparing to spend the remainder of the day finishing up some reports and working on a newsletter. All plans were put on hold when I received an unexpected phone call from Robby.

I always become nervous when the caller ID reads Robby's school. Anticipating news that he had become ill or learn that an unexpected visit from Robby Rotten needed to be addressed, I jumped for the phone as soon as I recognized the number. After all, the calls from school almost always herald bad news!

Robby's sweet and chipper voice was on the other end of the line, and I immediately knew that he was neither sick nor in trouble. Instead, he was calling to ask me for a favor.  He was concerned because a friend (who is in a different class but shares a recess) was celebrating a birthday and he did not have a treat to share with his class.  Robby asked me to bake some cupcakes and bring them to school for his friend. After all, when you are in elementary school, birthday cupcakes reign supreme!

After talking with him for a few minutes he handed the phone to the Principal. She explained that Robby was worried and wanted to help his friend. Hopeful that a phone call would allow him to refocus, they allowed him to call me. I inquired about his friend and learned that his mother was sick. Although she didn't verbalize the diagnosis, the conversation led me to believe that the mom was battling some form of cancer and that the family was overwhelmed. I began to preheat the oven before hanging up the phone. 
I knew that time was of the essence and I wanted the child to have the treats to share before everybody started to go home for the day. The frigid air which I cursed while pumping gas worked to my benefit when cooling the cupcakes. I whipped up and decorated two dozen birthday cupcakes in record time!

Covered in batter and icing, I managed to deliver the cupcakes before the second recess began. I gave them to the Principal because I did not want to draw undo attention to the situation. I knew that she would be able to quietly and discretely deliver them to the correct classroom. I did stop by and let Robby know that his request was filled and that his friend had treats to share. He threw his arms around me and whispered, "Thanks for having my back, Momom."

The sincere concern and empathy that Robby demonstrated for his friend warmed my heart. I am the first to admit that we have made our fair share of parenting mistakes. Robby is far from the perfect child, and at times his behavior and habits make me want to pull my hair out. But I am in awe of the intuitive sense of empathy that he has for others. We have done a lot wrong, but while I was baking the cupcakes I was acutely aware that we have also done something very right.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Yesterday I woke up uncomfortably early. I didn't wake for any purpose; I just simply couldn't sleep anymore. I am splitting the blame for this issue between stress, my ripening pituitary tumors and the pregnancy. Unfortunately, knowing the cause does little to quell my frustrations while I'm sitting in the living room at 4 AM.

The announcement for Robby's two-hour school delay came scrolling across the bottom of the tv screen around 4:30. I remember the excitement of school delays when I was his age. There was something special about mulling around in the morning in my pajamas and eating a special breakfast. The joy of missing two hours in the morning is only overshadowed by an entire snow day.

My desire to relive my school delay childhood memories combined with my need for a project compelled me to make Robby a special breakfast. At 5 AM I carefully (and quietly) mixed and kneaded the dough for homemade sticky buns. The breakfast treat takes several hours to prepare, but time was not an issue. After all, we had a two hour school delay!

By 7:45 the pastries were mixed, shaped and slid into the oven. It didn't take long for the comforting and appetizing odor to start wafting through the air. Wanting to make the breakfast a bit more balanced, I decided that I should fry some bacon.

If you have never smelled the wonderful aromas of sticky buns baking and bacon frying, you are missing out. If I could figure out a way to capture the heavenly odors, I would surely be a millionaire. Within a few minutes Robby was lured out of bed by the smells. He appeared in the kitchen wearing his army man footie pajamas and just rolled out of bed hair. He looked adorable as he stood by the oven, inquisitively sniffing the air. Without my offering an explanation, he smiled and said, "It's good to be a kid." 

I set up the TV tray with a warm sticky bun and bacon. After turning on Scooby Doo, I poured myself a fresh cup of tea (I'm trying to minimize coffee intake) and assumed my position in my rocking chair. I was fully expecting him to devour the special breakfast I had prepared.

After 30 minutes of watching the Mystery Gang solve another phantom inspired case, Robby had still not touched his sticky bun. I finally asked him how it was, hoping that my prompt would entice him to eat. After all, it took me a lot of time to make the treat and I wanted it to be enjoyed! 

"Well Momom, thank you for my breakfast. Don't be sad. But I really wanted to have a super yummy Cinnamon Toast Eggo waffle this morning." 

I plopped his Eggos into the toaster and handed them to him on a paper towel once they were warmed. He devoured both in record time, citing the smells in the house as making him hungry. Apparently he likes the smell of sticky buns in the morning but he doesn't necessarily want to eat them.  Obviously my son is not going to grow up to be a food critic! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Days!

The past two days both boys have been off school because of snow and ice. I am not sure whose smile was wider when the news was announced that school was cancelled; both Robby and Scott seemed equally ecstatic about the snow day declaration. Robby was thrilled to have two days to frolic in the snow, build snowmen, go sledding and engage in "epic" snowball battles.  Scott was excited about the respite from his students!

This is the first year where I have not been asked to assume the role of Robby's snow buddy. I was happy to relinquish the cold responsibilities so that Robby could play with Rowan (our neighbor). To be honest, I was doubtful that my snow attire would fit over my growing baby bump. The fact that I could stay inside by the fire and that I didn't have to try to squeeze into various layers was a relief!

Instead of playmate, I was reassigned to resident baker, hot chocolate maker and clothing dryer. Every few hours the kids would come inside and peel off their drenched layers leaving me with a large wet pile of snow clothes by the front door. I'd throw them into the dryer before filling their snack and drink orders. By the time they were done eating, their snow clothes were dry and ready for another round in the frigid temperatures.  My hot chocolate maker, ovens and dryer all worked overtime over the past few days, but watching them play from the window made every effort worthwhile.

Other than some mild shocks at night, my phantom pain has been virtually non-existent through this winter event. Many times the limb pain which accompanies snowstorms can be unbearable. I was delighted to actually watch the flakes fly through the air without feeling the pain and discomfort which often accompanies the tranquil sight. 

Much to the chagrin of both boys, they will return to school today. Although I enjoyed having them home, I am ready for the house again to be quiet. It's hard for me to get a lot of work done when I'm constantly being asked to bake treats and dry mountains of wet clothes.

Today will be spent finishing up reports and paperwork. The snow has melted and the walkways are slick, so I am hesitant to venture out by myself if it isn't absolutely necessary. In year's past I would just slip on my Yak-Trax cleats, but the addition of the baby bump makes walking on the ice even more difficult. I'd rather stay inside by the fire and wait for Scott to come home before running errands. Right now, slipping and falling is the last thing I need!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Realigning Priorities

Sometimes the petty frustrations of life become overwhelming. I suppose it is easy to lose perspective of what is important, especially when you become so caught up in the day to day details of life. On Sunday I received news that instantly forced me to realign my priorities and allowed me put all of the petty worries into perspective. 

My cousin's husband passed away suddenly. I cannot comprehend the sense of terror that she must have felt when finding her husband unresponsive on the floor.  Within hours, he went from being alive and seemingly well to being declared brain dead and donating his organs so that others may live. Although I am not surprised by the family's decision to donate his organs, I remain in awe of the strength of his wife and daughter to think of others in the midst of their tragedy. Organ donation is an act which hits close to my heart. My step-brother was the recipient of donated lungs, a gift which considerably extended his life.

Although we have never been close, in all honesty I can only recall seeing my cousin and her husband four times in the past twenty years, I can't fathom the overwhelming grief that she and her daughter must be feeling. The fact that we are in the midst of the Christmas season must compound the sense of loss. Of course, there is never an ideal time to lose your soul mate.

Between snowball battles and cookie baking, my thoughts keep migrating back to my cousin. Her loss has demonstrated that life is so unpredictable and precious. In an instant everything can change.

I don't want to live life in fear of a tragedy, but I also don't want to become consumed by the petty and irrelevant issues that often arise. I'm simply tired of fretting over the inconsequential. In the scheme of life, those petty issues (and people) really don't matter.  Instead, I want to concentrate on the present and try to create memories and relationships that will help sustain me through life's turbulent changes.

Monday, December 09, 2013

First Snowfall

Yesterday morning Robby woke up to discover that the first snow of the season was falling. I wish I had a camera to capture the look of awe and excitement as he stood by the patio doors and watched the flakes fly through the air. Within a few hours, my little Koopa was bundled up and outside playing in the cold white fluff. 

Because it was a weekend, his friend from down the street was home. Rowan quickly came down and the pair played in the snow for hours. Most of the time I am out in the snow assuming the role of playmate. Because he had his friend, I was able to watch him make snow angels, sled and throw snowballs from the warmth and comfort of my living room.  Don't get me wrong, I love playing with Robby. But I certainly didn't miss slipping and sliding in the frigid cold!

While Robby and Rowan were playing, I spent the time baking treats to warm them up. After the first hour outside they came in to warm up by the fire. They stripped out of their multiple snow layers by the front door before warming themselves. After throwing the clothes in the dryer to prepare for the next snow round, I surprised the friends with warm peanut butter cookies and hot chocolate.

By the time they finished their treats and watched a Christmas cartoon, their snow clothes were dry. Scott and I worked in tandem to get them re-dressed to return to the winter wonderland. Again, they stayed outside for about an hour. They came back inside and their clothes were thrown into the dryer (again). This time while they were warming up they enjoyed meatball subs (and more hot chocolate).

This pattern repeated throughout the afternoon. By the time the sun was setting, the two had enjoyed seemingly gallons of hot chocolate, peanut butter cookies, meatball subs, pizza rolls, sugar cookies and brownies. Needless to say, Robby was exhausted but not terribly hungry when it was time for dinner!