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 27, 2013

R & R

Lying in bed yesterday morning, I began to devise the lengthy post-holiday "to do" list. Tidying up the living room ranked among the top of the chores which needed to be done. I have never had a reputation for being a clean freak, but the clutter of the plastic toys, games and wooden blocks strewn from corner to corner was enough to drive me crazy.

After gathering my ambition to be productive, I put on my leg to begin what was sure to be another busy day. One step completely eradicated every plan that I had made. My leg was painful and swollen. I immediately knew that the clutter would have to be picked up by little hands because I was going to be directing the activities from the comfort of the couch!

I absolutely despise bad leg days. I suspect that the activities of the past few days coupled with the swelling issues from my pregnancy have combined to making walking awkward and painful. Knowing the cause is one thing; taking it easy to allow myself time to recover and heal is another issue entirely. I resent having a difficult time walking and hate when I have to tailor my activities because of my amputation.

We made one trip to the mall and I regretted the decision almost instantly. Instead of cleaning and tackling the growing list of chores, I spent much of the day sitting and watching Robby play. He seemed oblivious to my ambulation issues and was content spending the day playing with his new treasures. While I still do not understand the appeal of plastic army men, I have come to realize that the enjoyment apparently increases exponentially when the medieval knights are added to the battle.

After keeping my leg off for several hours, I slipped it back on so that I could help Robby crack open his "easy to open" geode discovery kit. Well, after 30 minutes of whacking the rock with our hammer we decided to seek professional help. We bundled up, grabbed our unbreakable geode rocks and headed to see Mr. Bill. 

Working together, it took the pair another 15 minutes to crack open the geode. The task involved a vice, chisel, screwdriver and a variety of mallets. Robby was delighted when the crystals were finally exposed. Although I can't be certain, I'm fairly sure I saw Mr. Bill cringe when Robby promised to return with the remaining 6 geodes!

The remainder of the day was relatively non-eventful. Robby occupied himself with his new toys, and I was able to unburden and rest my limb. Hopefully the day of rest and limb compression have done the trick because this weekend we have another Christmas party to attend and I don't have time for pain!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I had every intention of posting an update on the blog yesterday. Obviously, I failed to consider the energy level of my excited seven year old when I wrote that promise. Robby woke up at 7:30, squealing the arrival of Santa Claus. Much to his chagrin, I insisted that I put on my leg before accompanying him to the Christmas tree to inspect his loot. If I followed his pleas, we would have saved time by hopping.

True to tradition, I think that Santa went overboard again this year. Robby faced a towering pile of presents in front of the tree. Undeterred and up for the task, he tackled the looming mountain of gifts with a dedication only exhibited by the young. Within 15 minutes everything was unwrapped and the living room was covered in sheets of torn Angry Birds wrapping paper. Only after everything was revealed did he pause to inspect his haul.

We spent the morning assembling the toys and trying to create a semblance of order out of the chaos that became my living room.  Robby happily played with each toy after the batteries were installed and all the loose parts were clicked into place. It turns out that the process worked well by allowing him ample time to play with each toy before a new one was ready. After nearly two hours, all of his toys were beeping, firing and flying around.

It is hard to say which toys are Robby's favorites, but I would have to say he has a strong affinity for the two remote controlled helicopters and the fart gun (courtesy of Nana of course). We spent hours in the driveway as he practiced flying and landing the helicopters. After numerous crashes, he finally became a quasi-competent pilot. Thankfully the helicopters are deemed "indestructible," although we are sure to put that claim to the test!

It was so nice of my Mom to make the 5 hour (round-trip) drive to visit us on Christmas. Robby loved showing her his toys! Unfortunately she visited before the living room had recovered from the morning destruction; she was literally walking over plastic army men, tanks, Nerf bullets and wrapping paper during the entire visit. I tried to explain that the house does not usually look that bad, but judging from the toy clutter catastrophe I realize that my claim was difficult to believe. 

We spent the entire day playing with all of the toys. Although Scott and I were delighted that Robby did not watch TV, ask for the computer or his XBox the entire day, we were both exhausted from the constant activity. I really don't know where Robby found the energy to keep going, but he never took a moment to rest. I wish I had his energy reserves because I was struggling to keep up!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

I will definitely return later today to post pictures and a recap of our morning. In the meantime, enjoy Robby's rendition as the Wise Man (Robby referred to the role as the "really smart dude with the gold") in last night's Christmas play.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Not a Creature Was Stirring...

Candy Cane Cookies

A few days ago, Scott and I were watching an episode on the Food Channel which featured various Christmas cookies. During the program, Scott casually remarked that he really missed his mom's candy cane cookies. My little elf ears immediately perked up as I started planning a cookie surprise.

His mom sent me the recipe for the cookies several years ago, and I knew that this was a surprise I could pull off. In preparation, Monday I searched through my cookbook to find the recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it. Apparently it was someplace "safe." I began to dig through my combination Tupperware/ cookbook cabinet determined to locate the missing card. Nearly two hours later the cabinet was clean and organized, I had two bulging trash bags of plastic containers and lids without mates and the recipe in hand. I felt a surge of adrenaline having completed a looming task (cleaning out the disorganized cabinet) while locating the coveted cookie recipe.

Knowing that Scott would be delighted, I envisioned his reaction as I carefully measured and mixed the dough. I ended up phoning his mom for technical advice, wanting to make sure that I didn't deviate from her recipe. The dough preparation was the easy part; the work of the candy cane cookie lies with the rolling and shaping. After the first dozen were formed, I was both bored and frustrated. Between the sticky dough and the fragile shapes, the surprise was quickly becoming a chore!

After nearly 90 minutes, all four dozen cookies were rolled and formed onto the cookie sheets. After they were baked, I waited exactly 60 seconds before removing the delicate cookies and gently coating them in powdered sugar. Needless to say, this step is easier said than done. The cookies were still hot and extremely fragile. I broke more than I care to admit, but thankfully the evidence was quickly disposed of (courtesy of Robby and his friend Rowan.)

Finally, the laborious cookie enterprise was complete. I was excited to surprise Scott with his favorite nostalgic treat. I arranged several cookies on a Christmas plate and triumphantly delivered them waiting anxiously for his reaction.

"Oh, nice" was his response. Nice? Those blasted cookies took hours to create and they certainly warranted more than a "nice." Undeterred, I insisted that he try one. After all, perhaps he didn't know that they were his mom's recipe. Surely one bite would bring him to his Epicurean knees.

After taking a bite, he smiled and said, "They are pretty good, thanks." Annoyed, I informed him that they were made from his mom's recipe which I had followed precisely. "I know. They taste pretty good." He then put the cookie on the plate and continued watching TV. So much for the over-the-top reaction I anticipated.

It's difficult when so much work and effort yields an unappreciated reaction. I'm trying not to take it personally, and I know full well that Scott's reactions to surprises are often tempered. Regardless, I am hereby retiring my elf baking hat for the season. After all, I now have a container full of "nice" candy cane cookies which should be more than adequate for the remainder of the season. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Party Wrap-up

Friday was Robby's last day of school before Christmas vacation. To say he was excited would certainly be an understatement. He woke up at 5:00, eager to go to his school party and to perform his songs that his class has been practicing. The fact that his Nana was going to be in the audience simply added a layer of enthusiasm and excitement.

I've come to realize that the last day before Christmas vacation and the last day of school for the year are the only two times that Robby (and Scott for that matter) don't complain about going. The typical routine of, "I don't want to go to school today. Please Momom, let me stay home" was suspended for this momentous occasion. Instead of moaning and groaning, Robby was watching the clock tick all morning because he actually wanted to go to school. What a nice change!

After dropping him off, I ran a few quick errands in preparation for the "super big holiday crafting and game party" I was hosting for his classmates. I knew that Robby was not alone in his excitement when all of his friends cheered when I entered the classroom. I was definitely the hero, not because I brought craft supplies but because I was toting a Chic-Fil-A chicken nugget platter.

We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon working on holiday crafts and playing reindeer games. Squeals of laughter, all originating from his classroom, were echoing down the hallway of the school. I love seeing Robby and his friends so happy!

Robby was delighted that his Nana arrived a little early for the concert allowing her time to visit the party. He was an attentive host, making sure that she was comfortable and had a good view of the activities. I later learned that he pushed two chairs together, making sure that they were touching in case his Nana needed more room. (For the record, my Mom only requires one chair. I think Robby was worried because the chairs are child-sized.) He immediately put dibs on the cozy rocker (set up in the foyer for the concert) so that his Nana would have the best seat in the house for the performance. He justified his request by reminding the Principal that his Nana has two new "inside knees." Always thoughtful, he added that she would give up the rocker if somebody came who doesn't have any knees. 

I was grateful when the kids needed to line up for the concert because I was utterly exhausted from my role as party host. I sat in the chair next to my Mom (perched in the rocker) and prepared to be entertained. It turns out that Robby only remembered one of the three songs being sung, but he sang it loudly and enthusiastically. Perhaps the brevity was tad anti-climactic for my Mom, who drove a total of 6 hours to watch the performance, but I know Robby was proud that she came to watch him.

By the time I got home after the party, I was in a zombie-like state of exhaustion. It turns out that I was not alone in my fatigue. Robby curled up next to me on the couch to watch Elf and we were both sound asleep by 7:30. Occasionally, his rising before dawn has its benefits-especially when he falls asleep early!