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, March 07, 2014

Weekend Vacation

This afternoon I'm picking up Robby a little early from school and heading to Pennsylvania to visit my Mom. While I hate pulling him out of school early, I have learned that embarking on our road trip after his regular dismissal time adds about 2 hours to an already long trip because of rush hour traffic. I haven't visited my Mom since Christmas, and I am really looking forward to this trip. I think some "Mom/Nana time" is just what Robby and I have been needing!

Robby has been talking about the visit all week. He has certainly created a lengthy activity wish list that he hopes to complete with his Nana. One of the first items on his agenda is showing her the Scholastic Book Order form he received in school. I suspect that he is hoping that she offers to buy the coveted National Geographic readers, and I have little doubt that he is probably correct. 

I'm looking forward to just relaxing and talking. Visiting my Mom always feels like a mini-vacation.. She and Robby wake up early and make me breakfast, allowing me to sleep in. I know that my sleep-in days are numbered, so I plan on taking full advantage of every opportunity! I don't have to cook meals, clean up or entertain Robby. I have to admit that I am really looking forward to my break.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Bump Obstacles

I had been showing, but only a little, but enough so that people who know me well and see me on a regular basis could tell that I was pregnant. Strangers, along with those whom only see me occasionally, often had that perplexed, "Is she getting fat again or is she pregnant" look cross their faces.  During the past 10 days something amazing has happened: I have gone from looking "a little pregnant" to strutting a big ole baby bump which leaves no doubt that I am expecting. 

While I am glad that I now look pregnant instead of fat, the imposing bump has created some new issues. For example, I can no longer see my toes when I am walking. This is particularly worrisome since I can only feel the ground with one foot. I find that I am walking slower and with a more deliberate step. I have come to accept that my days of mindlessly strolling are gone, at least until the baby is born. 

Going up and down steps, in addition to leaving me embarrassingly winded, cause me increased anxiety. I have reinstated the "I won't carry anything that requires two hands on the staircase" rule. This means that Scott has to transport the groceries, boxes, trash and laundry up and down the stairs. (Okay, I never said the lifestyle change were all bad!)

I no longer sit on the floor to play with Robby. I'm worried that if I sit on the floor, I might not be able to get back up. Robby, although wonderfully helpful, is no match for my weight when trying to help hoist me up from a seated position. For now, everybody is safer if I contain my sitting to the chairs and the couch. 

Although some of the changes in my body create humorous situations, there is one I find particularly frustrating. I am having trouble donning my liner independently. I can't bend at my waist to put it over the bottom of my limb. I hate being dependent, but right now I need Scott or Robby's help in order to put on my leg. I have discovered that Robby is particularly fond of this new responsibility. He loves being helpful and is proud when he is doing something that he knows is important.  I did have to chuckle when I learned that he told his teachers and all of his classmates all about having to help Momom put on her leg because her baby tummy is too big. I'm certain that's not a statement they've heard before!

I'm sure that the issues and obstacles will only increase exponentially with my size, but in the end I know it will be worth it. Having to depend on Robby to put on my leg, avoiding carrying objects on the stairs and refusing to sit on the floor are all a small price to pay when I consider what is waiting for us. It's hard to believe that in two short months I'll be the mother of two. I can't wait to finally meet the little one!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Driving for Pancakes

After an extended weekend courtesy of Mother Nature, both Scott and Robby are returning to school today. I'm hoping that this was the final hurrah of winter, but at this point I would never discount another storm.  This winter could only be described as relentless! (I'm going to try to put the threat of more snow out of my mind and concentrate on the positive--in a few hours my house will be quiet.)

The decision to close schools yesterday was made early Monday afternoon. I always appreciate finding out the night before versus the 5 AM phone call. I find it amazing how Scott can fall back to sleep after learning that his work is cancelled, but I am wide awake for the rest of the morning because of the ringing phone. Unfortunately, it wasn't a phone call which woke me up early Tuesday morning. It was my growing anxiety.

I had an appointment to review the plans and to see the space for a satellite office that is being built by my prosthetic facility, and I was expected to be in Leesburg, approximately a 30 minute drive, at 9:00 AM. I went to bed knowing that the roads were slick. Where they weren't covered with snow, they were coated with ice. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to venturing out in those conditions. I spent the majority of the night tossing and turning as I worried about getting to the meeting safely. 

There are a few occasions when cancelling is not an option and, unfortunately this meeting was one of them. Barring a catastrophic event, I had to be there. As I was pacing through the living room, worrying about the roads, Scott casually offered to chauffeur me to the appointment.  He is far more comfortable, and dare I admit more experienced and skilled, when it comes to driving on unsavory roads. I didn't hesitate to accept his offer and instantly my anxieties melted away. I should have thought of this option hours earlier; perhaps I would have slept better!

Within minutes the family was packed up and buckled into the car, prepared for a slow drive to Leesburg. Thankfully the roads were not as impassable as I feared. While they were slick in spots and the drive was not effortless, we were able to get to our destination without incident or mishap.  The boys hung out in the lobby while I met with Elliot and the builders to review the plans. (On a side note, I never knew that picking out floor tiles and paint colors would be so much fun.)

After the meeting (which of course went far longer than I anticipated) we headed to IHOP to secure our free pancakes. A long line of people, primarily teenagers off school, was our first clue that we weren't the only ones who were lured by the free pancakes. Despite the crowd, our wait was relatively short. Brevity was a good thing because I could tell that Scott was becoming agitated by the giggling and shouting of our teenage fellow patrons. I suspect that being surrounded by rambunctious teenagers was simply a reminder of what he had in store for the remainder of the week.

By the time we arrived back home, it was already the middle of the afternoon. Robby spent the rest of the day playing (and laughing) while Scott channel-surfed on the television. Finally adjusted to my new medications, I was able to clean the kitchen (well, at least I was able to tidy it up a bit) and cook dinner. Although I know that the boys will feel deflated going back to school this morning, I have to admit that I am overjoyed. I know that my medication will be adjusted again next week, so I need to take full advantage of my "feel good days" when they happen. I have a lot of work to do, and clock is ticking. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Yep, Another Snow Day

Monday morning we woke up to what Robby aptly described as a "snowflake paradise." Tiny little flakes were falling so quickly that, at times, we were experiencing white out conditions. Needless to say, I was not surprised to learn that all schools in our area were cancelled. I don't know how many snow days have been called this year, but according to Robby and Scott there have not been enough. I tend to disagree with this assessment.

I upheld the snow day tradition by making cinnamon buns and bacon for breakfast. This is certainly not the healthiest meal, but it is meant to be a special treat.  I never anticipated that I would be making it quite so often this winter!  Regardless, Robby swears it provides him with the "koopa energy" needed to sled and throw snow balls all day.

The intensity of the snow fall kept Robby inside for much of the day. Instead of sledding, he spent his time playing Xbox and fabricating scenarios on Minecraft. I still don't fully comprehend either platform, but I do appreciate that he is using his imagination and is staying busy. After all, the boys might have had a snow day, but I still had a stack of work which needed to be done.

While the boys were busy playing with various electronic devices, I curled up in my rocking chair and started to plow my way through the overwhelming pile of reports. To my surprise, I was left alone and was able to conquer my looming "to do" list by early afternoon. By that time the snow had slowed, and Robby was able to head outside to play.

I was grateful that his friend was also raring to play in the snow because I was content watching through the window while sitting by the fire. My leg has definitely felt better and, although I'm not having any specific issues, I am not entirely comfortable on my feet. In all fairness, this is probably due to the baby bump instead of my prosthesis.  All of a sudden I seemed to have popped out, and I now look like I am walking around with a turkey tucked under my blouse.

By 4 pm both school systems had already cancelled for today. Needless to say, I had two happy campers last night as they celebrated another day home from school. Today I think we will forgo the traditional snow day breakfast. It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing.  Instead of cooking, we'll head to IHOP for pancakes. As luck would have it, today is Free Pancake Day!  Of course, this plan is contingent on the roads being cleared.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Canned Soup and Acceptance

During the past few weeks, Robby has shown a lot of growth and acceptance towards his impending role as big brother. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that he is excited about welcoming another child into our little family, we can now reference "the baby" without his bursting into tears. At this point, I'll take improvement where it is shown!

Last weekend Robby woke up early on Sunday. He sleepily walked into the living room and, looking at me with drowsy eyes with his bed tangled hair, immediately began to tell me that we are going to need to get a stroller before the baby comes out of my tummy. I was delighted that he was thinking about bringing the baby home and, not wanting to miss this opportunity, I asked him if he would be willing to help me pick out the perfect stroller. He may not be enthusiastic about having a sibling, but he has certainly shown that he can get behind the shopping aspect of preparing for a baby. 

After a quick breakfast, we piled into the SUV and headed to Toys R Us. Robby took his job as the family's official stroller test-driver with the seriousness I anticipated. He happily pushed each and every stroller (forcing Scott to heave each one off and on the top display rack) while providing valuable feedback. He was precise and particular about the features he was seeking. Thankfully, in the end we both agreed on the same stroller/ car seat combo. He wasn't eager to discuss the baby anymore that day, and we decided to not push our luck and were simply happy that he was willing and excited to test strollers.

The other night he handed me a half-eaten small bag of Cheetos, offering to share his beloved snack. Without thinking I took one of the little orange treats and popped it into my mouth. As soon as I swallowed Robby became highly vocal and animated. "Momom, stop! You didn't chew that Cheeto enough. The baby doesn't have teeth and probably has a tiny tiny small mouth. The baby is going to choke if you don't chew your food better!" With that declaration he grabbed the bag of Cheetos out of my hand and walked (quite dramatically) into the kitchen.

Taken aback by his sincere (albeit strong) reaction to my chewing, I heard him clanging around in the kitchen. He presented me with a cup of water, at which point I was directed to drink to try to help the baby chew the Cheetos. I obliged and tried to figure out how to address his concerns.  Before I had a chance, he had returned to the kitchen and the commotion continued. 

A few minutes later he returned to my side, this time holding out an opened can of Scooby Doo condensed chicken noodle soup. He had stuck a spoon in the center of the gelatinous, cold, yellow tinged liquid. At this point I realized his intent was for me to eat it.  He explained, "Momom, I think that you should stick with soft food like pudding and soup until the baby is born. We don't want the baby to choke because you don't chew enough." 

I put the soup on the side table and pulled him onto my lap. I explained that it was very sweet for him to be so concerned about the baby, and assured him that he was going to be a wonderful big brother. I also explained that the baby doesn't eat food but rather the vitamins and minerals are absorbed through the umbilical cord. (He has seen the umbilical cord because, on the latest sonogram picture, it is firmly wrapped around the baby's neck.) After some assurances from his Daddy that my chewing will not pose a choking risk, he seemed satisfied that all was well. 

Between the stroller, and his concern about the baby choking, I think Robby is definitely coming to terms with a baby entering our family. I know that he will continue to adjust and have no illusions that the transition will always be smooth. However, I am hopeful that we are on the path towards acceptance, if not excitement, that he is going to be a big brother.