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, September 05, 2014

Lights... Cameras... Action

This has been an extraordinarily long week. The excitement of starting back to school, coupled with the change in schedule and my flying solo with Timmy for the first time since my surgeries have all combined to leave me utterly wiped out. I am looking forward to a weekend of lying around quietly and resting. I wonder if the boys will take the cue and keep their needs to a minimum?

Of course, the weekend has not yet started and today will perhaps be my busiest yet. I have a film crew arriving at my house in the morning. While I'm honored to have asked to participate, I will do anything to promote a positive perception for amputees, the timing certainly leaves much to be desired. This has been a hard week and the stress of preparing my house, my children and myself for a video has only added to my anxiety. 

Robby is delighted about a video crew coming to our house. Yesterday morning he commandeered Circle Time as he proudly informed his class about his participation in the video. I learned that he included me in the project at the tale end of his explanation by saying, "You probably don't know this by looking at her, but my Momom is kind of a big deal with amputees." While I would take issue with the legitimacy of his assertion, I love that he is proud of me. 

Typically I would be panicking about the state of our house and yard. However, perhaps because I am wrapping up an extremely stressful summer, right now I have other priorities. I called in the troops (a cleaning service) to tidy my house. As for my yard, I am waiving the white flag. If they want outdoor shots, I have arranged to use Mr. Bill's beautifully landscaped yard. After a summer of neglect, ours resembles the set of Sanford and Sons. Right now, but thankfully I have a neighbor who spends hours tinkering in his yard and doesn't mind sharing his creation.

Wish us luck today with the video shoot. Robby has been in front of the camera so many times he probably could be classified as professional. This is Timmy's debut and I have no clue how he will react. If he doesn't have a reflux episode, causing him to spew partially digested formula on the camera crew, I will consider it a success.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Mom Confidential

I was surprised to receive a few emails from individuals lauding my decision to become public about our lice infestation. Although high on the ick scale, it never occurred to me that I should be ashamed. I write about so many topics and issues in this blog that it would have felt uncomfortable keeping the latest mom drama to myself. 

The emails started me thinking about different mom issues that I am embarrassed to admit publicly. I suppose everybody has those little quirks that they would prefer remain private. Along that theme, I've decided to reveal my top five Momom secrets (in no particularly order)

1. On my sliding glass door there is a message written in bright green glass marker that reads "No more pencils, no more books. No more teacher's dirty looks." The celebratory ditty was written by Robby and his friend on the last day of school. What most people don't realize is that it was written on the last day of school last year- in 2013. 
Yes, I haven't cleaned the inside of my windows for at least 14 months. If you look below the green writing you will read school starts, September 3.  Again, it was last school year. This year we started on the 2nd, which has been commemorated on a different set of windows.

The markers were an impulse purchase by my husband. I think he should be the one to clean off the writing. We seem to be in a stalemate, and I have little doubt that the writing will still be there when Robby graduates from high school.
2. I love Christmas. Each September I pull out my Countdown To Christmas clock, which begins 99 days before the holiday, to herald the season. We have a garage overflowing with decorations and boxes filled with Christmas dishes. 

For almost a  year, the Christmas dishes boxes have been stowed empty. The Christmas dishes are still in my cabinet and are still being used by my family. We have four plates that are not covered with snowmen and Santa Claus which I try to dig to find whenever we have company. I just never got around to putting the dishes away last January, and now that Christmas is only a few months away, I don't see the reason to put forth the effort. 

Perhaps out of a subconscious need for holiday equality, this cheerful Jack-O-Lantern has been grinning in my living room everyday since it was hung in 2010. Every few months I tap him with a broom to knock off the dust and cobwebs.

3. I adore Robby, who in turn adores turtles. He has a favorite stuffed turtle, aptly named "Happy Face." Happy Face has become quite a talkative little turtle, happily squealing and yapping whenever Robby is actively playing. 

I cannot stand Happy Face's voice. It grates me like fingernails running across a chalkboard. The high pitch, squeaky words frequently send me fleeing from the room.  Yesterday I heard Robby playing in his bedroom and couldn't help but smile. Then I heard Happy Face start to squeal, and I had to fight the urge to stick my head in the blender.
Scott firmly believes that someday I will miss Happy Face's voice. He is wrong.  Part of me wants Happy Face to meet an untimely death.

4.  Scott thinks that I have been suffering from digestive issues. I feel embarrassed to admit this, but in reality I am fine. I happened to discover that if I tell the boys that I diarrhea and run to the bathroom, they leave me alone. I'm not sick, I'm usually just taking a few minutes to myself and checking Facebook. I also have a stash of Dove chocolates in an old Tampon box, in case I want a snack while I'm hiding.

5. On nights when I don't feel like cooking, I casually mention that I am going to try out a new chicken casserole recipe. Inevitably I will field a phone call about an hour later, with Scott offering to pick up pizza, burgers or Mexican food on his way home. I don't know what kind of casserole trauma he survived, but in our 14 year history I have never actually had to make a chicken casserole. I don't know what I'll do if he ever calls my bluff and agrees to the casserole.

I'm not proud of my Mom secrets, but I am hoping that I am not alone. I'm certainly not perfect, but I am trying my best.  See, now admitting to lice doesn't seem so bad! 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

New Friends

As much as I tried to convince the tears to stay away, I couldn't help but break down sobbing after dropping Robby off at school. This year it wasn't fear or anxiety, I was simply overwhelmed with pride and love for him. Through a simple gesture, I witnessed the compassion and empathy that Robby freely and naturally extends.

While we were standing in the lobby of his school preparing to say goodbye and good luck, a new family entered. The boy looked to be about Robby's age but unlike my little guy, he had a look of terror on his face. His gait and limb indicated that he might be dealing with some form of CP, which I'm sure added an element to the emotions of his Mom. Her cheeks were stained with tears, and her eyes were red. My heart immediately went out to her because I have been there! Enrolling your child in a new school is an emotional roller coaster; the layer of a disability must make it even more arduous.

Without missing a beat, Robby went over to the boy and introduced himself.  "Hello. My name is Robby and I'm eight years old."  The boy gave his name, and said that he is nine.  Robby's face lit up and he said, "Are you in Miss Abeer's class, too?"  The boy looked to his mom who confirmed his teacher.  Robby, who at this point was grinning from ear to ear, replied by saying, "Well then, we are in the same class. I guess that means we're friends, too.  Come with me, I'll show you around." 

Robby took his new friend under his wing and the two went walking down the hallway. With the exception of subtly modifying his speed, Robby didn't miss a beat adjusting to his new friend's limp. The look on the new Mom's face was priceless. She had gone from being terrified to relieved within moments of the exchange. Robby did turn his head and call out to me before he turned the corner, "See you later, Momom. Try not to cry because it will hurt your stomach."

This year I didn't have a little boy clinging to my skirt hem, begging me to stay. He was eager to start the new school year and excited to make a new friend. Walking out of that school, I could not have been prouder of the person my little boy is becoming. On one hand it hurts watching him grow up, but at the same time I have never been more rewarded. I am so very lucky to be his Mom, and I am looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

First Day of School!!

After much debate, Robby finally settled on his back to school outfit. He was torn between a turtle shirt, handmade for him by a friend, and an outfit his Nana bought for him. He finally decided to wear Nana's outfit because he was worried that her feelings would be hurt if he didn't wear it for its intended purpose.  The coveted Koopa shirt will proudly be worn to school on Wednesday.

I'm not going for drastic changes, but this year I am going to try to be more organized. I venture to guess that Robby only made it to school on time a dozen times last year after Timmy was born. Typically habitually prompt, I just couldn't seem to adjust our routine to accommodate Timmy's needs. This year will be different, and my little learning Koopa will arrive on time everyday.  At least, that is my goal!

It is hard to believe that Robby is starting the third grade! I remember dropping him off for Kindergarten like it was yesterday. I will never forget the tears and the pleas to stay as I left him in his classroom. I'll also always remember scaling the fence and hiding behind a bush so that I could spy in his classroom window. 

Three years have passed since that horrible morning, and I would like to think that both Robby and I have evolved. He is excited about going to school, largely because of his success from last year. This is the first time he will be going to the same school for the second year, and I am thankful for that consistency. With so much change in our lives, it is nice that this September school can be a comfortable constant. 

Even though I am not feeling my stereotypical dread, I will admit to having some butterflies. I'm excited and nervous for Robby. I know that he is going to have a fantastic year, and I can't wait to watch him grow and learn.  My mind is already swirling with my Room Mom possibilities!

Monday, September 01, 2014

My HAPPY Labor Day Post.

I have always hated Labor Day. As a child, I couldn't comprehend why people would celebrate the end of summer. Heralding the end of the warm days filled with playing and swimming, knowing that they would soon be filled with sitting behind a desk and homework, felt unnatural. Upon graduating and becoming a teacher, the anti-Labor Day sentiments remained. 

This is perhaps the first year I am not filled with remorse and dread when we flipped the calendar page to September. This year I have anxiously been awaiting Labor Day. The holiday has become my symbol, my beacon of hope through the past few months. Labor Day symbolically marked the end of my Surgical Summer, and the beginning of a new chapter which I intend to fill with happy memories.

Today is Labor Day and, although I am still feeling the discomfort from my last surgery, I feel victorious.  During the past few months I have been through hell, but we are now seeing the light on the other side. I am hopeful that my health obstacles are behind us and that I can concentrate on being a great Mom, wife, friend and employee. 

Robby starts school tomorrow, but this year I am not shedding tears. He is excited to return to the classroom, and his enthusiasm is contagious. I am so glad that he loves his school and teachers. The fact that his very best friend is going to be in his class this year is a much appreciated added bonus! I'm sure I'll miss him during the day, but between work and taking care of Timmy I have no doubt that the hours will fly by.

Timmy has never really known his Mom to be healthy, and I am looking forward to an Autumn full of adventures and experiences. The Surgical Summer is behind us. Today I am celebrating the beginning of our Awesome Autumn and the fact that my doctors now consider me to be CANCER FREE!