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 21, 2014

Secret Shortcuts

This past week has been extraordinarily busy. In addition to my own work, I've been trying to get ready for a week away, which basically equates to a lot of laundry! The boys and I are heading to my Mom's this afternoon where we will be staying for the next week. Scott will join us when his school dismisses on Tuesday, allowing him a few precious bachelor days at home. 

I have one more looming responsibility before packing up the car and driving to PA. Robby's class is celebrating Thanksgiving today. In years past I have spent countless hours roasting a turkey, whipping up side dishes and baking treats only to have them devoured by pint sized eating machines. This year I just didn't have time to make a full Thanksgiving dinner early, so I have decided to go a different direction.

I called our grocery store and ordered their Thanksgiving In A Box meal. The class will still be able to delve into a whole turkey and all of the traditional side dishes, all for the bargain price of $29.99.  (The list price is $39.99 but I received a $10 discount because I need the meal today instead of next week.) I doubt I could make the meal cheaper, and even if I could the time savings is well worth the money.

Of course, employing logic has done nothing to quell the guilt that I am feeling. Isn't it silly that I manage to feel guilty because I am not preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, from scratch, for a group of other people's kids? They aren't going to care if the potatoes came out of a box; they will just be excited about the novelty of a Thanksgiving feast at lunchtime.

After thinking and fretting all day, I came to the realization that  I really don't care what his classmates think. I'm only trying to impress one little Koopa and I don't want him to blame the shortcut on his little brother.  Despite my fatigue, I knew I only had one option.

I poured all of the side dishes out of their deli packs and smashed them into my well-used Tupperware containers.  I opened the jar of gravy and poured it into a thermos. I removed the turkey from it's plastic shrink wrap and re-positioned it in my roasting pan. The rolls were pulled from the metal trap and not-so-gingerly put into a plastic Ziploc bag, making sure that they were slightly misshapen in the process.  I may know that the Thanksgiving Feast is store bought, but there is no reason to bring Robby in on my dirty little secret.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Yesterday I took another step (both literally and figuratively) towards total ambulation. I've been back in my prosthetic full time for several months but have remained in a series of test sockets. Between shrinking and nerve issues, I have been playing my own sadistic version of "leg roulette" every morning. I never knew if, when slipping my leg on and taking the first step, I would feel comfort or pain.  It has been frustrating at the very least!

The past few weeks I have been consistently comfortable in my leg. I shrunk considerably, causing me to bottom out in the socket. Despite not feeling pain, dropping down did cause me to become about 1/2 inch shorter on  my prosthetic side. The height difference rendered me with a noticeable limp which, although it wasn't painful, made me feel self-conscious. 

Getting a smaller socket crafted has been on my "to do" list for several weeks, but every time I had an appointment, something popped up. Between work, being sick and nursing Timmy through his tummy virus, I had to cancel several casting appointments. Since I wasn't in pain, I never made rescheduling a priority. 

This past weekend the height differential caught up with me. The all-to-familiar back twinges began to materialize, and I knew that I couldn't put it off any longer. I was casted for a new socket on Monday, and yesterday I picked it up. 

Wow! I thought I was doing well on my previous socket, but I feel so much more comfortable now. The snugger fit allows me to relax my calf muscle while walking, enabling me to go both faster and farther. Correcting the height has made a world of difference. I am no longer limping, and I'm able to walk with a correct gait. Finally, after nearly 5 months, I feel normal again!

I am kicking myself for not taking care of this relatively minor issue earlier, but I am delighted that the adjustments have now been made. I'm going to be in this socket through Thanksgiving and, if all continues to go well, my permanent socket will be made the following week. When I slip on my final socket, I will finally be able to put the horrific revision surgery behind me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Priority Time

Yesterday was bone chilling cold. Although the temperatures were not nearly as low as they will certainly become in the next few months, the first true shot of winter is always painful. It was the first time we had to pull out the winter gear, cut the tags off the new coats and face the harsh reality: winter is upon us.

Robby bundled up in his brand new winter coat, still stiff from the not-yet-broken-in stuffing, and dashed to the car so that I could drive him to school.  He complained the entire time, but he was not upset with the plunging temperatures. He felt cheated that he had to wear his winter coat but there was no snow on the ground.  According to my Koopa, cold air without snow is no fun. 

I came home and immediately changed into my flannel jammy bottoms. I set Timmy and me up in front of the fireplace and stayed warm and toasty throughout the afternoon. To my delight Timmy even fell asleep and took a long nap in the Pack'n Play which was strategically positioned close to the warm fire.  I took full advantage of the rare quiet moment by sipping a hot cup of gingerbread coffee, raiding the vestiges of the Halloween candy, and shopping online for Christmas presents.

I could have used the time in a more productive manner, but after the stress of Monday, I just needed to relax and enjoy a few moments of solitude. I am working on forcing myself to take breaks simply to unwind and dream. Between working and taking care of the boys, my life has become so hectic that the days are flying by without my reaping much happiness or enjoyment.  I am a much better mom and a happier person and employee when I remember to take some time for myself.  I think I would benefit from carving out a small part of every day to make myself a priority. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


My goodness yesterday was a long day! Timmy woke up at 3:45 in the morning for a bottle. After feeding him it quickly became clear that he was a bundle of happy energy ready to tackle the day.  Although I wasn't terribly optimistic, I did put my giggling and cooing little baby back in his crib with strict instructions to go back to sleep until the sun comes up. He was rescued 20 minutes later by his Daddy, who was concerned that the cooing would morph into cries if he didn't intervene.  Scott handed me the now wiggling baby and went back to bed.

Hamlet and I camped out in the living room while the rest of the family slept. Luckily he was content playing on the floor and in his activity centers while I desperately tried to inhale enough coffee to bring me back to life. I've come to the conclusion that he is a morning person; he does not get this trait from me!

After playing for five hours, Timmy finally fell asleep. Unfortunately he crashed about 10 minutes before I had to put him in his car seat to take Robby to school. He was not amused being woken up, and voiced his displeasure with my action for the next 45 minutes. Robby almost ran into his school simply to get away from the screaming.

The car seat episode set the tone for the rest of the day. Timmy was exhausted yet fought sleeping at every turn. He was no longer happy playing with his toys or jumping in his Jumperoo. Instead, he demanded to be held and carried. I spent the majority of the afternoon standing at my kitchen counter trying to work with him strapped to my chest.

I was overjoyed when he finally fell asleep, hoping that he would take a long nap and wake up in a better mood. I glanced at the clock after unstrapping him and lying him in his little bed. I wanted to bang my head against the wall! It was 2:15, and I was going to have to wake him up in 30 minutes to go pick up Robby from school.  I wanted to cry, but opted to use the time being productive. I raided Robby's Halloween candy and drank another cup of coffee.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Little Late

It is hard to believe that my little Timmy will be seven months old this week. He is now a solid 16 pounds and 22 inches long. He is growing and learning new things every single day. Despite starting out with colic, he is probably the happiest baby I have ever met. I swear it feels like he is smiling from the moment I pick him up in the morning until I put him into his crib at night. 

The past seven months have been busy and difficult. It turns out that incorporating Timmy into our family structure was the easiest hurdle we encountered. Between my postpartum infections, my leg re-amputation and the hysterectomy, I have spent the majority of his young life in crisis mode. Finally things are beginning to settle down, allowing us time to relax and simply enjoy being a family.

We were so busy after Timmy was born that I never found time to send out a proper birth announcement. I toyed with the idea of just forgoing the gesture, but to be honest every time I thought about not doing it I felt sad. Timmy is such an important part of our family and I felt that he deserved a birth announcement, even if we are fashionably late in our timing. 

I am fully aware that I am going to receive criticism from some naysayers about the delay of our announcements. Our intention is to simply share our good news and some adorable photos with family and friends. He is a wonderful little miracle and I want to celebrate him, even if I am extremely late with the notice.

I meant to get them out sooner but never quite found the time. Yesterday as the cold rain was falling outside, I decided to curl up in front of the fireplace and start addressing envelopes. The announcements are going in the mail today, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. 

I would also be remiss if I didn't extend a special thank you to Mary, who is a reader of this blog. Mary lovingly crafted the outfit that Timmy is wearing in his announcement. I received her beautiful gift when things were becoming difficult with the pregnancy. I immediately knew that the baby, whether it be a boy or girl, would wear the outfit in the birth announcement photos.  My dear friend, an extremely talented graphic designer, managed to perfectly capture my vision for his special announcement.  Thank you Tammy for the beautiful design!

If you would like to receive an announcement, please email (amputeemommy@verizon.net) me your address.  I am so happy with how they turned out. In my opinion they were definitely worth the wait!