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, April 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Hamlet!

Dear Timmy,

Happy Birthday to my super big one year old! My goodness how this year has flown by. It seems like only yesterday I was holding you for the first time, so tiny and fragile. You had to sleep on my chest in order to stay warm.  Now you are crawling around like a champion, my rough and tumble little Hamlet.

You have definitely kept me on my toes. It seems that since the moment you were born, you were ready to tackle life on your terms. From a colicky little waif who needed to be fed every 90 minutes to a determined little explorer, I have enjoyed watching you grow and learn.  You are a fighter, and that grit is what enabled you to grow into the strong little boy I hold this morning.

Your mischievous ways are going to keep me young. We love your curiosity and determination. However, I do wish you would stop munching on the kitty kibble at each opportunity. I make such wholesome food, yet you seem to prefer the cat's meals over mine. 

Little Hamlet, you are loved by so many. Even your big brother, who sealed himself in a box when he learned you were going to be born and swore that he would never play with you, adores you. He even admitted yesterday that he is glad that you are his little brother and that having you in the family is fun.

You have such tiny fingers, yet you managed to have so many people wrapped around them. Your smile lights up a room and is omnipresent. Before he passed away, your Candy Papaw suggested we do a Happy Face themed birthday because you are always smiling. The bright yellow, smiley balloons you see this morning are in his memory.  It saddens me that he won't be able to see you grow up, but know that he loved you very much. 

Tomorrow we will have your birthday party. I know that you will have fun with your cousins and, although you won't comprehend what is going on, you will be smiling and happy. After all, you are always smiling and happy!

We love you little Timmy, our precious Hamlet.  Happy Birthday big boy. I'm so lucky that I am your Momom.


**Side note.  Scott surprised me yesterday afternoon with my own helium tank because he knew I wanted to fill Timmy's room with balloons to surprise him when he woke up on his birthday.  We filled 2 dozen mylar balloons (including bright yellow happy face ones) and sneaked them into his bedroom after he fell asleep.

Epic fail.  The little guy woke up in the middle of the night, saw a slew of unidentified floating objects all around him and became terrified.  He screamed for 30 minutes while I rocked him and Scott frantically tried to capture and remove each balloon.

Oh well.  We tried.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Apple A Day Does NOT Keep the Doctor Away

All signs point towards little Hamlet being allergic to apples. At first he would just develop bright red cheeks and chin after eating applesauce, essentially making him look like a pint sized clown. While adorable, I suspected that it probably wasn't a healthy reaction and avoided the fruit. 

Unfortunately he was inadvertently fed applesauce over the weekend when I was at the ER getting my wrist checked. Monday he showed some signs of a rash but I didn't think much of it.  He crawls everywhere and often exhibits bumps etc. from scaling every obstacle in his path. Tuesday morning he woke up covered in hives. From his forehead to his ankles, my little Timmy was covered in tiny red bumps. Needless to say, he was miserable. 

I wasn't sure the source of his reaction until his cheeks turned bright pink, tipping me off that he might have consumed apples. After his eating applesauce was confirmed, I called his pediatrician. We have an appointment with a pediatric allergist next Thursday, and in the meantime he is on an extremely restricted diet. On the advice of his doctor we are only offering  a handful of foods we know to be safe until we have more information.

I'm really worried that his apple allergy is only the tip of the iceberg, and that more foods might be involved. I'm hoping that I'm wrong and that I am just worrying for nothing. Ultimately we will adjust and handle whatever restrictions he needs, but I am hoping that his limitations will be few. In the meantime, yesterday I purged the freezer of all of our applesauce and whipped up 4 cakes. Scott's students will benefit from Timmy's aversion.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No Cookies for Her!

I learned a long time ago that friendships are dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. I have friends whom I rarely see and don't talk to as often as I would like, but when we do connect, it is as if time stood still. On the other end of the spectrum, I have relationships that are high maintenance and unbalanced but are maintained probably more out of a sense of courtesy and obligation than an honest desire.  Sometimes I just find it easier to play nice, smile and not make waves. I am well aware that my aversion to conflict plays a huge part in these relationships.

I find that I often go out of my way to avoid rocking the boat, especially in respect to relationships. Don't get me wrong, I will walk away from toxic relationships. It isn't easy for me to stand up to defend needs and emotions, but I will do it when push comes to shove. But I admittedly tend to hold onto some people longer simply because it is easier. 

Maintaining neighbor relationships can be tricky.  I don't feel it necessary to become friends with my neighbors. Just because we live on the same street does not mean that we share the same values and interests. (Mr. Bill is an exception, and I truly value our friendship. It has evolved slowly over time, and I consider myself lucky to count him among my friends.) For the most part, I strive to maintain a friendly relationship but I don't expect anything more substantial. 

I've always had a good relationship with my neighbors. With the exception of the deranged old woman who constantly called the police (who is now living in a nursing home), I have had few issues during the decade since we moved here.  I consider myself a good neighbor, frequently delivering baked goods and pitching in whenever necessary. I thought we lived in a happy, cohesive neighborhood, which is why I was shocked to learn that my neighbor admitted to not liking me.

I realized that I haven't spoken with her in a few months, but between her snowbird lifestyle and my schedule, I assumed it was just a matter of timing. It never occurred to me that she was deliberately avoiding me. Why would she avoid me? After all, I think I'm delightful! 

All kidding aside, I haven't been able to shake off the fact that she doesn't like me. I have invested far too much mental energy trying to figure out the reasons and to devise situations to redeem myself. Then I had an epiphany- this is her issue. I've done nothing wrong, and have been only kind and generous with both my time and efforts. I have watched her dog during her three week vacation, baked countless cookies and cakes, helped shovel their driveway and even spent far too many hours helping her "organize" her treasures for an Ebay sale. 

Upon reflection, I have done far more for her than she has ever done for us. I don't know why she doesn't like me, and at this point I really don't care any more. I am going to continue to smile and be kind, but she is being cut out of our baked good delivery rotation.  If you don't like me, you don't get my cookies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Special Surprise

Timmy has a propensity for early mornings which is not my preference. Ever since my chemo treatment, mornings have been even more difficult. Each morning I wake up feeling as if I have the flu. My limbs are heavy, my thoughts disoriented and my body is weak. Needless to say, it is beginning to be depressing!

In addition to what I have dubbed the "chemo flu," yesterday morning was especially difficult because of my wrist. It is still tender and sore, reminding me that I am injured each time I move incorrectly or try to use my fingers without deliberate thought. While I knew that I was pushing the limits of Timmy's patience, and that he could start screaming at any moment, I just couldn't seem to get my body motivated to move. I managed to get moving and to Timmy before he morphed into a full blown meltdown, saving the boys from an unwelcome wake up call.

I was sitting in my rocking chair, watching Hamlet happily chase a ball around the living room floor while feeling especially sorry for myself. I don't throw pity parties often, but when I do, I usually make sure that they are spectacular! I was in the midst of a full blown wallowing session when I opened my email and read a message that immediately brought me out of my self-imposed darkness.

Somebody, I don't know who, sent me a gift card for Toys R Us. I was shocked by the generous gift and, although it was given anonymously, I want the giver to know how much it is appreciated. I remain completely overwhelmed by the loving gesture. It feels like I have been inundated with negativity and sadness lately. Receiving the anonymous gift was the lift that I needed to remind me that caring and wonderful people do exist. I consider myself truly blessed to have so many people care about me. 

We are putting the gift card towards the swing set we have been coveting and, thanks to my anonymous friend, it will be delivered in time for Timmy's birthday party.  Robby was so excited to learn that we are finally getting the swing set, something that he has been wanting for several years now. I know that Timmy will probably enjoy swinging as much as his big brother, but he just doesn't know it yet. 

So to whomever sent me the unexpected gift, I want to say thank you.  Not only for the present, but for caring and reminding me that life is wonderful. I respect your anonymity, but please know that I will think of you every time I swing with my boys. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Injured Reserve- again

This was my Mom's birthday weekend, and I was hoping that it would be as memorable and special as she.  I managed to find what I think was the perfect gift for her: a gnome bird bath. I knew that she was going to love it, and I couldn't wait to see her face when I gave it to her.  I'm typically not good at keeping secrets, but I managed to give her the gift without ruining it first. 

After meeting my mom and sister at our typical halfway point (a McDonald's parking lot), we decided to go to lunch. I was child free, so it didn't take much convincing for me to spend more time away from home! Other than the two weeks caring for my Dad, which hardly counts as carefree, I can't remember the last time I was able to enjoy an afternoon without at least one of my kids in tow. 

We decided to go to Glory Days in Frederick MD, mainly because the offerings in the area are extremely limited.  Our lunch was enjoyable, nothing stellar from a culinary perspective but it was nice to just sit and relax. Knowing that I had a long drive home, I visited the ladies room before leaving. As I was walking out of the restroom, my happy afternoon turned into a disaster.

A waitress, obviously in a hurry and not looking, came around the corner and plowed into me. I felt like a hockey player as I was body checked into the wall, only I didn't have the benefit of wearing protective pads. She was little, but she was moving so quickly that the momentum of her hit managed to move me several feet.

As I limped back to the table, I knew something was wrong. My Mom took one look at me and immediately knew that I had injured my wrist. It was swollen, tender to touch and painful to move. I didn't want to admit it, but eventually I couldn't deny the reality that I had been injured.

Our plans of meeting halfway were for futile because she ended up having to drive me home. (My sister drove behind us in her car so that my Mom would have a ride back home.) My wrist continued to swell during the drive, and by the time we pulled onto our street, I had resigned myself to needing an x-ray. 

My Mom and sister ended up babysitting the boys so that Scott could take me to the emergency room. After a few hours I returned home with my hand immobilized in a splint.  The x-rays revealed no obvious breaks, which is good news. I was diagnosed with a severe bone contusion with possible ligament and tendon issues, and I was provided with a referral for a hand/wrist specialist.  In the meantime, I am to keep my hand in the splint and my movements to a minimum.

Yet again my Mom ended up coming to my rescue. On a day that was supposed to honor and spoil her, she ended up driving down to Virginia and taking care of my boys. I definitely owe her a birthday do-over! In the meantime, I am going to visit the hand specialist and hope that everything heals quickly. I'm extremely frustrated that I am hurt, especially since I did absolutely nothing wrong! (Unlike my concussion, which is completely my fault.)