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, July 15, 2016

Swim and Bounce

In an attempt to escape the swampy hot temperatures, we spent the afternoon at the pool. Tiffany (my niece) and Robby jumped, splashed and played together seamlessly. There was none of the squabbling or fighting that habitually accompanies our pool visits with other friends. I really wish that my niece lived closer so that the pair could play more often!

While the big kids were fully immersed, Scott and I were in the baby pool with Hamlet. He had a great time splashing and playing in the waist high water. Accustomed to playing with me, our burgeoning water bug took full advantage of his Daddy being at the pool.

I assumed that nearly three hours of water fun would have tuckered out the kids. Apparently not this bunch!  They were still revved up and ready for more adventures after dinner. (I really do wish that I had their boundless energy.) Running on fumes, I begrudgingly agreed to take them to the trampoline park for quick bounce.

We were prepared for the trampoline park to be packed because of the heat outside. When heat advisories are issued urging you to stay indoors, indoor playgrounds tend to become crowded quickly. I was surprised when we arrived and there were only two cars in the parking lot. It turns out that we were the only ones there, and the kids had free reign of the facility.

Our "quick" bounce morphed into jumping until they closed down. Even though i was tired, I couldn't blame the kids for wanting to stay. Having a trampoline park to yourself instantly propels the jumping session into an epic adventure.

Robby and Tiffany jumped, bounced and played dodge ball for two hours.  I spent the time following Timmy, who was desperately trying to keep up with the big kids. Fueled on happy energy, my little toddler never stopped smiling or moving.

As the workers started to dim the lights we made our way to our car. Timmy fell asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot. From the looks on Robby and Tiffany's faces, I knew that they weren't going to last long. I felt victorious because I had finally managed to tire them out. As an added bonus, I logged 17,000 steps in the process.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Boot Camp Update

Today marks day 12 of my Boot Camp endeavor and, while I can't say that I enjoy the classes, I am surviving. The first week was rough. Every muscle in my body hurt and actively reminded me of my lack of fitness and strength. It would have been easy for me to quit, but I've kept plugging away. Now my painfully sore muscles have become only moderately ouchy and tight. I am going to call that progress!

The instructor is nice and obviously skilled in her craft, but she doesn't always provide direction for the exercises. She basically calls out an exercise name and the class begins the movements. I find myself watching the person next to me and attempt to mimic them. I have no idea if my form is correct, but since the instructor doesn't say anything and I'm sweating, I assume that I am close enough.

I am willing to push myself to muscle soreness, but I am not willing to physically hurt myself in my quest for strength. Some exercises I refuse to complete because of my difficulties with my prosthesis. In my opinion, putting my feet into bungee cords suspended from the ceiling invites injury. When the rest of the class is struggling with the straps, I fill the void with jumping jacks or squats.

I feel a little awkward and guilty not following along with everybody else. Part of me knows that I should probably try the straps without assuming that it would be painful or dangerous. Without direct instruction, I just don't feel safe or comfortable trying. Most exercises I will try to figure out on my own, but I am not limber or skilled enough to fumble through those where I am elevated off the ground.

I suppose my avoidance could be construed as my using my "amputee card" to get out of the undesirable activity. I am mildly ashamed, but I am still not going to try the straps. I guess instead of giving Boot Camp my all, I need to be honest and admit that I am giving it a lot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Evoking Pride?

Tiffany has decided to enter a cake into the County Fair kids decorating competition. She's been interested in cooking and baking for awhile, but this cake is her first foray into cake decorating. I started decorating when I was in high school and it is a hobby that I still enjoy, so when she asked me to help her I was ready for the challenge (and the mess).

After she showed me a sketch of her design plan, I knew we were going to have to run to the store for some supplies. While I have all of the decorating tips, colors and equipment, but I wasn't expecting to need a disco ball. Her cake should get points for originality!

While we were standing in line checking out with a disco ball, I was approached by a stranger. He politely asked if I was in the military. I smiled and automatically responded that I was not, and that I just had bad luck one day. Typically this appeases the inquisitive shoppers I encounter, but this guy wanted more information.

With Tiffany by my side, looking like a deer in the headlights and utterly confused as to why this stranger kept talking to her Aunt Peggy, I provided short and succinct responses. I kept hoping that this gentlemen would eventually get the clue that I didn't want to have a long conversation detailing my medical amputation history.  He failed to understand and continued to pepper me with questions and observations.

If this individual was concerned about a family or friend with limb loss and was seeking input or advice, I would have been happy to stop everything to have a full conversation. Soon into our encounter it became clear that this guy was not seeking help for anybody, but was rather trying to satiate his own curiosity. With my niece at my side, I politely ended the conversation by telling him that we needed to go and that it was nice to meet him. He finally took the hint and stepped to the side so that we could pass.  As we were walking by, he shouted "I'm proud of you."

Ugh! I absolutely detest when strangers tell me that I am making them "proud." It is utterly pathetic that expectations for amputees continue to be set so low that I can invoke awe and pride by simply walking into a craft store. I realize that he meant well by the accolade, but I find it insulting and condescending. 

I had to explain the encounter to Tiffany, who found the entire exchange odd. She has not had a lot of experience with others viewing my limb loss as an oddity, and the entire encounter left her baffled. In her eyes, I'm just fun Aunt Peggy who uses a prosthetic. It is nothing strange or unusual, and is certainly not worthy of stares or declarations of pride.  I love that this generation of our family is growing up with a wonderful new perspective of "normal."  

**On a separate note, yesterday was also Dress Like a Cow Day at Chick Fil A.  It has become a tradition for our family to participate by visiting all restaurants within a 20 mile radius.  Yesterday was no exception and this year we took our cow costumes to a new level.  We had a "mooovelous" time.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Resetting the Fall Clock

It has been awhile since I've fallen. Unfortunately, I now have to reset the countdown because yesterday I took a tumble. I wasn't running or doing anything daring. I was simply walking (or trying to walk) up the stairs outside. I was lugging four gallons of bubble soap up to the door when I lost my balance. Thankfully nothing is broken, and I only managed to bruise my hand and my pride. I hate the vulnerability that comes from falling.

Despite my not so graceful saunter up the stairs, yesterday was a good day. My niece Tiffany is down for the week, which is providing a much needed distraction for Robby. The pair play beautifully together, and the lack of drama which has been accompanying his recent play dates has been refreshing. It is nice to see two kids playing and compromising without escalating to a fight.

Robby isn't the only one enjoying Tiffany's visit. Timmy has been delighted with her company. He has been full of energy and busy trying to distract and impress her with his toys, tricks and skills. He absolutely adores her, and watching her patience while playing with him it is apparent that the feeling is mutual.

Today is going to be really fun for the kids. Between cooking class, dressing like a cow and hitting every Chick Fil A in a 20 mile radius in the quest for free food, and playing at the pool, we will be busy but happy. Today is just the beginning of our week of adventures and summer fun. I hope everybody is ready for what I have been planning!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Night at the Museum (with Daddy)

Saturday night Scott and Robby embarked on what has been described as an "epic and awesome adventure." I had secured tickets for the pair to spend the night inside the Air and Space Museum. Scott immediately put dibs on the experience when I showed him the tickets, claiming that it would be the perfect father-son activity. While part of me was bummed not to be going, I knew that he was right and that they would have a wonderful time together. I resigned myself to the sidelines and thoroughly enjoyed watching their excitement build through the preparations for their big museum adventure. 

By the time they were ready to leave Robby was giddy with excitement. He kept pacing around, staring at the clock while peppering me with questions about the itinerary. I decided that one final surprise was in order before they left and gave them a battery operated air mattress. Scott, not looking forward to camping out on the marble floors of the museum, was definitely more appreciative of the gesture.

Scott kept me apprised of their adventure via text messages and photos. From the smiles radiating through the camera, I could tell that they were having a great time. Robby called once, giggling and talking a mile a minute. He could barely keep his composure when he learned that he was going to be sleeping next to the Space Shuttle Discovery. "Really Momom, do you know how cool that is? This shuttle flew into space and now I'm going to be sleeping next to it. I mean, this is incredible!" 

 While Robby and Scott were camping out in the museum I must admit that I enjoyed a night of quasi-solitude. Once Timmy fell asleep I found myself in the unusual situation of being in an empty house. I was able to watch a movie, uninterrupted, on the "good" television. Needless to say, it is safe to say that every member of the family went to bed with a smile on their face. 

Fueling up for the big adventure!

He was able to sleep under the Shuttle!

He now has his very own space gloves.