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, December 29, 2017

One Last Adventure

My adventure for yesterday never panned out, so my idea has been put back into the pile of possibilities for another time.  Because of the bitter cold we opted to stay home and play games and the kids had as much fun as if we had gone somewhere. I bought a cake to turn game night into a party because, let's face it, everything is more fun with cake!

Today Robby, Timmy and I will head back to Virginia. It is hard to believe that our vacation week is coming to a close. My goodness it went quickly. Next week everybody will return to their normal school schedule, again filling my house with laments and complaints each morning.  I don't think I'm ready for reality!

Before we return to school, we have one New Year's Eve adventure planned.  Scott and I were comped a night at Great Wolf Lodge because of the malfunctioning pools on during our last visit. (A water park without pools was a bit of a let down, but props to the company for making it right!)  We decided to redeem our night on New Year's Eve, and we have a room big enough for all of the Cousin Crew.  

Usually the kids don't know the details of my adventures, but I had to let them into this one. They are absolutely ecstatic to be ringing in 2018 together at Great Wolf Lodge. I think it is going to be a fantastic start which is sure to be a wonderful year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

FeVR Gaming

Aunt Peggy managed to pull off another Cousin Crew Adventure! 

In spite of the bitter cold, we all bundled up (including Timmy) and headed to a local park to introduce Geocaching into the cousin's lives. They were ecstatic running through the park with my GPS in search of a hidden cache. When they managed to work together they found the hidden treasure.  Everybody contributed during the activity, except of course for Timmy who happily straggled behind so he didn't miss the excitement.

After we warmed up and tucked Timmy into bed for the night I took the Cousins on another adventure to FeVR Gaming, the new VR Gaming arcade in my Mom's area. I had no worries about the boys loving the experience but I had some doubts about how it would be received by my niece. She isn't a gamer and I was a tad concerned that she would quickly become bored. My worries were for naught and everybody was in awe of their individual virtual worlds.  

I thoroughly enjoyed watching them jump, spin and react to the stories unfolding within their realities. After thirty minutes I finally succumbed to my curiosity and agreed to enter the VR world. I only went through the tutorial session (which was free) but my goodness it was cool. I could have swatted virtual balloons all night long!  I can definitely see why VR is the newest craze, and I have no doubt that it is the wave of the future.  

Today it is going to be bitter cold again, so our adventures will have to be inside. Hmmm... I wonder what I'll come up with today. Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pennsylvania Trip

Greetings from Pennsylvania!

Yesterday morning I packed up the kids and headed to visit my Mom for a few days. Robby was begging to continue playing with his cousins, and lacking any good reason to stay in Virginia during break, we decided to head north. Because my niece and nephews go to their dad's house every weekend, the "Cousin Crew" can only reunite the week during school breaks. They like to make the most of every opportunity.

Last night the Crew stayed up late, giggling while watching television and gorging themselves on cake. Timmy tried to keep up with the activity but ended up succumbing to exhaustion by the time the sun was setting. It's hard trying to keep up with tweens when you are only three!

I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with them today, but I have a few ideas.  (I can't write about them because some little sleuths have started searching my blog for clues as to our adventures.) Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas Recap

Merry Christmas!

Putting Timmy to bed on Sunday night I wasn't confident that Santa was going to be a welcome visitor. When I encouraged my little guy to help put out cookies he frantically responded "no no no Santa. NO!" Each time I put the plate of cookies in front of the fireplace Timmy took them and tried to put them back in the kitchen.  While I hoped that his visceral reaction to Santa would lessen when he discovered the presents under the tree, part of me was worried that it would simply freak him out more.

Timmy woke up early (per his schedule not due to excitement) and was flabbergasted when he discovered a pile of toys in the living room.It turns out that presents and surprises were enough to forgive Santa for the home invasion. Or perhaps he decided to just ignore the source altogether since trains were involved. Either way, he was absolutely delighted and quietly played with his new Super Station until everybody else woke up.  I have to give him credit for the restraint he demonstrated by not tearing into all of the wrapped presents! (However his restraint expired in the morning, and as soon as he discovered the joys of tearing open wrapping paper he was a destructive tornado who was difficult to contain.)

Although he hasn't verbalized the information, it is quite obvious that Robby no longer believes in Santa. It saddened me that he no longer wanted to put out reindeer food, and he happily allowed Timmy to assume the greeting preparation responsibilities. I know that he is growing up and decided to not push the issue. He plays along with us enough to not spoil the magic for his little brother, which at this age is all I can expect.

Even though the bell no longer rings for Robby, we had a fantastic Christmas. All of the kids were delighted with their presents and cheerfully played and giggled throughout the morning. After our traditional breakfast at IHOP we came home to learn that we would be hosting five more for dinner. My Mom, my sister and all of the kids had decided to make the trek to visit. 

Our house was full of both commotion and laughter as the cousins played and celebrated throughout the day. Thankfully I always cook too much food, so we had more than enough for the extra visitors. I'm so glad that they decided to come down to spend the day with us. I know that driving five hours (round trip) on Christmas was a huge effort, but my goodness it was fun having a full house!

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Nutcracker

Last night Robby and I continued a tradition by becoming "fancy" and seeing The Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker. Each year I am surprised by Robby's reaction to the performance. At this age he prefers to spend his time in front of a computer game shooting robots, or learning about the intricacies of World War II battles. On the surface the ballet appears to be the opposite of his typical interests, yet  he loves it. 

Although I appreciated the performance, my joy comes from watching Robby's reaction. His eyes fill with awe as the dancers jump and twirl through the air. He is particularly fond of the contortionist type dancers, holding his breath with each move and enthusiastically applauding at every opportunity. He was so caught up in the moment that he let out a few "woot woots" after a particularly impressive strength demonstration by the dancers. 

Today will be spent baking cookies, wrapping gifts and finishing the holiday preparations. We aren't traveling this year, yet the list of things to do seems to be never ending.  Of course, most of the chaos at this point is self-inflicted simply because I enjoy baking holiday treats with the kids. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

How Did He Do That??

Last evening I kissed the boys goodnight and headed out to get my haircut. Leaving the house sans kids is so rare that simply being alone transforms the most mundane chores into a getaway adventure. Being able to listen to my own radio station has become a luxury.  And yes, it has occurred to me that my markers for excitement have been skewed by having kids. 

This morning Timmy waddled out of his room earlier than normal, tugging and pulling at his diaper. Thinking that he was in a rush to use the potty I quickly pulled off his pants and unfastened his nighttime diaper. As the heavy diaper fell to the floor, I simultaneously felt my hand splash with warm liquid as I heard what sounded like a water balloon splatter on the floor.  Everything below my knee was drenched (including my prosthesis which will hold onto the stink considerably longer than anything else.)

It took me a moment to realize what happened, and even longer to clean it up, but apparently Scott had put Timmy's diaper on inside out last night. The waterproof outer layer acted as a balloon, collecting a night's worth of urine waiting to drop. Scrubbing the floor, I kept trying to figure out how he managed to put it on inside out? It was definitely not the best way to start winter vacation.

I cleaned up Timmy and then moved my efforts to the floor. I still don't know how he managed to put the diaper on inside out. Talk about a special talent! Hopefully this morning's diaper snafu isn't an indication of how the rest of our holiday will unfold. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Last Day of School

Happy last day of school for 2017!  Scott and Robby have been counting down to today since the first day of school.  With nearly two weeks off for the holiday, I think they are both more excited about starting vacation than Christmas Day.

While Scott and Robby are enjoying their last day at school, Timmy and I will be running around trying to secure last minute gifts for teachers and assorted helpers. I blame traveling to San Francisco for my procrastination, but in reality I think I have just been lazy. Today I'll be paying the price, literally and figuratively.

After today our family will jump into full-blown festive chaos. I have some cleaning help coming today so that we have a clean slate, but I have no illusions that my house will remain presentable by the end of the holiday break. If the past is any indication, I'll be waving the white flag within four days.

The boys have been counting down to today but I think my holiday is January 3. the day everybody returns to school.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


One of the most frustrating things of navigating an autoimmune issue with a child is the uncertainty. We never quite know when a flair might occur and what symptoms will manifest. By most accounts Timmy appears physically healthy and strong, but those close to us realize that wellness is a fragile state dependent upon a myriad of factors. I wish I could wave a magic wand and fix all of his ailments.

I feel guilty feeling frustrated and worried about his health. Compared to many children, especially those we see at Children's Hospital, I know that we are extremely lucky. Still though, it is hard watching your little one struggle to feel well.  He has such a happy disposition and just wants to be silly and play. I hate seeing him knocked down by his own body reactions.On Sunday night Scott and I noticed some welts forming on Timmy's legs.

Yesterday morning his extremities were covered with hot, red and apparently itchy hives. His body was in overdrive, and my sweet little boy was an itch riddled mess. Knowing from experience that activity only worsens the reaction, I did my best to keep him quiet and comfortable throughout the day. Instead of playing outside or going to one of his toddler play centers, we spent a lot of time baking cookies and watching the Polar Express.

By the time the sun was setting his hives were lessening in severity. I'm hoping that his medication will continue to work magic throughout the night and that he will be less spotted in the morning. If I could take this struggle away from him, I would do it in a heartbeat. Since that isn't possible, I'm going to keep pushing and fighting on his behalf.

Monday, December 18, 2017


After a nearly five hour delay plane delay, I finally arrived home late Friday night. So much for my plans of coming home in the early evening so I could cuddle on the couch and watch Christmas cartoons with the boys. By the time I staggered into the door I was travel weary, annoyed by people and ready for bed. 

A solid night sleep rejuvenated my holiday spirit, which was a good thing because on Saturday we headed out on a family adventure.  The boys only knew that they needed to pack an overnight bag and were reminded to grab both coats and gloves but were unaware of our destination. I love our surprise little getaways!  

After getting settled into our DC hotel we bundled up and walked a few blocks down the street to the National Zoo, which was beautifully illuminated for the season. The boys were in awe of the colorful lighted decorations. Even the tree branches on the colonial trees were covered with beautiful little twinkle lights. If you ever end up in DC near Christmastime, you really should visit ZooLights.  

Thanks to a Groupon I snagged on Black Friday, we enjoyed unlimited train, carousel and sledding rides. Needless to say, my youngest engineer was quite fond of the choo choo train. He and I spent a lot of time riding the miniature train while Scott and Robby explored other sections of the zoo. 

Timmy's delight with the train must have been evident because the Conductor took note and invited him to sit in the front of the train. My little guy's smile shone almost as bright as the holiday lights, especially when he was encouraged to ring the bell on the train. He was so excited he was practically giddy.  

After the sun completely set and the cold began to increase we headed back to the hotel for the night. Timmy quickly fell asleep, no doubt dreaming of driving the train, and we curled into our beds and watched Elf on television. (I planned the adventure so I was the one who picked the movie.)  

Our little getaway was the perfect way to rekindle the holiday spirit after a brief hiatus.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Heading Home

Today I'm packing up and flying home. After a quick yet eventful trip across the country, I'm ready to see my boys and return to normal. I miss my kids, my husband, our kitties and our Christmas tree.  Traveling is a welcome reminder that my talents and abilities do extend beyond the my small little circle, but at the end of the day I'm a homebody.  

My meetings in San Francisco went well and the week was topped with an amazing holiday party.  True to my company's core values, the party was a dedicated fundraiser for two amazing nonprofits. Instead of just toasting the year's accomplishments, employees and friends were digging into their wallets to help amputees in developing countries. I felt a surge of pride being part of a company with such a strong philanthropic view.  

This morning I have time to grab a quick cup of coffee before I throw my stuff into a bag to head home. Tomorrow Scott and I have a small Christmas Adventure planned for the boys.  We are going to see the National Christmas tree and to walk through ZooLights at the National Zoo.  We reserved a hotel room in the city for the night, which is always a treat for the kids.  I know that they will have a blast, and I'm looking forward to some quality holiday-themed family time.  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nervous Energy

With the exception of continuing to battle frustrating ear issues, yesterday went beautifully. My presentations were well received and I feel a weight off of my shoulders with their success. I hate that I become so nervous before presenting, but at this point I'm not sure it is ever going to change. Instead of being frustrated with my reaction I'm going to start to embrace the nervous energy as a catalyst to do my best. I'm never going to stop being nervous before presenting, but I can at least try to put a positive spin on an otherwise negative emotion!

Today should be more relaxed in the office.  We are decorating for a holiday fundraiser which we are hosting tonight. I am going to channel my inner elf as we transform the manufacturing hub into a holiday wonderland.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Smooth Travel

Greetings from San Francisco.  

With the exception of the horrible traffic we encountered when Scott was trying to drop me off at the airport, my trip was both smooth and non-eventful. I breezed through security and arrived at the gate without issue. I thoroughly enjoy traveling when everything goes as planned!

Feeling festive I packed a few extra boxes of Christmas sugar cookies in my carry-on bag.  (I figured that I could keep Robby's Kindness Chain going by planting some seeds across the country.)  The airline attendant seemed frazzled when I checked in for my flight, so I offered her a smile and a bag of sparkly cookies. She graciously returned my kindness by bumping me up to first class. My intent was not to grease the wheels to get something in return but her kindness was greatly appreciated as I was able to relax during the long flight.

Today will be busy with meetings and party prep. Hopefully the good travel trend will continue throughout the rest of the trip. Wish me luck, it's going to be a long day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Travel Day

Today will be both long and chaotic. Last night going to bed I tried mentally preparing for the activities of today. Unfortunately I think I jinxed myself because my leg was sore and uncomfortable most of the night, keeping me from sleeping well. I tossed and turned much of the night, frustrated with the discomfort and fretting about the lack of sleep. It's a good thing I brewed a whole pot of coffee this morning, I have a feeling I'm going to need the boost.

After l drop off Robby at school Timmy and I will start driving north. We are meeting my Mom at our halfway point to exchange cars. She will be taking Hamlet to her house while I travel to San Francisco for meetings. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to him, but knowing that he will have fun with her and his cousins makes it a little easier. He will be both entertained and happy during his mini-Nana vacation. I have no doubt that his moments of missing me will be fleeting.

Robby and Scott will take me to the airport when school is over. Ready to go into bachelor mode, they are already planning their gas station dinners and fast food breakfasts. Years ago I would frantically cook meals for the pair in anticipation of my absence. Coming home to find greasy paper bags overflowing from the trash and my homemade meals still carefully labeled and tucked away in the refrigerator have cured my prepping compulsions. They are on their own for meals, and they will be fine.  They have no illusions of them eating any vegetables, but I am hopeful that the increased saturated fats will compensate for the lack of fiber intake.

I am looking forward to a non-eventful flight to California. Although flying isn't my favorite activity, I'm looking forward to a few hours of solitude on the plane. After taking care of sick kids for the past week, sitting still and binge watching movies for a few hours sounds like a vacation.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tranquil Snow

At the risk of jinxing our family, I am delighted to report that this morning everybody appears to be healthy. Robby's fever (finally) broke over the weekend, and he is begrudgingly returning to school today. Timmy is full of energy and has returned to his normal level of mischief. He no longer has a fever, and his appetite is returning. After an extremely long and frustrating week, I think our family has finally eradicated the pesky infections.  

The weather forecasters did not lead us astray because on Saturday we enjoyed the first snowfall of the season. Our neighborhood was blanketed in a few inches of beautiful fluffy snow. It was the perfect setting to hibernate inside and prepare for Christmas. Timmy and I spent the afternoon baking cookies and watching Christmas movies (The Polar Express again) while the snow steadily fell outside. The snowfall was breathtakingly beautiful, laying on the ground and all of the branches in our woods but not sticking to the roads. 

Our prelude to winter quickly melted away on Sunday, but we are all hoping that more will fall soon. There is something magical about snow before Christmas, probably because it is a rare occurrence in this region. Hopefully the boys will be feeling healthy and strong the next time we have the opportunity to sled because they were both disappointed that I wouldn't let them play outside on Saturday. (Robby failed to see the logic of my refusing his requests to play in the snow after being home sick from school all week.)

Although I'm hoping for snow before Christmas, I don't want any to fall during the next few days. Tomorrow I leave for California and I'm glad that the weather seems to be clear. It is a short trip, with my returning on Friday, and I would appreciate no weather complications. After I land and return home, Old Man Winter can return with a vengeance. Until then, I'm going to hope for clear skies to help with my travel anxiety.

Friday, December 08, 2017

First Snowfall

After a difficult few days for the boys everybody seems to be feeling better today.  Robby and Timmy both woke up full of energy and smiles, sights and sounds I have not seen or heard for almost a week. Now the battle begins to keep them both from overdoing it as they bask in their good health and rediscovered energy. (Reminding my kids that they need to take it easy is akin to talking to a brick wall about the weather, but I feel a maternal obligation to do it anyway.)

Even though Robby is feeling better he continues to have a low grade fever.  Scott and I have decided to keep him home again today with the hopes that a few solid days rest and some more antibiotics will help to kick this virus for good. I don't think it is fair to Robby or to his classmates and teacher to send him to school when he still has a fever.  I'm going to visit his school this afternoon and pick up some work for us to trudge through this weekend. Hopefully the homework drama keeps to a minimum. 

This has been a difficult week. Between work stress and sick kids, all of my holiday spirit has been zapped. I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can try to resurrect some cheer. The fact that we are supposed to get snow tonight will certainly help! It is so much easier to feel festive when we have our own winter wonderland falling outside.  (Assuming that we don't have to drive of course.) 

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Sick Koopa

I took one look at Robby yesterday and knew that we were destined to visit the doctor.  He has been battling a fever for nearly a week and has not been showing signs of improvement. Although he has only complained about his head hurting, I decided it was time to become a little more aggressive by seeking medical input. 

Packing him up for the doctor I was preparing myself for the condescending look I always sense from the doctor as a common cold is diagnosed. I hate that look! I always leave those appointments feeling oddly ashamed for bringing my child to the doctor for a simple ailment. I am not a mother who overreacts and is prone to panic, but I feel that the doctor judges me as doing both after those sick visits.

Willing to risk the condescension, I trusted my gut that something deeper was plaguing Robby. It turns out that my instincts were correct. Although he hasn't complained about his ear hurting, my poor little Koopa has suffered a ruptured ear drum in his bad ear. 

Robby is now on strong antibiotics and today I'll be working the phone to get him an appointment with his ear specialist. With his hearing issues I am not going to take any chances. While I'm saddened that my instincts were correct, I'm glad that I trusted my gut and took him to the doctor. I wish I had taken him earlier!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Elusive Dress

Next week I'm heading back to San Francisco for a few days of meetings and to attend the company holiday party. Since I work remote, it has been a long time since I've attended a company party and I'm feeling a bit out of my element. Wanting to cloak myself in confidence, I headed to Kohl's with a wallet full of Kohl's cash (from our Black Friday extravaganza) with the mission of finding a holiday dress that would make me feel attractive, confident and young.  

It didn't take long before I became underwhelmed by the options before me on the racks. Apparently holiday dresses have been replaced by long sparkly sweaters and leggings. I'm a 43 year old pudgy one-legged woman who has birthed two children. Trust me, there would be nothing festive about seeing this bum squeeze into leggings!

Skirts were non-existent in the store and the only dresses I could find were pencil cut, an incredibly unflattering design against my curves. It was becoming clear that my simple black dress was elusive. Unless I wanted to wear something covered with elves or snowmen, I was coming up empty. 

I shopped for more than an hour and went through every rack several times before waving the white flag. I admitted defeat and begrudgingly accepted the fact that my attractive, confident and young transformative holiday dress was going to remain an enigma. Instead of finding a garment to help me reconnect with my youth I accepted my fate as a middle aged mom and spent my Kohl's cash on a new mixer.  

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Cookie Fun

I am so happy to again have a little baker in the house. Every afternoon Timmy runs into the kitchen, grabs the mixing bowl and asks to bake cookies. With such enthusiasm and a smile that brightens my heart, I just can't say no!  Scott's students are lucky this year as they are the recipients of most of our creations. 

Robby was home sick yesterday as he continued to battle a nagging cold. He had a fever and a headache, both of which were quickly eliminated with Tylenol. Unfortunately as soon as the Tylenol wore off both returned, knocking him down until the next dose took effect. I don't think it is fair to him or to his teacher to send him to school when he is sick, even when the fever is eradicated by the medicine.

In between doses he felt fine and even ventured into the kitchen to help with our baking. (I only let him crack eggs because I didn't want the goodies contaminated.) I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed having both boys helping me in the kitchen! If Robby hadn't been fighting a cold, the moment would have been perfect.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Low Key Weekend

This weekend was relatively laid back. Neither Robby nor Timmy were feeling fantastic, so we avoided grandiose adventures and opted instead to play at home. They weren't outright sick but were battling the sniffles and feeling blah. 

Instead of going to local community events we worked to turn our home into a winter wonderland.  Robby decorated the house and watched Christmas movies on the couch. Timmy and I baked cookies (one of his new favorite activities) and watched the Polar Express (numerous times). When the boys were busy playing I managed to cut and bake the pieces for our gingerbread train (minus cinnamon). 

It was nice to just relax and hang out with the kids. I wish that they were feeling a little stronger, but I am thankful that they weren't sick enough to have to stay in bed. Sometimes we all just need a low key weekend to rejuvenate, which is especially true when our lives are so hectic. 

Today the work week chaos resumes. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Toilet Troubles

My day took an unexpected turn as I found myself both infuriated with and distracted by a broken toilet. I discovered that the toilet in the bedroom wasn't flushing properly and quickly found myself obsessed with fixing it. Instead of finishing some reports and laundry I scoured the internet for YouTube plumbing videos.  By mid afternoon Timmy and I were walking through the aisles of Lowe's in search of a toilet auger.

I have experience snaking showers and sinks, but I have never tried my skills on a toilet. With a brand new (and pricey) toilet auger in hand, I turned Polar Express on the television for Timmy and set out on my mission.  After a few minutes of splashing in the cold toilet water I realized that the task was easier on YouTube.  

It took me considerably longer than I anticipated, but my persistence paid off.  By the time Timmy was watching the young lad return from his North Pole adventure (at the end of the movie) I had finally positioned the snake correctly within the bowl.  I was soaking wet and my hands and wrists hurt (neither of which should happen if you snake correctly), but I had finally dislodged the obstruction.  While I didn't dare examine the clog culprit, I glanced what appeared to be part of a diaper twisted into the snake coils.  

Snaking a toilet is a disgusting job, but I felt a surge of satisfaction when the first flush was strong and complete. I saved a lot of money by doing it myself, and I learned a new skill.  It definitely isn't my favorite activity, but I am happy to know that I was able to do it.  Hopefully it won't take me two hours next time.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Not a Good Mom

I usually do not experience phantom pain during the day.  While many of my friends suffer constantly, it has always been an issue that occasionally plagued me at night. Apparently my phantom foot failed to recognize that the sun was shining, because yesterday I was hurting all day long. By the time mid afternoon arrived I was miserable and frustrated dealing with the issues from arising from a foot that is no longer there. Talk about infuriating!

I have huge respect and empathy from those who battle phantom pain daily. I honestly don't know how people function and live a normal life under those circumstances. Because I was frustrated and in pain, I know that I wasn't the best Mom to my boys. I found myself both irritated and annoyed at little things. Normally I would have just rolled with the punches, but yesterday every little thing felt like it was pushing me to the limits. My little Timmy just wanted to play and bake cookies where I just wanted to curl up on the couch and be left alone. 

I have no idea what caused this flare-up, which is one of the aggravations of being an amputee. I never really know when I am going to wake up in pain, whether it be phantom or from physical limb issues. The uncertainty is one of the difficult things for me to accept about being an amputee. 

I felt horrible for my grumpy affect because I know that the kids did nothing to deserve my demeanor. By the time the sun set the pain slowly started to fade. I slept well through the night, and I'm hoping that today I am a better Mom. My boys certainly deserve better from me!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Phantom Pain

I am frequently asked about phantom pain. I am incredibly lucky because I don't suffer nearly as intensely as many of my friends, but when it occurs I am miserable. The past few days the not-so-phantom pain has made an unwelcome visit in my life. When it happens I am left with little recourse but to try to ride it out while keeping my own misery in check. It isn't always an easy task!

What does it feel like? Phantom pain is an individual experience and people feel and decipher the sensations differently. For me it feels as if somebody is pulling my toenail out with pliers while twisting counterclockwise. At the same time my ankle feels like it is being hit with a hammer while electricity is zapping the bottom of my foot. The pain intensifies at night, making sleep elusive. Of course, being sleep deprived only exacerbates the cycle.

Massage and a heating pad sometimes provides relief. I have also found that lying on my stomach with my short leg bent and tucked up against me as high as possible helps to alleviate the electric shocks. Other than those two hacks, I am forced to simply wait until the pain begins to wane.  

Last night my phantom pain was miserable.  I was tossing and turning much of the night, desperate to break the cycle. I keep reminding myself that I'm lucky, which is a difficult sell when you are dealing with a bout of pain.  Hopefully tonight will be different, and my leg will return to normal. In the meantime, I'm hoping Timmy is happy with a lot of Polar Express on the television today because Momom is really tired.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Reality Stinks

I'm not going to lie or sugar coat anything. Yesterday was difficult trying to get back into a school/work routine.  Robby complained incessantly about being roused from bed and lamented having to go to school. In all fairness I did glean a tinge of satisfaction pulling off his covers and flipping on the lights when I remembered all of the mornings he woke me up early as a young tyke. Apparently my singing the "Good Morning" song both loudly and enthusiastically was annoying instead of motivating.  Oh well, I tried.

Timmy was upset that both Scott and his brother were gone. He had no qualms about voicing his dissatisfaction with being left with only me for a companion. Unfortunately all of the toddler play areas are closed on Mondays (bad planning if you ask me) so he had no choice but to spend his time with me. I tried not to take his disappointment personally.

Between work and entertaining Timmy, I was constantly busy juggling between tasks and projects. This back to reality thing is the pits! I want to go back on Thanksgiving vacation.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Back to Reality

After a fantastic week of family fun and relaxation, this morning I am readying to face real life again. I was sad to leave my Mom's house on Saturday. I always have a wonderful time visiting with her, and I adore watching the special bond that she has with each of my boys.  It is always hard saying goodbye and leaving, but it is also nice to be home.

We were in Pennsylvania for six days, but we managed to squeeze a lot of adventures into our time. Robby was able to spend a lot of time with his cousins, filling the house with squeals of laughter and excited chatter. Timmy tried to join the Cousin Crew whenever possible, but he was just as content playing with his trains and my Mom. Thursday we enjoyed a full house as extended family converged at my Mom's for an energetic afternoon of eating and talking. While I don't get to see my cousins often, it is always wonderful when we are reunited.

Thursday night Scott, Robby, my niece Tiffany and I braved the crowds and went shopping. Robby and Tiffany were particularly excited by the energy of the store and the overwhelming deals in every aisle. Scott assumed his traditional role as line and merchandise holder. After so many years he doesn't even ask; he simply walks to the back of the meandering check out line as soon as we arrive and holds our place. We drop off our goodies and he moves them through the line until we reached check out. This year he was standing in the line for almost 90 minutes, allowing us ample time to scour the store for everything on our list.  We planned, we shopped and we conquered!

Friday afternoon Scott and Robby packed up and headed out on a father/ son adventure. Robby was thrilled to be attending his first rock concert and Scott was as proud as a peacock to be the one taking him. They had third row tickets to see Night Ranger in a town about two hours from my Mom's house. (Because we didn't want Scott driving late at night on unfamiliar roads we booked a hotel room for the pair.) 

At about 10:30 on Friday night my cell phone rang. I was startled by the late night call but immediately picked up when I realized it was Scott's number. As soon as I said "hello" Robby started talking. He was obviously excited and it took me a few moments to understand what he was trying to convey. The guitar player for Night Ranger (Brad Gillis) pointed to Robby during the concert and motioned for him to approach the stage where he was given the guitar pick that was being used. My little rock and roller was absolutely over the moon with this honor.

I'm honestly not sure who was more excited about receiving the guitar pick, Scott or Robby. Scott is still beaming when he talks about the concert and becomes just as giddy when recounting the adventure. I know that the two of them shared an experience that they will both remember fondly for a lifetime, and Robby is now definitely a lifelong Night Ranger fan. Thinking about the memories that were created makes my heart happy. After the concert goers arrived at my Mom's on Saturday we packed up to head back to Virginia, stopping first to cut down a Christmas tree. I was excited to revisit the farm that I used to go to as a child and the experience was just as I remembered. We selected a beautiful tree and Robby insisted on helping to cut it down despite his broken knuckle.
Copying his big brother, Timmy dove under a tree next to him and stayed in that position until the tree was cut and his brother stood up.

I spent Saturday night putting the lights on the tree and setting up the train. Sunday was spent doing laundry, finishing some paperwork and getting caught up around the house.  Timmy was low maintenance because he was enthralled and fully entertained by the train under the fully illuminated Christmas tree.  

After the fun adventures of the past few days, returning to reality is a bit of a jolt.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. Our entire family converges at my Mom's house, which has been a tradition for nearly 25 years. Helping my Mom prep and cook is another tradition, as is the last minute scurrying to stash and hide everything before the "company" arrives.

I love my cousins and although I don't get to see them often, it is always wonderful when we are together.  Soon her house will be filled with both laughter of adults and adults, the air will smell like a mixture of turkey and potatoes and her floor will be strewn with ad circulars as well all work on our plan of attack for Black Friday shopping. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Plan B Adventure

Well, our pre-Thanksgiving adventure, which I had been meticulously planning for months, was sidelined. Yesterday morning Robby woke up complaining of a sore throat. As soon as he vomited I decided to it was time to call time of death on our hotel adventure.  I am grateful that the Gaylord took mercy on me and refunded my nonrefundable deposit. Thank you Gaylord of National Harbor!

By mid morning Robby began to feel better. Although he wasn't recovered enough to resume my planned adventure, I decided to switch into plan B. I found an ice house, bought ten pounds of dry ice and let the kids freeze and smash stuff all afternoon.

From grapes and tomatoes to paper towels and eggs, the Cousin Crew froze everything and anything in sight. They were entertained with the dry ice all day and into the evening. My Mom's back porch looks like a grocery store imploded with defrosted food remnants splattered everywhere. 

In the evening we decided to pack up the Cousin Crew (Timmy included) to see Santa. With the support of his big cousins, Timmy tolerated sitting close to the big guy. He refused to speak to him and buried his head into my niece's shoulder whenever Santa looked in his direction, but we managed to snap a great picture of all the cousins together. 

After visiting Santa the big kids went to paint pottery (a favorite activity at the mall) while I took Timmy to Build-A-Bear. We finished the kids changed into their matching pajamas and played  a rousing game of Truth or Dare for Kids. While my original adventure was put on the back burner, the kids still had a fantastic day together. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Adventure Time

Thanksgiving week ranks among one of my favorites. Per tradition, the kids and I arrived at my Mom's yesterday for a week of preparation and fun. The "Cousin Crew" were ecstatic to be reunited. I love watching them all play and laugh together!

Today I am taking the Cousins on a pre-holiday adventure. None of them know it, but as soon as they eat breakfast I'm piling them into the car and we are going to National Harbor. My niece has been wanting to see ICE, an interactive ice sculpture exhibit, and today seems like the perfect day to check it off her list. 

There is more to the surprise, but out of fear that my little technology enabled niece and nephews read the blog this morning for clues, I'll withhold the information.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Polar Express!!

We had an amazing family weekend adventure. Both boys were well behaved, healthy and happy enjoying the time together.  I made a special effort to ensure that we were participating in at least one activity tailored to each kid in the hopes of making everybody happy. I think I succeeded!

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the Baltimore Aquarium. Robby loves the aquarium and is particularly fond of Calypso, the amputee sea turtle. The only time Timmy has been to the aquarium was during infancy, so this was his first true exposure to Robby's wonderland. He was absolutely mesmerized. I suspect that we will be putting our Family Membership to heavy use throughout the coming year. 

Saturday night we stayed in the city. Staying in a hotel is always a treat, especially when you are a kid. Both boys were excited about our big city sleepover and were well behaved in the hotel room. (I'm sure our neighbors appreciated their efforts.) 

Sunday morning we ate breakfast and returned to the Aquarium for a few hours before heading to the Polar Express. We spent the morning visiting all of the turtles and fish in the Australia exhibit. Timmy seemed particularly intrigued by the dragon lizards flanking the aquarium tanks. I was quick to remind everybody that we were not welcoming a reptile into our family!

Soon it was time for us to head to the train station. Although we had been talking about riding the Polar Express, I don't think Timmy comprehended the activity until he saw the trains. As soon as he approached the impressive steam engines his excitement became palpable and contagious. 

Timmy was engrossed throughout the Polar Express adventure. He was particularly delighted with receiving his own "golden ticket" and having it punched by the Conductor. He smiled from ear-to-ear throughout the "Hot Chocolate" dance and giggled when the Hobo ran through the train car. From his perspective, the entire train experience was simply magical.

Except for Santa. While he embraced every part of the experience, he melted down when he spotted Santa at the train station. He threw himself on the ground, turning his back to the Jolly Red Elf, and began to scream.

Unfortunately train stations are not particularly clean and his clean and specially ordered Polar Express shirt was covered with grease and dirt for the duration.  Sigh. Oh well. He was clean in the morning, and that should count for something.

Despite the intrusion of Santa on our train, we had a fantastic time on the Polar Express. Robby even embraced the spirit of the story and happily played along with the fun. What a great way for us to kick off the holiday season!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Adventure

I have been looking forward to this weekend for months. I'm so excited that the weekend circled in red is finally here! I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve, just giddy with anticipation and excitement. Only this time I am not expecting toys; instead I'm looking forward to an epic family adventure with all my boys.

It has been a long time since our family went on an adventure. With our Pumpkinville outing sidelined by a car accident a few weeks ago, we are long overdue for some family fun time.  Thankfully Momom did some research and planning in the summer, and we have an awesome adventure planned for this weekend.  

Tomorrow we are packing up and heading to Baltimore.  Robby is excited about going to the aquarium (and The Cheesecake Factory.)  I know that Timmy will be amazed by the beautiful and unusual fish swimming all around him. He is at an age where everything is magical and I can't wait to see his reactions as he experiences the aquarium for the first time.  

While at the aquarium we are going to see the 4-D version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Robby and I experienced a 4-D movie a few years ago, and I have to admit it was the coolest movie experience of my life. I'm looking forward to everybody's reaction to being fully immersed in the show. Hopefully Timmy will be enthralled and not terrified.

We're staying overnight in Baltimore because Sunday morning we have tickets to the North Pole (Well, as Robby points out we aren't really going to the North Pole but we are pretending because it is more fun.) While the destination may be pretend, the fact that we are going on the Polar Express is an experience that is sure to impress.  With Timmy's enthusiasm for the movie (it is streaming non-stop in our living room) I can't wait to see his face when we board the train and the movie comes to life before his eyes.  

Stay tuned for photos of our pre-Thanksgiving Family Adventure!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Removing the Individual Mandate

I have reached the point of political saturation, but when an issue arises that would be detrimental to the limb loss community, taking a break is not an option.  The Senate has slipped a change to healthcare into the tax bill. If passed, the individual mandate would be eliminated from the Affordable Care Act.

The CBO has already rated the implications of removing the individual mandate.  Individuals, usually those who are healthy and young, will forgo health coverage to save money. Removing the low risk individuals from the insurance pools causes a drastic shift and increases the insurance risk. The CBO estimates that premiums will rise another 10% over the next 10 years if the individual mandate is removed. An estimated 13 million people will join the ranks of the uninsured.

I am among the first to agree that the Affordable Care Act is flawed. The premiums are outrageously expensive, and people are struggling to pay for purely mediocre coverage. But I also feel that it not appropriate to slip a change into a tax bill.  The public deserves fair and transparent debates on all issues related to our health. Our healthcare and access to insurance is simply too important to shield transparency.

Late last night Dave and I recorded a podcast dissecting the implications of removing the individual mandate on the limb loss community.  Please listen, and act if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Broken Knuckle

Robby has been proud of the fact that he has never broken a bone.  While his cousins and friends have all sported casts, his bones have remained intact. Unfortunately his eleven year no broken bone streak has come to a screeching halt. Monday night he broke his knuckle.

What my little Koopa lacks in athletic prowess he makes up for with wit and enthusiasm. Sports has never been his forte. Even as a toddler he was studious instead of adventurous. He isn't out of shape, but he just doesn't particularly enjoy sports. In an effort to encourage socialization and out of a desire to broaden his horizons, I signed him up for an after school class at a local gym. The class is geared for tweens who "spend more time gaming than they do playing outside." 

The non-competitive gym class transforms the video games that the kids love into physical activities and Robby loves every moment. He looks forward to going to the gym twice a week to reenact games and to play with his new friends. He comes out of the gym covered with sweat and grinning from ear-to-ear. I have to admit, I'm surprised (and delighted) that he has taken to it so strongly. 

When he came out of the gym on Monday I immediately knew that something was wrong. He was grimacing instead of smiling and holding his hand in an awkward position. He was passing a medicine ball to a teammate when intercepted and thrown back to him. Instead of hitting his hands the weighted ball slammed into his finger tips on his right hand. His fingers were swollen and starting to turn purple.

Assuming that his fingers were just stubbed, we iced his hand and gave him some Tylenol. He complained about the pain, but in all honesty we didn't heavily weight his lamenting. He doesn't have a lot of experience with injuries, so Scott and I just figured that he was unfamiliar with the pain severity scale. 

Dismissing his complaints has definitely removed us from contention for parents of the year! Yesterday morning his hand was purple and his knuckle was deformed. I packed him up and took him to Urgent Care for an x-ray. It turns out that his Mom diagnosed "stubbed finger" was actually a completely broken knuckle. He is in a splint for at least four weeks and today we have an appointment with a hand specialist.  

Robby is still hurting and is upset that he has to wear a splint. He is worried about not being able to work on his art and is fretting over how he is going to wipe his bum. (Apparently the fact that he also writes with the hand is completely inconsequential and irrelevant.) Please send him good thoughts for a quick recovery!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nighttime Stirrings

Despite the occasional uninvited slithering intruder and the destructive falling nuts, we love our little house in the woods. After stressful days of dealing with people and traffic, we enjoy hibernating from the world. Although we have experienced frustrations with some neighbors, we have always felt safe in our home.  Yesterday my false sense of security was shattered.

Sunday night the home behind us was burglarized. Two individuals broke a window and ransacked the living quarters while the family was sleeping upstairs. The brazen action of robbing a home while occupied is difficult to fathom. The family, which includes small children, were incredibly lucky that they were not physically harmed by the intruders. I cannot even imagine the horror they experienced when they woke to discover the violation that occurred overnight. 

The police came to our house last night to inform us about the break in and to see if we had seen anything unusual. We were encouraged to keep our doors locked and our window shades drawn until the burglars are apprehended. Sitting in the living room last night I felt incredibly vulnerable and scared. Suddenly the tranquility and quiet that we had previously enjoyed feels like a lure for danger. I resent feeling scared in my own home!

While trying to sleep last night I was astounded by all of the suspicious sounding noises that naturally occur in and around our house. Between the nocturnal parties hosted by our wildlife friends and the wind, our leaves were constantly rattling outside. The cats apparently transform our hallway into a feline sized track when we turn out the lights for the night. They took turns running laps, vaulting over toys like Olympians clearing hurdles.

Scott's snoring sounds like somebody trying to turn a doorknob.  Timmy's nightlight aquarium sounds like somebody tapping on glass. Robby whispers in his sleep.

Apparently the saying "not a creature was stirring" does not apply to our family.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Slowing Down

This weekend was quiet and calm, which was precisely what I needed to fully recover from the persistent ear infections. I am starting this week feeling better and stronger than I have in over a month. My ear is healed and my body is recovering from the strong antibiotics that were needed to knock out the infections. For the first time in a long time, I feel like myself again.

With the exception of running a few errands, we spent the weekend at home. The wood stove was going nonstop, keeping the living room toasty warm. We streamed Polar Express (seemingly nonstop) while Timmy happily played with his trains and army men. Robby worked on assorted art projects and played computer games. Scott watched movies and football games while I was able to get some work done, relax and take a few much needed naps.  

Even though I have a mountain of housework I only made a minimal effort to maintain. Typically my relaxation efforts are thwarted by my worrying and fretting about everything that I should be doing. For some reason, this weekend my self-imposed guilt was not an issue. I was able to relax with the boys and never gave a thought to using my time for more productive purposes. 

It isn't easy for me to slow down, but I'm glad that I spent the weekend just lounging and relaxing. The next few weeks are going to be busy and this was probably my last opportunity to completely unwind. Soon we will be completely in holiday mode, and our schedule will become seasonally chaotic. At least now I'm starting the chaos season feeling up to par and ready for the challenge.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Walking Day Celebration

Scott and I are not big on anniversary celebrations. Typically our wedding anniversary is acknowledged with a hug and nice dinner at home, but never with presents or grandiose displays. It has just never been important to either of us to make a big deal out of the day we exchanged vows. It isn't that our wedding isn't a special memory, but setting yearly expectations for remembering the occasion has never been our style.

While we may downplay our wedding anniversary, there is one occasion that we both opt to celebrate each year because this date changed both of our lives in a more profound way than simply our exchanging vows. On November 11, 2013, I took my first steps as an amputee. It was an event that redefined our lives and marked the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter of our lives.

It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years since I took those first tentative steps. I remember the day with such clarity that it feels like it could have happened last week. I felt an overwhelming pressure that the prosthetic fitting had to be successful. I had fought so hard, and endured so much, that the possibility of another obstacle felt insurmountable. Slipping into the socket I remember hoping and wishing that the leg would fit and that I would be able to walk.

The first steps felt foreign, but I was encouraged by both Scott and Elliot (my prosthetist) to continue.  Within minutes I was tooling around the office without crutches. It was liberating to have my arms untethered from the metal poles that had been my mobility for the past five years. Looking at the video it is obvious that my gait was awkward, but at the time I felt like I was strutting on a runway.

Tomorrow Scott and I will celebrate my Walking Day. We will watch the video and reminisce about our journey. I may even break my diet and indulge in a celebratory cupcake.  After all, it is my Walking Day!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Icky again

I really should know better than to make family plans. Yesterday we intended to carry on our tradition by celebrating my Dad's birthday with dinner at Chili's.  Timmy woke up coughing and with a fever, sidelining our dinner plans. So much for tradition!

Instead of going out to eat we opted for leftovers at home. It turns out that I was okay staying home and forgoing a celebration. I don't know, but I'm beginning to feel that maybe it is time for some new traditions. Perhaps enough time has passed and I no longer need to plan to honor my Dad on special occasions. Changing our plans did not bother me as much as I anticipated, but maybe that is because I was extraordinarily busy taking care of a sick and persnickety toddler.

Timmy felt icky all day. He wasn't sick enough to stay still, but was uncomfortable enough to be irritable and miserable. He tried to play but quickly became frustrated. I spent the majority of my day consoling and distracting. I'm hoping that he is feeling better today; I hate seeing him feeling bad.

I always worry when I hear the all-too-familiar cough coming from Timmy's bedroom. He was so sick last winter and I worry that his autoimmune issues are kicking up. I just want him to be as healthy as he is mischievous. Unfortunately he just isn't as physically strong as he projects and is quickly knocked down by relatively mundane viruses. Hopefully this time he is strong enough to kick this cold out of his system for good!  

In the meantime I'll be making more chicken soup and battening down the hatches for another difficult day. I am in "prepare for the worst and hope for the best" mode. His beloved trains are arranged, Polar Express is geared up and all of his comfort toys are within reach. I'm hoping that he is feeling better and won't be struggling today, but if he is, I'll be ready to cuddle and love on him until he is stronger. I'll do my best to not take his grumpy demeanor personally. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Wave of Grief

Today is my Dad's birthday. The day feels uncomfortable because I'm still not sure how I am supposed to act or think. If my Dad were still living, he would be probably be in Texas with his wife. I would call and text him to wish him a Happy Birthday but that is typically as far as the celebration extended. Logically I don't think I should miss my Dad any more or any less today because I wouldn't traditionally be spending a lot of time with him to celebrate his birthday. Yet the fact that I can't call him on his special day, even if it was usually only a short conversation, reminds me of his absence.  

I've tried to fight the emotions, but it is probably healthier if I just surrender to the fact that I miss my Dad today. I wish that I could call him and sing Happy Birthday. I wish that I could text him photos of the boys so that he could see their adventures as they grow and learn. I wish that I could talk to him about my professional crossroads and seek his guidance. I wish I could hear him laugh one more time. Today my wishes are hurting more than normal, and I blame it on the date on the calendar.  

I'm going to do my best to stay busy. I really don't want to break down in front of Timmy, and I don't know that crying will help me feel better. Grief wafts and wanes, and today hurts a little more than normal. I have learned that today I just need to hold on and ride the wave of emotions. 

It has become a tradition for our little family to eat at Chili's on my Dad's birthday. He frequently took Robby there when he lived in the area, and he developed a strong association between Candy Papaw and the restaurant. When Scott comes home from work we will go out to eat, share stories about my Dad and toast to a life well lived and deeply missed. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Rolling the Dice

Scott and I rolled the dice by not adding rental coverage to our car insurance policy. We figured that we hadn't been in an accident in years, and that if we needed a rental car we would simply pay out of pocket. We figured it out and we are still financially ahead by refusing the coverage, but that fact is doing little to take the sting out of the bill for the rental car. At this point I just want our SUV to be repaired so I can put the accident completely behind us. Driving a rental is a daily reminder that everything has not yet returned to normal.

Yesterday morning I dropped Robby at school, and Timmy and I headed to Fairfax for an appointment. Everything was going well and despite missing the HOV plates from the SUV, I was making great time. All of a sudden the dash started to light up and alarms started to ding. Having an auto malfunction in a car in which you are familiar is upsetting at best. When it happens in a vehicle which still feels foreign, it is nothing short of frightening.  After determining that I was being alerted to a low pressure in a back tire, I slowed my speed and opted to monitor the situation. 

Apparently that was a mistake. The tire pressure began to lower quicker than I anticipated. Within minutes nearly all of the air had been leaked and I was forced to pull over on the side of RT 66, a congested thoroughfare in the metro DC area.  I am proud of my calm demeanor as I quickly called AAA to request roadside assistance. After I called for help, my panic began to set.

I can easily count the number of friends whose journey to limb loss started by being stranded on the side of an interstate. I knew enough to stay in the car until help arrived, but the wait felt like it took an eternity. The cars were whizzing by, shaking the car as they passed. Timmy, frightened by the sounds and upset by the fact that we were no longer moving, began to fret and cry. I did my best to soothe him by passing back lollipops and singing songs.  

Even though it felt like much longer, AAA arrived fairly quickly. The tire was changed and I was escorted back to the rental agency. It was at the counter that I my roadside malfunction turned into a double whammy of insults. I was informed that I am obligated to pay for a new tire for the rental car. Apparently it was spelled out in the minuscule print of the contract that I  signed when I secured the rental.

I'm frustrated, but I don't think I have any recourse. We will have to pay for a new tire and chalk this up to another lesson learned.  This minor accident is quickly becoming a major expense. 

Monday, November 06, 2017

No Pant Weekend

Another week is starting with news of a mass shooting. Each time I hear of another incident, my heart breaks. I am so fearful about the future that lies ahead for my boys. Our society has to get a handle on all of this raw emotion and the all too commonplace action of violence. When does it stop?

After each shooting I console myself with the affirmation that now things will finally begin to change. I declare that this will be the last time so many people needlessly die simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am coming to accept that I am only placating myself, and that change is not imminent. Because I don't know what to do to spark a societal change, I'm just going to continue hugging my boys a little tighter and trying to make the world a little better each day.  

This weekend was relaxing and calm. The weather was dreary so we weren't able to play outside. Instead Timmy entertained himself playing with his trains with The Polar Express playing on a loop on our living room television. Robby played video games with friends (via internet) and Scott watched sports. As I predicted, neither Scott or Robby felt compelled to put on pants until last night when they went out for a "Bro dinner." 

My ear still hurts but the pain is lessening. I'm worried because my current course of antibiotics will be over soon, and I'm worried the infection has not been eradicated. I suspect that I am in for a recurrence and another round of medicine, and I'm not thrilled about either! 

At this point I just want to be healthy. This ear infection has been going on for over a month now, and I'm done with it! Hopefully I'm wrong and the final few days of antibiotics will work magic, completely annihilating this pesky infection. Fingers crossed!

Friday, November 03, 2017


Slowly but surely my ear is beginning to heal. The pain is nagging but the intensity has definitely diminished over the past few days. I'm tired of feeling ill and run down and I'm antsy to feel energetic and happy again. Hopefully this weekend will bring continued healing and I'll be better by the beginning of the week. After nearly a month, I am completely over this ear infection!

Other than Trunk or Treat on Sunday (rescheduled from last weekend due to the weather) we don't have a lot of plans for the weekend. I'm sure that I'll fill the time, but right now a few days with nothing on the schedule and no obligations feels like a vacation. If only I could convince the boys that it would be fun to stay home and watch cartoons all day.  Robby could probably be convinced to stay home (if we allowed him to play on the computer) but Timmy would be a much harder sell.  He is Mr. Activity and full of energy. I'm sure I'll find something to keep him occupied and to thwart his destructive boredom.

Robby's schedule keeps us so busy that he is happy to lounge and relax all weekend. If we didn't insist he would probably forgo wearing pants from Friday evening until Monday morning. He has gone from not being involved in many extracurricular activities to having a full calendar. We have talked about cutting back but he thoroughly enjoys everything so much I hate to force him to choose. So for now I'll just resign to being a chauffeur in the evenings. I suppose one benefit of being forced to drive a rental this week lies in the miles that were not logged on my car.  

I am not looking for any great adventures. Instead I'm hoping for a weekend without an accident, and with improved health. The absence of drama and the lack of pain would be wonderful!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Ear Frustrations

This ear infection is really starting to wear me down. I am not feeling as bad as I did on Monday, but the nagging pain and infection is starting to take a toll on my energy and mood. I am trying to be patient with myself, to allow myself an opportunity to fully heal and recover.  Patience with myself has never been a strength. 

Yesterday I struggled to keep up with Timmy, who was a bundle of energy. I am frustrated that I am not completely able to enjoy our playtime. I keep waiting for my ear to feel better, but the improvement is so incremental that it is infuriating.  Instead of happily playing with my little guy I found myself looking at the clock, waiting for Scott to come home so I could take a break. 

Today will be another day of taking it easy, taking my medication and drinking a lot of fluids. Hopefully another day of rest will help knock this infection out of my ear for good.  I'm tired of feeling sick!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Halloween Fun!

Despite his aversion to costumes, Timmy threw himself into the Halloween spirit. He initially resisted putting on his puppy dog costume, but as soon as he saw his brother and daddy changing, he quickly followed suit.  Sometimes peer pressure works to a parent's advantage!  He will do just about anything if he thinks his brother is participating. Robby still doesn't realize the influence he holds over his little brother. Heaven help us when he figures it out.

Since Scott and Robby always traverse the neighborhood on the scooter to cover more ground, they decided to continue the tradition of dressing in coordinating costumes. The pair dressed as Plague Doctors (Robby's choice.) Bundled up with a long cloak and gloves, they were prepared for the cool air as they scooted through the streets. Timmy and I went as a puppy dog and the dog walker. (Last night was the one occasion where I didn't catch scowls for walking my toddler on a leash.) I must admit that he was perhaps the cutest little puppy I've ever seen.

Timmy had a unique spin on Trick-or-Treating. It started with choosing the pumpkin basket. He was insistent that he take the pumpkin filled with play-do, which was supposed to be put outside in case we received trick-or-treaters. Eager to get moving, we decided to let him take the play-do pumpkin and swapped out lollipops for our giveaway. After posing for pictures, Scott and Robby hopped onto the scooter and took off in search of a big candy score.  Timmy sat in his wagon and was content to be pulled through the neighborhood.

With a pumpkin full of treat sized play-do containers, he happily rang each door bell and patiently waited for it to be answered. When somebody opened the door he would smile and say "more treat please." At which point the neighbor would inevitably respond by asking him if he was a puppy dog. Timmy then lifted up his hood to show his face and said, "me, Timmy." He then put his dog hat back onto his head and pointed out that the moon was shining brightly in the night sky. (It turns out that the moon was quite a novelty, probably because he is usually fast asleep by the time it gets dark.)  Before carefully selecting a piece of candy he handed the neighbor a jar of play-do. As much as I tried to convince him otherwise, he seemed confident that he needed to trade play-do for a treat. 

All of the neighbors tried to return the play-do, but my cute little puppy was insistent that they keep it. With the trade completed, he would wave bye bye, bark and we left for the next house.

We managed to avoid a struggle and he put on his costume willingly. Today the next struggle begins, although this one will be a more difficult hurdle to overcome. I am going to do my best to resist the mounds of chocolatey gooey goodness covering my kitchen counter. I'd like to hold onto the Halloween memories, but I don't need them attached to my bum!