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, February 03, 2017

E-Cards and Coloring Sheets!

For years I have been talking about developing a variety of cards for amputee related celebrations. Between the date of the amputation, commonly referred to as an "Ampuversary" and the first use of a prosthesis (respectively known as Walking Day and/ or High Five Day), amputees have reasons to celebrate each year. Of course, with such a niche market it is impossible to find any cards to adequately honor these important occasions. Lacking any other options, I finally decided to just go ahead with my ideas by developing a series of e-cards.

Dave and I uploaded the cards yesterday to the new Community section of our webpage (www.ampdpod.com). Available for digital download, please feel free to email them to your friends/ family members to mark their special dates. The cards that are currently available are only the first in a series, so stay tuned for more designs!  If you have any other occasions you would like to commemorate, please email me and let me know.  We want the resources on our webpage to address the needs of our readers and friends.

Since we were tweaking the website and adding new resources, we also decided that it was time to unveil our new coloring sheets for kids. Featuring kids (and an adorable puppy) playing while wearing a variety of prosthetic devices, these coloring sheets are perfect for talking with school or scouting groups. We also think that our coloring sheets would be a nice addition to the waiting rooms in prosthetic offices. Feel free to download and print as many as you need. If you want to send us photos of the finished masterpieces, we'd love to see them. 

Our new website has been a true labor of love. I'm finding myself energized as we are able to bring our ideas to light after so many years of talking and dreaming. The e-cards and coloring sheets are just the beginning. Stay tuned!

Visit our website to see them all!

More available on our website.  Don't forget to send us a photo of the masterpiece!

Circling back to yesterday's blog.  Robby passed his test!  We now have a high yellow belt in the family.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Testing Day!

Tonight is a big night in our home. After months of hard work and practice, Robby will test for his high yellow belt in Taekwondo. He has been nervous for weeks, begging us to take him to classes every night so that he can practice and get prepared. I know that he is ready, but I'm also a tinge happy that he is nervous. Being nervous shows that he cares and that the belt will have meaning when it is bestowed. 

Every night for the past two and a half weeks Robby has been in the dojo, taking classes and practicing all of his skills and forms. Scott and I alternate nights chauffeuring him to and from the studio. At this point I think we'll be nearly as relieved as Robby when the test is over, although I'm sure our reasons are different. We haven't had a quiet night at home without something to do in a long time!

I know that Robby struggles more than his peers with physical activities. Because of his hearing issues, his balance has always been a little askew. Sometimes he reminds me of a wobbly puppy trying to keep up with the herd. Thankfully, what he lacks in natural talent he makes up for with grit and determination. I have never seen another child work so hard to master physical skills. He may not be physically gifted, but his perseverance will serve him better and longer throughout his life.

He has put in the practice and studied his handbook. I know that he is ready for the test.  By this time tomorrow, we should have a high yellow belt in the family.  Please wish him luck!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Knock Out Punch

Every Monday for the past month I have been participating in the "Pink Dragons" class at Robby's Taekwondo studio. I had been quite content sitting in the spectator area just relaxing and watching for an hour every evening. The hour of being still and totally disconnecting from all technology has become a bit of a refuge for me. The prospect of abandoning my comfortable (and quiet) perch to sweat was not appealing, but I wasn't quite sure how to say no politely when I was repeatedly invited.  (Have I mentioned I'm really bad at saying no?)

To my surprise, I am actually enjoying the class.  Touted as a self-defense course for women, it is primarily boxing. I suspect that the instructors are concerned about bringing the kicking elements into the class for fear of my leg flying off. (Robby, in an attempt to be jovial, warned them to be careful of flying legs when I'm working out. He was kidding of course, but I'm fairly certain that his joke was lost on the instructors.)

At this point I really don't care if I ever kick anything in the class. I discovered that I have a true affinity for hitting things. I have been finding the class extremely cathartic. Typically not violent, my mind wanders to imagine coworkers, annoying friends and frustrating family members while I pound the punching bag. It turns out that I've been harboring a lot of ill-will and personal frustrations. It is liberating to channel all of the annoyances into a healthy release. 

As luck would have it, Robby rescued a punching bag from the trash of my Mom's neighbor last month. At first I was annoyed with the imposing and bulky apparatus, but now I'm glad to have it. I'm going to try to convince Scott to help me hang it in the basement. If I get into the habit of beating out my frustrations I think I'll be emotionally healthier and physically buff.  Talk about a win-win!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Benefits and Happiness

I have found the constant inundation of negativity over the past week to be absolutely draining. Watching the news makes my anxiety rise to an almost unbearable degree. I know this for a fact because I bought myself a little gadget that buzzes whenever I become anxious. Lately the battery only lasts a few days because of the constant buzzing.

Social media has provided no refuge from the bad vibes. I have been disgusted by some of the rhetoric that some of my "friends" are spouting. I respect other viewpoints, but when the posts border upon the obscene due to blatantly inaccurate vitriol accusations, I take issue.  A few minutes after I logon, my little tracker starts buzzing and I am forced to log off and try to recenter my emotions.

I know that I'm not the only one who is tired of the negativity. In order to spread some good news, Dave and I decided to record an upbeat podcast. In this episode of Amp'd we counted  the top five benefits reaped because of our limb loss. It is not always easy to view limb loss as something positive, but there is always a humorous upside. Sometimes you just have to look harder to discover it. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Sick Weekend

Timmy had a great time playing at a new toddler playground Friday afternoon, but by the time the sun was setting, my little guy wasn't feeling well. He dissolved quickly, spiking a high fever and developing deep purple circles within an hour. I put my hot little Hamlet to bed knowing that it was going to be a long night. Neither he nor I rest well when he is sick.

Saturday was quiet as we sat on the couch and watched cartoons for most of the day. He occasionally played with his trains, but his energy was fleeting. His fever was sporadic so we were unsure if we should take him to the doctor or let it run for another day. Ultimately we decided to see how he was doing on Sunday before we made a decision.

Sunday he woke up happy and silly. His fever had vanished and, although he didn't have an appetite, he was energetic and mischievous. His bright pink cheeks and chapped lips were the only reminder of his sick day.  Even though he was raring to go, we did our best to keep him quiet and calm. Even though he disagreed, he needed the day to fully recover.

I hate how quickly Hamlet becomes sick. It feels like we are stuck in a never ending cycle of fevers and recovery. We go back to the pediatric immunologist next week and hopefully we will be able to break the cycle. In the meantime, I'm hoping for a happy (and healthy) week.