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.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Spring Fun

Oh my goodness, the weather yesterday was gorgeous! Timmy and I worked throughout the morning, without a break, so that we could spend the afternoon playing outside. It was 60 degrees and sunny. Although I know it is a little too early to put away the winter coats, it certainly felt like Spring. The warm weather was exactly what I needed to feel energized and happy.

While I was busy drawing obstacles courses with sidewalk chalk and playing an outdoor version of The Floor is Lava, Scott continued to recuperate from his second vaccine. He started to turn the corner by mid-afternoon, and by the time he went to bed he didn't have a fever.  True to the projections, he was uncomfortable/ mildly ill for about 18 hours. It is definitely a small price to pay for the benefits of immunity!

Today it is going to be pretty again, but not quite as warm. I'm sure that we'll spend time outside when our work is done, but we will probably need to wear light jackets. Of course, jackets are an improvement over the heavy winter coats, so I'm not going to complain. Spring is definitely around the corner!




Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Shot Sick

Unfortunately, Scott is experiencing the projected side effects to his second vaccine dose. He was okay this morning but began to fatigue as the day wore on. By lunch he was running a fever, complaining of a headache and feeling uncomfortable. Timmy and I tucked him into bed, brought him water throughout the afternoon and evening. 

After our work was done, Timmy and I spent the afternoon dancing and playing The Floor is Lava. (I tried to keep Timmy busy so that Scott could rest.) I am not sure where he gets his energy, but Timmy never seems to tire. We danced for nearly two hours and, although he was sweaty and panting, he could have kept spinning and twisting. 

I'm hoping that Scott is feeling better today. From what I have read and heard, the side effects to the second vaccine are short-lived. Even though he felt bad yesterday, I know that it is a small price to pay for the immunity he is developing.

I can't wait until I can feel the impact of my own vaccine shots!

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Immunity Envy

Oh my goodness, it is hard to believe that we are already in March. It's crazy to think that Spring is right around the corner. In so many ways, it feels like Christmas was just a few weeks ago. I guess time is melding together because everyday is so similar. Without adventures and a change of scenery to break up the calendar, it is easy to forget about the dates on the calendar. 

Yesterday was spent working and helping Timmy with his schoolwork. In a few short hours we managed to plow through numerous units. He was both motivated to work and the content was relatively easy for him. Getting a little ahead in his work allows me to feel more relaxed about our schedule. 

While we were busy working through lessons, Scott was receiving his final Covid vaccine. Hopefully he doesn't feel any side effects, although I suspect that he will. Last night he complained about feeling queasy and went to relax in bed after dinner. Uncomfortable side effects are still preferable to a full blown Covid infection, so we will consider ourselves very lucky and continue to count our blessings. 

I'm still waiting for my shots. Because I work from home I am not considered a priority. I understand the rationale and I refuse to jump the line, but waiting is becoming frustrating. I see so many people receiving their vaccines and I'm experiencing a strong case of immunity envy! 





Monday, March 01, 2021

Weekend Wrap-Up

Another laid back weekend has passed too quickly. It feels like the Covid days are simultaneously dragging and flying by. Like just about every other weekend, we didn't do anything grand or exciting. I am beginning to accept that I live a relatively mundane and boring life.

The weather was miserable so we stayed inside and played. Timmy had a Saint Patrick's Day party online Friday night, where he learned both an Irish jig and how to draw a leprechaun. On Saturday we also broke out the science kits and made slime, invisible ink and dissolved an egg. Sunday was spent dancing around the living room and cooking treats in the kitchen. Even though we didn't do anything adventurous, we had a nice few days "unplugged" from the rigors of our school and work schedules.

After several days nursing an achy back, I can finally move without wincing in pain. I am still being careful, but it feels liberating to be able to move without hurting. Hopefully I won't experience another musical chairs injury anytime soon. Back pain is miserable!

 I am ecstatic that Scott goes for his second Covid vaccine this afternoon. He is happy to finally be vaccinated, but remains weary about possible side effects from the second dose. Hopefully he won't experience any of the side effects that we have heard so much about. (Even if he does become mildly ill, it is a fair trade off for near immunity!)

I'm still waiting for my appointment. Because I work from home, I know that I am much further down on the priority list. Even though the establishment does not prioritize me, I'm looking forward to receiving the call. I want to return to a semblance of normalcy from our pre-Covid world.






Timmy wrote Robby this note with his invisible ink. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Musical Chairs

 For the past few weeks, Timmy and I have been hosting nightly dance parties. Our "parties" consist of blasting a playlist in the kitchen while we twirl, jump and twist in the kitchen. He has a great time, and I discovered that the activity burns a ton of calories. Since we have started dancing, I have stopped walking on the treadmill (which I didn't enjoy). From my perspective, dance parties are a win-win situation. He relishes in the activity and the attention while I get the benefits of a strong calorie burn.

Lately he has begun to wear rollerskates to the Dance Party, which always reminds me of my afternoons at the skating rink when I was his age. Now he likes me to pull him around the kitchen and living room train style, while we groove to the music. Talk about exhausting! 

Thankfully the train stops when the game songs stream. (After all, it is hard to play Musical Chairs and the Floor is Lava when you are a train car.) Hamlet becomes absolutely giddy when the Freeze Song, the Floor is Lava or Musical Chairs pops onto the playlist. These songs are exhausting on a different level, but seeing the joy on his face makes every sweat droplet worth it. 

Unfortunately, yesterday our Musical Chairs game became a tad too competitive. Timmy and I were racing to the chair when I turned the wrong way. I pulled a muscle in my back, and I've been limping since last night. 

Not to brag, but I think I may have sustained the world's first stay-at-home musical chairs injury. Getting old stinks!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Vaccine Appointment

After hours spent scouring the internet for weeks, yesterday I managed to secure an appointment for my Mom to receive her Covid vaccine.  On Saturday she will receive her first dose, and I can't wait. I felt like I hit the lottery when I snagged her appointment.  I felt a layer of anxiety begin to melt off my shoulders, knowing that she will be protected and safe.

I'm still down the list before I can receive my vaccine. I hope that supplies increase so that I can also join the elite vaccinated club. In the meantime, Scott continues to be our family liaison within the community, doing our shopping and venturing into businesses. (I do miss going shopping!)

While I won't be going into any stores any time soon, I will be spending more time outside today. The weather has been warming up into the 50s, melting the snow and drying up the mud. It definitely feels like we have turned the corner to Spring, and I couldn't be happier. I love every season, but I am always happy to see the transition on the horizon. 

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Warmer Weather

The weather is warming and the ice is beginning to melt. Yesterday Timmy and I were both becoming antsy so, despite the mud and muck that has become our yard due to the quick ice melt, we put on our jackets and went outside to play. I took three steps onto the grass and slipped, forcing me to remain on the blacktop and sidewalk for the rest of our adventure. Because slipping is something that compromises my stability and safety. I don't mess around with ice or with slick mud.

To my surprise, Timmy stayed clear of the mud. He spent the afternoon playing on the logs and chipping away at the ice packs on the driveway. Although he wasn't terribly adventurous, he did seem content and happy to be outside. Our long range forecasts all point towards a warming trend, so I think our winter storms are behind us. Spring days are coming!

We have spent the past few weeks preparing for Scott's return to the classroom. He received his first vaccination with the second scheduled for next Monday. His school board met last night to vote on the return to the classroom and all signs pointed to the transition happening within the next two weeks.

I was shocked when the Board voted to delay the return for middle and high school students. It looks like Scott will spend the entire school year teaching from our basement. So much for the return to normal.


 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Water Leak

Yesterday, a few minutes before Circle Time, I walked into the bathroom and stepped directly in a large puddle of water. I assumed that Timmy made a mess (again) after washing is hands. After noting that the hand towel didn't absorb everything, I investigated further. I opened up the cabinet and a stream of water poured onto the floor.

I immediately emptied the vanity. (Side note, those small bathroom cabinets can stow an amazing amount of crap!) Pulling the soggy bottles, boxes and assorted accessories from the cabinet was both messy and frustrating. Once everything was cleared away I was able to quickly spy the issue. Both water lines into the faucet were corroded and leaking.

I knew that this fix was beyond my capabilities.  Even with YouTube tutorials, I didn't have the tools nor the strength to replace the waterlines.  I turned off the water to the house and called a plumber. 

Thankfully the plumber was able to come that afternoon. After spending nearly four hours under our bathroom sink, the work was finished. Although I'm frustrated by both the mess and the unexpected expense (yikes), I'm trying to focus on the positives in this situation. We have brand new waterlines and a faucet from this century in our bathroom, and it works beautifully.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Ice

 The ice storm from Thursday was significant enough keep us inside all weekend.  By the time everything fell and settled, we ended up with nearly an inch of compacted sleet and ice on every hard surface. Because the temperatures never rose above 20 degrees, nothing melted. We are supposed to get above freezing during the next few afternoons, so hopefully the sun and warmer temperatures will start to melt some of the ice.

Because of the ice, Timmy and I stayed inside all weekend. Scott was able to get up the driveway to get groceries and to run other household errands, but I didn't venture into the icy tundra. I don't mind playing in the snow and rain, but I won't walk on ice unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Timmy, who is usually begging to go outside and play, seemed content to play Xbox and to dance all weekend. Despite not doing anything overly important or fun, it was nice to have a quiet weekend. Hopefully our coming week will be just as easy!

Friday, February 19, 2021

MARS

Our snow quickly morphed into a significant ice storm. We received about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of ice pellets which have frozen solid on every surface outside. Thankfully, we did not lose electric. We were able to watch the ice fall while remaining comfortable and warm. Considering the millions of people who are without power and water this morning, we are certainly considering ourselves lucky.

While the ice was falling from the ice, we were able to curl up in front of the television to watch an exploratory robot land on Mars. What an amazing sight! Everybody, especially Robby, was in awe of the accomplishment. Robby's astronomy interest was rekindled by the event. He can't wait to see more photos and to learn everything he can about this interplanetary exploration.

Today we are inside because of the ice. We will wait for the big thaw to begin before venturing outside. Sticking with our motto over the past year, we are safer at home.  

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ice

 For the first time in what feels like weeks, last night I slept well and without pain. Despite the storm moving into our area this morning, I was able to combat my phantom pain at the first jolt. When I felt the first twang of pain, I wrapped my leg tight (probably tighter than my doctor would prefer) and placed a heating pad on top of my limb. The combination of compression and heat worked the trick, stopping the pain and allowing me to sleep like a baby.

This morning I woke up to flurries and sleet. Throughout the day we are supposed to move to an all snow event before ending with another layer of ice. We have plugged in all of our power banks in the event that we lose power, which is being predicted throughout our area.  

The falling sleet sounds pretty, but it is going to keep me inside today. I love to play in the snow, but this mom doesn't do ice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Circle Time

After a several week hiatus, this week we returned to Circle Time. Although the activity complicates my schedule, Timmy seems to enjoy the time with his classmates and teacher. The little boy who used to throw a fit before Circle Time now comes running when the Alexa school bell rings. Whether he has come to like Circle Time or he simply has been Pavlovian trained to respond to the bell, I'm just glad that we no longer have a fight every morning.

This week in Circle Time he is learning all about dinosaurs. Timmy has enjoyed talking about the powerful creatures. He excitedly showed the dinosaur poop that his Nana sent to Robby several years ago. All of his classmates were appropriately impressed. 

Yesterday his teacher read a relatively lengthy non-fiction book about dinosaurs during class. Every student was asked to recall at least three facts to share at the end of the story. Charlie Cat, who constantly Zoom bombs all virtual experiences, jumped in front of the camera as the teacher began to read. I shooed him away, but I could tell that Timmy had lost focus on the story.

After the reading, the teacher began to call on each student to recite their facts. When she called on Timmy, he looked at me with the "oh no, I'm screwed" expression. I refused to prompt him (he needs to learn to do these activities without me), and he finally confessed that he didn't have a fact to share. 

"I don't know. Charlie Cat jumped in front of the computer and I saw his butt hole. Then I started to think that my butt hole is itchy and I couldn't think about anything else." 

Ugh. Welcome back to Circle Time, where I never know what he is going to say or do.



 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tired

We are in a stormy weather pattern, and my leg is feeling every little change. We are forecast to have a major snow storm on Thursday and, if my leg is any indication, I fully anticipate this storm to materialize. My leg last night was zinging and jumping for hours. Snow is fun to play in, but the impact on my phantom pain is no joke. I was miserable! 

I hate phantom pain nights, but they are more powerful when weather is the cause. If my phantom pain is from activity or a new socket, I can usually compress and stretch the pain away. When it is weather induced, I am forced to just "ride out the storm." 

I'm worn out this morning, but hopefully my coffee will work its superpower soon. Timmy has Circle Time and Art class, both of which require my assistance. I wish I could go back to bed, but that isn't in the cards for today. Instead, I'll keep the coffee flowing until I feel human again.

 Even though I'm tired, I'm feeling grateful that phantom pain is not my norm. I can't imagine living with this constant agony. My heart breaks for my amputee friends who suffer on a regular basis. I hope that research will find a solution soon, because so many people are hurting.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Magic

True to the forecast, Saturday we experienced a significant ice storm. Thankfully we did not lose any trees or branches. Our electricity stayed on and we remained both warm and comfortable all day. In the absence of any damage, staying inside was a small accommodation for the slick and dangerous conditions. 

Because we couldn't go outside, Timmy entertained himself playing Xbox and watching cartoons. He is becoming quite a skilled little Xbox gamer. Robby, impressed with his young gaming prodigy, grabbed another controller played for awhile with him. (He seemed more willing to play video games with Timmy now that he knows Timmy has some mastery of the game and controllers.) Timmy was absolutely ecstatic to be playing Xbox with Robby.

On Sunday our temperatures rose and the ice began to melt. Unfortunately for Timmy, the ground was still slick so we stayed inside for the day. Hopefully we will be able to play outside today, although if I had my wish I would stay inside for another day to ensure complete melting. 

Timmy didn't mind staying inside on Sunday because he received "the best gift ever" for Valentine's Day. We gave him a magic kit which is something that has been coveted for several weeks. After squeals with delight and a few (literal) jumps for joy, he dove into the kit and spent the afternoon mastering some tricks. 

Prepare to be amazed by Timmy the Terrific!




Friday, February 12, 2021

Valentine's Day

We made it through another week. At this point, I am using the weekend to mark surviving another week of virtual school instead of heralding the beginning of carefree adventure days. I miss going on our day trips and adventures, but I'm optimistic that life will slowly return to normal over the next few months.

Valentine's Day is on Sunday and I am entirely truthful when I say that the pandemic has had no impact on our plans. We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, so this year will be no different. We picked up a gift card for Robby and a magic set for Timmy, but Scott and I don't gift each other on Valentine's Day. In our family, Valentine's Day is a kids holiday.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

No Snow

Our mud slide is frozen solid and covered with a sheen of snow and ice. We were hoping for 6 inches of snow. Instead we received freezing rain and a few flurries. So much for our snow day plans!

I'm bummed out that we are stuck inside today, but I think my leg will thank me for the down time. Sliding through the mud twisted my limb within the socket, and I have been sore and ouchy. I'm still mobile, but I definitely feel the slip with every step I take. I don't think a day of heavy sledding and snowball battles would have done my leg any favors. 

Although the chances are dwindling, I haven't given up hope that we will receive a huge storm this year. Unfortunately, today our wishes will not be granted. Instead of playing in the snow and sledding we will work through our respective to-do lists.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Mud Sliding

All of our snow has melted and our yard has become a semi-frozen mud pit. Undeterred by the turf conditions, Timmy was determined to play outside. Against my better judgement, we bundled up and headed into the mud yard.

It turns out that frozen mud is as slippery as ice. I was walking carefully, but I ended up slip n' sliding down our muddy sledding run. (With the exception of my pride, I wasn't hurt.) It happened so quickly and, once momentum caught me, there was nothing I could do but slide.

Timmy thought that my mud slide was a stroke of brilliance. After making sure that I wasn't hurt, he took a turn down the chute. Squealing with joy the entire way, he slide like a seal down the muddy hill. When he got to the end he ran up, covered with mud and grass, before wrapping his mucky little arms around my waste. "Momom, this is the best thing ever. Mud sledding is better than snow!"

After almost an hour of sliding, he was ready to come inside. He was stripped naked outside and his clothes were deposited directly into the washer. After a warm bath (which left a ring around the tub), he was cleaned up and smiling from ear-to-ear.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Jaw Clenching

I have always carried my stress and anxiety in my jaw. When I'm tense or nervous, my jaw clenches. Over the years I have tried numerous remedies to thwart the clenching and, for the most part, I have it under control. During the day I am usually aware of the habit and it can be stopped. At night, my clenching becomes problematic.

My jaw has been clenching so much over the past few nights that I can no longer chew. My range of motion has been severely impacted, and I feel a constant sore pain every time I open my mouth. To add insult to my discomfort, I'm not even sure why I'm clenching. Historically the cause of my tension and anxiety is obvious. This time, I am not able to identify the trigger. 

I suspect that my clenching is the result of the accumulation of pandemic and cyber school anxiety and tension bubbling over in my sleep. I feel frazzled, but that has been my usual condition for almost a year. I cannot figure out why is my jaw suddenly starting to clench so severely that I cannot talk without pain. Of course, not being able to find an obvious answer is only adding to my frustration, which will in turn cause me to clench more tonight.  

I wish being an adult was as easy as I thought when I was a teen.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Snowy Day

Yesterday was an exciting day in our family, and it had absolutely nothing to do with a football game. We woke up to beautiful snow flurries dancing through the sky and accumulating on the ground. Even though the snow wasn't predicted to stay long, it was certainly and beautiful while it lasted. After I slurped down my first cup of coffee Timmy and I dressed in our snow gear and headed outside to play.

We ended up with about four inches of wet snow.. Because we went out early, we were able to play for about 90 minutes before the flakes began to melt into slush. We certainly made the best of the playing opportunity, and Timmy even managed to roll a nice size snowman.

After we came in and warmed up, Scott headed out to his vaccination appointment. I have to admit that I'm jealous that he was vaccinated. (Because I work from home, I am further down the priority list.) Even though I haven't received the vaccine yet, I felt a rush of relief when he sent me the picture showcasing his vaccination card. For the first time in a year, I felt like a "normal" life may be within reach. 

Today we are back to school and back to our weekday schedule. We have more snow in the forecast for this week, so we are crossing our fingers that it materializes. If we are going to be stuck at home because of a pandemic, we might as well sled and throw some snowballs! 






Friday, February 05, 2021

Weekend

 Happy Friday! 

I don't know why I'm so excited for the weekend. In terms of my daily activities, little changes on Saturday and Sunday. I think that looking forward to the weekend is leftover habit from my pre-Covid life. Regardless of my reasons, I'm glad that it is Friday.

Today I will spend what feels like the majority of my waking hours in the car. (While it isn't really that bad, it certainly feels like it.) Robby has his enrichment classes, which he absolutely adores, so the nearly four hours in the car is worth my time investment.

Have a great weekend, regardless of how you spend it.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Hitting the Books

Our snow has officially past the point of being classified as play worthy. Our soft flakes have melted and refrozen numerous times, transforming our snow into hard little ice pellets. Hopefully we will have a few more snowstorms this year because we certainly enjoyed every moment!

Although I had a great time playing in the snow, I don't think my leg agrees. I'm still sore from my slip, and my bottom of my limb is bright red from the constant cold. I think I could use a few days indoors to rest and recover.  Have I mentioned how much I hate getting older?  

Today we will be hitting the school books with the goal of getting ahead. My ultimate plan is to have the kids get at least one day ahead in every subject each week. By the end of the semester, they should be able to wrap everything up early. Although neither boy is typically keen on working ahead, they are both motivated by the prospect of a longer summer vacation.


Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Impact

Per our snow day schedule, I spent the morning working while Timmy busied himself with his school projects. In the afternoon, after we both had lunch, we headed outside to play. We spent several hours throwing snowballs, sledding and tracking animals in the snow. (We weren't as successful tracking because the yard was covered with our own footprints.) To Timmy's delight, it is going to stay cold for awhile so I think the winter wonderland is here to stay.

I've had a great time playing in the snow with Timmy, but my body is starting to feel the impact. I slipped yesterday, causing me to slide down the snow hill on my back. Thankfully I wasn't hurt, but I am definitely feeling the fall this morning. Getting old stinks!

Today schools have reopened, which means that Scott will be returning to work in the basement. I know that he has enjoyed having the days off, but if I were to be completely honest I'd have to admit I'll be happy to our "normal" virtual school schedule.  Both boys concentrate better when the distraction of "Daddy's home" isn't a factor.


Tuesday, February 02, 2021

More Fun

We had more snow yesterday, thoroughly coating and softening the crunchy ice that had formed overnight. After we were done with work (both mine and his), Timmy and I bundled up and headed back into our snowy wonderland. We spent several hours sledding, throwing snowballs and looking for animal tracks. He only came inside when the flakes were starting to morph with sleet, although if I hadn't encouraged retreating he probably would have stayed outside.  

Today we are expecting even more snow, so I think our schedule will remain unchanged. My mood has completely shifted since we had this snow storm. Even though our location has remained the same, it feels as if I have been transported somewhere else. Everything covered in snow just feels magical, and if it weren't for work and the constant flow of housework, I could almost pretend that I'm on vacation. 




Monday, February 01, 2021

Snow Fun!

 There is nothing quite like a change of routine to jolt me out of my antsy mood. Yesterday we had a significant (for our area) snowfall which transformed our yard into a beautiful winter landscape. Seeing all of our tree branches covered with sparkling white powder reminded me that we are so lucky to live in the woods. I have been taking our home for granted, probably because I have been tethered here for so long.

Timmy and Robby were both ecstatic with the snowfall. We spent most of the day outside, throwing snowballs and sledding. Every two hours I wrangled the kids back inside to warm up and to redry their clothes. As soon as everybody and everything was warm, we layered back up and headed back outside.

When the roads became passable in the afternoon we went to the local park to take advantage of their steep hills. (Even though there were other families at the park, everybody was respectful about distance.)The boys took turns whizzing down the hill on the tube, laughing and giggling for hours.

By the time the sun was setting Timmy was exhausted. He fell asleep early and slept a little longer than normal. The first thing he did this morning was peek out the window to see if he still had snow. To delight, it is snowing again!



 




Friday, January 29, 2021

Better!

For the first time in nearly a week, I slept soundly. The phantom pain, which had been visiting nightly, finally retreated. The absence of pain is liberating.

I can't remember ever suffering from phantom pain for such an extended period of time. During the days I was fine, but almost as soon as I took off my leg in bed the electricity started to shoot through my limb. I'd guess that I only slept 3-4 hours each night because of the constant shocking and jumping of my leg. 

Last night I slept for nearly 9 hours! It is amazing what a good night sleep can do for both the body and emotions. I am feeling better today. The frustration and stress that was weighing me down throughout the week has evaporated. I feel like myself again!

This weekend I'm going to focus on returning to normal and setting up my daily routine for success. I think I need to invest more time during the weekend to help make our days run smoother. Without the pain weighing me down, I feel energized and ready to tackle the challenges.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Sad

Well, I appear to be in an official funk. My mood is down and my leg still hurts. Simply put, I'm miserable. This afternoon I'm going to log off for a few hours to play outside with Timmy. I always feel lighter after spending a few hours in the fresh air with my happy little Hamlet. Hopefully today will not be any different. 

I don't want to bring anybody else into my mood, so this blog will be short. I'm looking forward to writing happier words tomorrow. 

:)


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sad

After spending another night in tears, I have come to the conclusion that I am in desperate need of an escape. An escape from reality, from the news, from work stress, from my leg pain, from my family bickering and from cyber school stress. Although we have been so fortunate compared to far too many people (we haven't lost our jobs or our lives during the pandemic), this past year has been so difficult. I'm tired of everybody and everything.

I was unrealistically hopeful that 2021 would bring better days. Logically I knew that the symbolic changing of a calendar would change nothing in our pandemic situation, but I guess my heart was still hopeful. We are winding up the first month of the year and here I am, still at home and still struggling to keep everything together and still playing mediator to the bickering.

My leg is still ouchy this morning but it is better than yesterday. I'm hoping that another day will provide continued improvement and healing.  (I am fully aware that my leg pain is directly impacting my mood. Whenever I have trouble walking I become more frustrated and depressed.)

I'm sorry for my downtrodden mood. Hopefully today will be better. (I'm sharing a pic of Timmy's latest creation because, no matter how frustrated I become, his little face always makes me smile.)




Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ouchy

Last night, when I finally slipped my leg off as I was slipping into bed, I was hurting.  As the day progressed my body, especially my limb, became increasingly sore and ouchy. Between the impending ice storm and being extremely busy (I logged nearly 10 miles), I was not surprised by my pain.

Unfortunately, a mediocre night's sleep did little to ease my discomfort. This morning it feels like my limb was hit with a baseball bat. The bottom and boney regions are inflamed and angry. I can barely wear my leg and the impact from each step feels like a 2x4 is striking my prosthesis. Sometimes being an amputee really stinks!

Our yard is covered with ice instead of snow, which is a mixed blessing. I don't have the energy or the ability to really play in the snow today, so I'm happy for the reason to stay inside and relatively quiet. Timmy is going to be terribly disappointed because he was looking forward to sledding and snowball fights. 

Hopefully we will get another storm soon, when my leg is feeling better and I'll be able to enjoy it as well. In the meantime, I'm going to try to convince him that it is a perfect day for popcorn and movies on the couch. I really need to allow my leg to rest and heal and the prospect of walking makes me cringe.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Games

 Robby was on Cloud 9 after his classes on Friday. He loved being with his friends and to again in in the throws of his role playing games. I have to admit that I don't fully understand the rules and intricacies of his games. When he starts to tell me about the rolls of the dice and the various "stealth" ratings, I find myself zoning out. But I do know that he loves it, so as long as he understands its a good thing.

This past weekend was cold but uneventful in terms of weather. We were hoping for snow, but it seems that we are again going to be missed. So, instead of playing in the snow Timmy and I were playing in the woods and on his obstacle course. My goodness I wish I had his energy.

Both boys successfully completed their semester courses. This week we start semester two of kindergarten and 9th grade. I wish that we had time for a break between semesters, but it didn't work out this year. Hopefully the courses will ease back into academics so that nobody (especially me) ends up feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.




Friday, January 22, 2021

Return to Class!

Today is Friday and we couldn't be happier. Scott is looking forward to a weekend of watching sports and relaxing. Timmy is excited about enjoying a few days respite before the new semester begins. But Robby is probably the happiest of everybody. While everybody else is looking forward to the start of the weekend, he is ecstatic to return to his enrichment classes today.

It has been a long few weeks for my Koopa. He adores his Friday gaming classes and has missed playing and seeing his friends during the winter break. He has been counting down the days until his classes resumed. Today is the day!

Last semester Robby and his friends strategized and schemed to change the course of the Civil War during their role playing game class. All semester long Robby and his buddies worked for hours throughout the week to solidify their plans for the following Friday. When he came out of class on his final Friday of the semester, his smile was shining brighter than the Christmas trees. Much to their teacher's chagrin, the boys managed to break out of the Southern army, create their own forces and overturn both factions to establish their own government. They had managed to win the Civil War. 

Today marks the beginning of a new role playing adventure for Robby. It also marks the beginning of my driving season as I chauffeur him to and from his activities. Thankfully he is pretty good company in the car, and his enthusiasm definitely makes it worth my effort.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Finishing UP

I didn't think that I would cry watching Kamala Harris take the oath of office. As soon as she placed her hand on the bible, my eyes started to swell with tears. By the time she was officially sworn in as Vice-President, I was full on ugly crying in my living room. 

As I was watching the ceremony, my mind drifted back to my 4th grade teacher. I so vividly remember him standing in front of our class when we were learning about the Executive branch of government. The conversation drifted to Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale, and Geraldine Ferraro being on the ballot. I will never forget him emphatically declaring that a woman would never be elected to the Executive branch in this country. 

 It took a long time, but he was finally proven wrong. I am so excited that little girls everywhere are waking up this morning with a gender role model in the Executive branch. I look forward to the day when these elections are no longer breaking barriers or shattering glass ceilings. Slowly but surely, I think we are getting there.

Today is dedicated to finishing the semester strong. Robby has two finals to complete, and Timmy needs to complete two more worksheets and read a story through video. Both boys have been procrastinating on their final projects, but today they need to be complete. I would like to kick off the weekend tomorrow with an empty agenda.

Wish us luck, because trying to get them to finish these projects has been like pulling teeth!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Welcome 46!

I woke up this morning smiling, thinking about how yesterday was the last day this country has never had a female in the executive branch. Regardless of your political affiliation or preference in candidate, the fact that a female Vice-President is being sworn into her position today is a monumental step. I love watching glass ceilings begin to crack!

Per family tradition, today we will all watch the Inauguration. This is the first one that Timmy will understand, or at least be aware of, because he was only 2 when the 45th President was sworn into office. He is excited about the Inauguration, although he is probably going to be disappointed when he realizes that cake and candles aren't involved.

Happy Inauguration Day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Abracadabra

Slowly but surely, we are making our way through mid-term week. Robby has successfully completed the first semester of World Cultures and English. He is part way through his Algebra midterm and he has yet to attempt German and Biology. Timmy is done with the first semester of Kindergarten Math, Science and Social Studies. He needs to finish English by the end of the week, which is only going to require a few hours of attention and work.  Once this week is over I think we will all breath a sigh of relief.

Yesterday Timmy and I took a break from his academics to participate in a magic class. He has been enthralled by magic over the past few weeks and has been watching YouTube videos to try to learn tricks. I was delighted when I discovered a free Zoom magic class for Martin Luther King Day. My little guy was ecstatic and eagerly soaked up every moment of the opportunity.

After the magic class, he spent the majority of his time practicing his tricks and trying to refine his act. (His trick involves cutting paper strips and transforming them into rings with only scissors and slight of hand.) In the evening, after a lot of work and many sheets of paper, he performed his "act" for his Nana via video chat. She was appropriately impressed by his newly discovered magical abilities.  

Today we are back to the books, hoping to wrap up the first semester in the next few days. I am looking forward to relaxing (albeit for only a few days) before we embark on semester 2. What I would give for a vacation right now!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Hiking

The majority of the weekend was spent outside, hiking through our woods searching for one million dollars. Although Timmy and I failed in our quest, we had a great time trying. The weather was gorgeous and being outside and active was a wonderful break from reality. 

This is the final week of the first semester of school for both Robby and Timmy, which means that our days will be hectic and chaotic as they try to finish up the last minute projects, assignments and finals. It is going to be a rough few days, so I am grateful that I was able to relax and unwind before the school turmoil begins.  Wish us luck!




Friday, January 15, 2021

Dance Party

My goodness I'm sore this morning. Unlike most times, today I am sore from activity and not from phantom pain. I have to admit, it is a refreshing change. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous with bright blue skies, yellow sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Timmy and I decided to take an extended recess and played outside all afternoon. He was thrilled to be able to revisit one of his favorite places, our stream, to splash and search for interesting rocks and treasures. (He found two cans and a golf ball, which delighted him as if it were Christmas morning.)

After several hours playing outside, he finally agreed to come inside for clean and dry clothes. Almost as soon as he was stripped from his wet clothes and redressed it was time for him to login for a virtual dance party. He danced and rocked out with his friends for another 45 minutes. While he partied on camera, I have to admit that I was dancing in the kitchen. 

By the time the day was over, Timmy and I were both tired. I looked at my pedometer and realized that I had logged 21,000 steps throughout the day. My goodness, no wonder I was tired! As I was going to bed I was reminded that I am so lucky to be able to spend this time with the boys. They are exhausting and frustrating at times, but it is worth it. 






Thursday, January 14, 2021

Circle Time Adventures

Circle Time, which was previously a battle with Timmy, has become a favorite part of his weekly schedule. He enjoys connecting with his classmates and his teacher. Each week has a different theme which the teacher interweaves with reading, math and basic calendar skills. Although it is not in a traditional brick and mortar classroom, it is definitely an authentic school experience.  

In order to help debunk technical issues that may occur during the live streaming class, I continue to stay close during class. With the exception of crafts, Timmy no longer needs my assistance during the activities. Being able to sit next to him and work on my own computer has been wonderful.

Yesterday, his teacher led the class on reading a new book about bears. Each student took a page to read aloud. I was delighted when I heard Timmy read his page smoothly. His teacher was also proud of his improvement in reading and offered praise,  "Timmy, you did a great job reading.  Good girl!"  

Quick to correct his teacher, Timmy piped up. "You called me a girl. I'm a boy. You forgot that I have a very fine penis." 

I can't be certain, but I'm fairly certain I heard his teacher's husband spit his coffee across their table as Timmy spoke. I then saw him walking away, laughing hysterically. Without missing a beat, his teacher apologized for calling him and girl and quickly moved to the next activity.

I have to hand it to his teacher, she transitions like a pro. Timmy is definitely giving her a run for her money!


 

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Vaccine

Yesterday the US shattered the previous "record" for one day Covid deaths. My heart aches for the over 4,000 families that are mourning this morning. My brain is screaming in frustration because so much of the pandemic could have been controlled with social distancing and wearing a mask. Until my last breathe, I will never understand the aversion to this public health measure.

Scott received an email yesterday, indicating that he will be cleared to receive his first vaccine in two weeks. I know that he has never before looked forward to having a needle pierce his skin! Hopefully my vaccine date will be soon behind him. I will feel so much better after we have both been vaccinated. Although I know that we will still maintain our Covid measures, I hope that the omnipresent fear will wane.

This has been a very difficult 11 months. Timmy has not been able to play with another child, in person, since February. At this point, I don't think he even realizes how much he is missing his playgrounds and jump zones.

I am looking forward to unwrapping our new normal in a post-Covid world.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Craving Normal

 Despite my efforts, my news fast has been an utter failure. It is hard to avoid the constant stream of commentators and "breaking news" (which is rarely news nor breaking) when Scott is enthralled by the broadcasts. He turns on the news at every opportunity, forcing me to watch or at least listen because of my proximity.  

Something has to change though, because last night I had horrific nightmares sparked by current events.  I woke up because of night terrors on two separate occasions. It was hard to get back to sleep and, when I finally did, I was restless and plagued with disturbing dreams. Needless to say, I am going to need a lot of coffee to get me through the day. 

I've discovered that my safest escape from the constant stream of current affairs is playing outside with Timmy. I stream music on my phone and focus on him. We hike through the woods searching for treasure, play bank in the tree house and climb over his tree fort. During those few hours every day, life again feels normal. 

I am craving normalcy.




Monday, January 11, 2021

Car Picnic

 Although we didn't do anything terribly exciting over the weekend, the few days of disconnection was exactly what I needed to reset. The news continues to be terrible and I think I have reached my threshold. I am going to continue my news fast through the week. Should something monumental happen, I'm sure Scott will let me know.

Saturday Timmy and I spent the majority of the afternoon playing outside. We recovered our Christmas tree and set it up in his new wood "fort." I'm sure it looks a little wonky to our neighbors, but he is absolutely delighted. After nearly a year of being stuck at home, I will take any delight as a victory.

On Sunday I needed to meet my Mom to pick up a box from Christmas. We met at our typical halfway point, and to our surprise she had my niece with her. Because of Covid, we couldn't really hang out. Instead, we had a car picnic in the parking lot of McDonald's. It was great seeing her, even though it was brief. Timmy was over-the-moon having a car picnic with his Nana and Tiffany. (He cried as we drove away, sad that he isn't yet able to go to her house.)

Today we are back to work and back to reality. The weather is going to be gorgeous, so I'm sure we will spend a few more hours readying the wood fort.  Have a great day!

Friday, January 08, 2021

Too Much News

Logically, I know that I need to turn off the news. In practicality, I am finding it hard to walk away. I know that I'm not going to miss anything, but I feel a nagging anxiety when I am away from the news for too long. I am in a vicious, and unhealthy, cycle that needs to break. Right now, I am not in a good place.

The images of the Capitol breach from Wednesday continue to evoke the same degree of frustration, anger and astonishment as they did when it was happening in real time. My emotions have not tempered. Instead, they have grown exponentially. 

I know that going cold-turkey on the news is not feasible. For my own mental health, I need to severely taper back. This weekend, starting today, I am limiting my news watching to one 30 minute block per day. Hopefully this will help restore my emotions while allowing me to remain informed.

This weekend, I'm pledging to turn off the cable news stations and turn on Food Network and the Hallmark Channel. Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 07, 2021

Shocked

I had been dreading yesterday for weeks, warning my Mom that something catastrophic was going to happen. I was horrified, but not surprised, when I watched the Capitol building overrun by the mob. Scott, Robby and I were glued to our television yesterday afternoon, gobsmacked and disgusted by the scenes unfolding in the Capitol building. This is not the America I grew up in, and I mourn if this is the country that my children will know. 

 

Robby has always worn the label "Patriot" with immense pride. He has volunteered his time with Freedom Flights, and with wounded military. He voraciously absorbs American history and has curated an eclectic collection of military and US memorabilia in our basement museum. I often find myself astounded by his passion and love for American history.

Today he is afraid to refer to himself as a "Patriot." The moniker, which has always been worn with pride,  has been hijacked and perverted by the misguided terrorist mob. We've tried to explain that the actions yesterday were not completed by patriots, they were conducted by terrorists committing treason. Unfortunately, it is difficult to convince him when the President heralds the acts of domestic terrorists as Patriots.

I am sad for him, and for everybody who loves this country. Left or Right, Blue or Red. Patriotism suffered a blow today.

I hope that today we can all begin to heal.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Smoother

After an extremely chaotic day on Monday, I found myself dreading getting out of bed yesterday morning. I stayed covered up, hibernating from the world as long as possible. When I heard Timmy start to stir I took a deep breath, slipped on my leg and put a smile on my face. 

Timmy was chipper and happy when I greeted him. He eagerly sat down for Circle Time and flew through his schoolwork without complaint. My goodness, what a difference from Monday! He was my little scholar, finishing assignments and working through problems without any lamenting. 

Robby surprised me by following his little brother's lead. My Koopa took his laptop and immediately began to work through his Biology homework. By the time Timmy and I were finished with Circle Time, Robby had finished Biology and most of his German work. I found myself so relieved and grateful that we were not having a repeat of Monday.

After a day of fighting and tears, both boys worked diligently and finished all of their assignments shortly after lunch. We were able to play outside for several hours, enjoying the final clear day before the rain moves into the area.

Monday night I went to bed feeling like the worse Mom in the world. Yesterday I felt redeemed.  Here's hoping to smoother school days ahead!

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Stressed

After a nearly two week hiatus, yesterday was our first day back to reality. In the first 90 minutes of my morning the relaxed, vacation vibes I had accumulated completely evaporated. My day was chaotic, stressed and filled with bickering and lamenting. 

Everybody, including Scott, had a difficult time adjusting to the sudden influx of work. I spent my day alternating between listening to complaints, nagging and badgering everybody to stay on task and trying to hide in the bathroom. By the time the sun was beginning to set I was ready to go hibernate in bed!

I'm hoping that today is smoother, and that yesterday was just a blip in the road. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 04, 2021

In Plain Sight

Towards the middle of September I noticed a raggedy sheet of paper on the floor of our hallway. My arms were full of dirty laundry at the time, so I didn't stop to pick it up. Instead I let it lay and walked over top of it. As I was folding the laundry, I noticed both Scott and Robby walk on top of the sheet of paper, kicking it slightly with their steps. I then watched Timmy bounce over the paper on his ball, and my curiosity was piqued. 

How long would everybody in my family walk past, kick and ignore a sheet of paper in the middle of an otherwise clean floor? I had to find out. I carefully folded the paper and taped a $10 bill inside with a note marking the date the "prize" was added.  I was certain that the paper would only last a few days before it was picked up. 

I could not have been more wrong. The days wore on, and the paper became tattered and dirty. I sat on the couch and watched the vacuum push the paper right past everybody, depositing it on the other end of the hallway. It stayed there until the robot vacuum was again deployed and the paper was pushed to another location in the living room.

Boxes and bags of trashed have all been put on top of the valuable paper, but it was never picked up. Our Christmas tree was pulled over the paper when it was being set up, but Scott simply kicked it out of the way and continued to focus on the tree. Timmy has ridden his scooter and played with his cars right next to the paper, but he never bothered to pick it up.

As the weeks wore on, I added to the pot. By Christmas, more than 80 days after my little game began, the prize was up to a whopping $50.  Finally, a few days ago, I challenged the family by telling them that there was something valuable hidden in plain sight. If they found the item, the money was theirs. 

I set the timer and watched as they tore through the house, frantically searching for the valuable item. In plain sight, they failed to pick it up. When the timer rang, I bent down and picked up the paper, revealing the prize. 

I'm keeping the money. After 90 full days of walking around, over and kicking the same piece of paper, nobody in my family bothered to pick up the randomly placed sheet of paper. 


























I think I need to put the money towards a housekeeper.