Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Love my hockey team

This weekend, August 2-August 4, The Philadelphia PowerPlay will be hosting the national motorized wheelchair hockey championships. The championships will be held at Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. The Michigan Mustangs and the Carolina Fury will be participating.

Hockey isn’t just for those who can walk. Powerhockey is a competitive sport among those who use power wheelchairs. All ages are welcome and all ability levels.

Last year, The Philadelphia PowerPlay, participated in the national championship in Ottawa, Canada. This was the first international championship played by the Philadelphia based team. Although winning wasn’t the best, the team coaches won the best coaching staff. Two of the individual players won awards also.

During the season, September-June, Philadelphia PowerPlay plays games twice a month alternating between Norristown and Drexel Hill. The games are enjoyable to watch and even more fun to play. It is an awesome experience for all involved.

Girlfriends day

August 1 is Girlfriends Day! It is a day to celebrate your friends who happen to be female. Where would we be without our girlfriends?

Our girlfriends offer much more than friendship. They offer support, guidance, shoulder to cry on, comedic relief and relationship advice. We learn so much from our friends. They make us who we are today.

 Many of our girlfriends have been with us for years. Others maybe just entered our life yesterday. The friends that stand beside you through tough relationships, crazy kids and career changes are the ones to keep. They lift you up when you are down.

On girlfriends day, go out for a day of fun. Go to lunch, out shopping, salon day or just go enjoy the day with your favorite friends. Surprise them with a card telling them how important they are to your life. Make a homemade gift or surprise them for dinner.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baptism for Jason

Ever since my niece was baptized, Jeff and I talked about Jason's baptism. I am Catholic and want to raise my children in the Catholic faith. Jeff is not Catholic, but he goes to Mass with us. He supports my decision to teach our children the faith.

 

We both originally wanted Jason to be baptized in May, but July worked better. My father bought Jason his baptism suit. It looked adorable.

 

We ordered a lot of food for our family party. Some canceled last minute so we had lots left over. We were eating leftovers for over a week!

 

Our biggest regret was that we went to the Mass prior to the baptism. The Mass went long and even had a speaker at the end. It seemed endless when you had a baby to keep happy. However, Jason handled the baptism with flying colors!

 

We had to only adapt it a little bit for me. I couldn't trace a cross on his forehead so I kissed his head instead. Jeff held him. Jason was a little fussy because it was a long time and he simply loves his mommy and daddy right now.

 

The party was great. Even though it was extremely humid, people still sat outside. Jeff did an awesome job setting up. I know it was a lot of work. I did the getting of food, invitations, cleaning inside the house and all the small details.

 

Now Jason is a member of the Catholic faith. It was all worth the effort.

 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Some disability etiquette please

Recently I went to the Kimberton Fair with my husband and children. Most people are very nice when we go out. I guess it's not everyday you see a young mom in a wheelchair with two small children.

However, some people act extremely inappropriate. It almost feels like people don't think I am capable of being a mother. For instance, the second my husband goes somewhere and leaves me for a few minutes with the baby stroller, people are immediately drawn to us. Now I can understand if my baby is crying or there is an obvious problem, however, that is usually not the case.

Last night we were at the Kimberton fair enjoying fireworks and my husband got up to get closer pictures. My son was happily watching from his stroller with me (his mother) sitting right beside him. After my husband walked a few feet away, a woman immediately came over and pushed his stroller and pushed his seat cover up! I quickly grabbed his stroller and said to let go of my baby. She did and gave me a nasty look.

 Now what gives people the right to do that? Is it because I'm in a wheelchair you see me as less of a mother? The next time you see me around town, please don't feel you need to rush to my rescue. Talk to me as you would any mother and you might find that we have more in common than what you think.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2001

Last Saturday a new Ms. Wheelchair America was crowned and it made me remember my time as Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2001. Although it was about twelve years ago, the time feels like it was yesterday. It was one of the most memorable times in my life. 

I feel old because when I was growing up, people treated those with disabilities so much more different. So when I saw a little blurb on a web site I worked for about the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought how wonderful it would be to represent women with disabilities all over the state of Pennsylvania. 

I did my fair share of speaking in college and high school. I love educating people on just about anything. I'd love the chance to educate on a larger scale. 

I filled out all the necessary paperwork and turned it in. When it came closer to the date, my dad and I picked out a dress. We got it at Neiman Marcus and I fell in love with it. It was perfect. 

The pageant was a two day event.  It was beautiful and exciting.  My sister helped me for the weekend.  I enjoyed the workshops and was worried about the judging questions, but all went well. I remember one question was if you could make a billboard what would it say. I said, "a mirror and it would say be yourself!"

I remember feeling extremely nervous when I presented my speech on the importance of education. I competed against two accomplished women who I was certain I'd lose too. I was fresh out of college full of hope and they were full of experiences. 

I'll never know why they choose me in 2000 but the memories will last forever. I'll take the experiences with me whenever I do speeches and keep growing. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Attendant care stress!

Ask anyone that is dependent on someone else how stressful it can be. Finding the right person to care for you is a very difficult task. 

I hired my attendant back in May. I was hoping that she would stay until the end of summer but she is going back to school the beginning of August. Luckily, I was able to interview about eight people and even turned away interviews. Much different than in April when I had to advertise several times to find a decent person. 

The biggest stressful thing about attendant care is reliability. Everything seems fine in the morning until you read the text message, phone message or email that says that your attendant won't make it in that day. 

Once the message sinks in, the mind races and a feeling of panic comes over you. Even though you might understand the reasons why it is happening and feel for the person, the stress still takes over. 

This situation happened twice this week. I know my attendant is leaving anyway but I'd like to think this position is still important. The stress of it feels like a Mack truck on my chest and hard to breathe.

I do have back up but it's still very stressful. Being a boss to an attendant is like being a manager to the most important company in the world- your body and family. 

I guess the moral of the blog is find someone reliable and great backup. Most importantly, keep breathing! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer time is so fast

Summer has been fun but so busy! I taught and Laura attended Vacation Bible School. We both enjoyed it a lot. 

After that we got ready to go on vacation to Ocean City, Maryland. It was the first time we took children with us so it was a whole different experience. The highlights for me were seeing Jason enjoy the fireworks. Laura loving the sand. 

One night Jeff went ahead to the hotel room because Jason was fussy. Laura and I strolled the boardwalk and I let her play in a well lit area of sand. She played with other children and looked so happily free. 

The week after that, Laura went to day camp at the YMCA.  She's been going to camp there since she was three. I was very happy when she told me that her best friend went as well. Each night she came home exhausted but I know she had fun.

The following week she had off camp.  We re did her bedroom. She got to relax and do various art projects. The week was very hot so we didn't go outside a lot.  Jeff took Laura to see Turbo and Despicable Me 2.  Laura also went swimming over my sister's house. 

She has spent time with Jeff's parents too. They went to museums, Chuck E Cheese and did many projects. This week she has her last week of camp, Dutch Wonderland,and the Kimberton fair.

The rest of the summer is free, but I'm sure it will bring lasting memories. One of my favorites for her is when we had her dress for bed and Jeff surprised her with a trip to Dairy Queen!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Laura's new room

Laura will be going back to school in a month!  Some parents might be thrilled by this but I'm not. I enjoy summer and yes I've heard her say she's bored a little more than I'd like, but it's nice helping her not be bored too.

She is definitely maturing and growing right before my eyes. Last Monday we took her to Ikea to buy new furniture for her room. She was excited and took a major role in choosing everything. Laura is very money conscious and read all the prices.

When we came home, we both warned Laura how long it would take and we needed her help.  I must say for weighing just about 40 pounds and only being six, she did quite well. 

First Jeff and Laura emptied everything from her room into the living-room. Then Laura and I sorted between the trash, donate and keep piles. Jeff arranged and put together furniture. 

Jason seemed well entertained. He just sat in his bouncy chair and watched Laura and I. Then after he was bored, he fell asleep. When he woke, he ate and just quietly laid on the floor until he dozed off again. It was very nice or we wouldn't be able to accomplish all that we did. 

Laura did get irritated, tired, hungry and bored. But I explained to her that we were all working together and it was all for her. That seemed to help a lot. 

After all the trash and donate bags were away and we kept what she wanted, Jeff was finished the room.  Then she and I moved everything in and Laura was a very happy but sleepy little girl!



Jason is 5 months

Jason is now 5 months old and life just keeps getting better having him in it. Just looking at him can turn a bad day into a terrific one. He smiles often and has the best laugh. 

I can tell that Jason is going to be smart, funny and caring. He just has that look in his eye. He loves kisses from mommy,daddy and his big sister. 

Jason can roll forward and backward but not an expert yet. He still gets stuck. He rolled to Lucky just to lay next to her.

For whatever reason Jason loves to hear "B" words and the B sound. He certainly has his favorite toys-cougar, a ball, a soft swirly toy and rattle.  

Jason is easy to get to sleep when tired. My sister gave him a light blue Winnie the Pooh blanket when he was born. It's very soft with the right weight. He loves putting it to his face and sleep. We nickname him Linus!

The best part about his age is when he looks at his family and knows that they are different than strangers. I love that I can take care of Jason a lot on my own (just not good at diapers and burping. ) I can also tell people exactly what he wants or needs 99 percent of the time. 

Jason also continues to discover his fingers, hands and feet. I love watching him analyze them in amazement. I'm crazy about my little guy!!





Sunday, July 14, 2013

Randy Travis I hope you will be ok

I heard this week that Randy Travis was hospitalized due to a stroke. At first I thought it was Randy Jackson, but my husband explained it was the country artist. I immediately had fond memories. 

I was young. I think about ten or eleven and I heard the song "forever amen." I thought it was amazing and I didn't even like country music back then. 

Around the same time, I saw the commercial for Stetson cologne. I can still picture the cowboy on the fabulous white horse. I thought he was quite handsome. For some reason, I always thought he was Randy Travis.

So that began my love affair for Randy Travis and Stetson cologne.  

I pray Randy Travis is going to feel better and improve. I was surprised that he was only 54!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just Tuesday

Today I interviewed another very nice person for the attendant care job. It is going to be a tough decision. This person is as important to me as my right hand.

I also went out to get milk. Jason slept the whole time which is a big help! After that, I cleaned and catching up on work as Jason naps again. My dad is getting Laura at camp today,

Jeff is out getting a surprise. Not sure what!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our first day at Ocean City, MD

We left around 7:20 in the morning which is very good considering we have a 6 year old, 4 month old and me. I planned on getting up at 5 but ended up getting up at 6. I quick got ready and handled Laura.

The ride down was thankfully uneventful. Jason only cried a little when we were 15min away from the hotel. The ride is 3hrs from our house. Laura was happy with her iPad and headphones.

Our room wasn't ready until 3:30 and we arrive at 10:20. We walked the boardwalk and town. We ate lunch at the dough rollers. I had pancakes with bacon inside them. Laura had scrambled eggs and Jeff had a sandwich.

Luckily Jason was awake but happy just looking around so Jeff could feed me and himself.

We let Laura swim and I came down with a migraine. It seems like very first day of vacation I get a migraine.

After we got in our room, we rested. Jeff unpacked everything and Laura helped unpacked clothes. My headache dulled and we went out to Embers. Jeff took me to Embers about 3 years ago and was impressed that I ate so many crab legs.

Laura loved it. Jason slept so that worked out. We again walked the boardwalk before turning in for the night. Laura was excited that I slept with her. The bed felt good and woke up headache free.

 






Monday, July 1, 2013

Rain!

I'm certainly glad it's raining today and not last Monday for Vacation Bible School. Rain is nice but getting around in a wheelchair in rain is horrible. You might as well have buckets of water dumped on your lap.  I really need a nice looking poncho. Any suggestions?

We have gotten lots of rain this summer. There won't be a drought here this year.

Today I need to get ready for the beach. I'm a little worried because its four of us now. Packing alone is harder on the van. Jeff needs to take care of me and Jason. Laura is quite self efficient.  I'm trying not to stress too much.

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