Sunday, October 14, 2012


As a child I didn't play sports. It wasn't a focus in our family. I'm not sure if we could afford it or not. I'm not sure if I was interested.  I liked riding my bike. I liked climbing trees. But I don't remember liking other activities.
Today I wouldn't say I'm 'sporty' although I enjoy moving my body. My colleagues play soccer, softball, basketball, etc. I know moms who belong to tennis clubs, elite gyms, yoga studios, running clubs.
I'm an independent.
I get up nearly every morning and run. I wake at 5:00 am and begin my run usually at 5:30. My marathon buddy runs with me as to keep me awake and moving. It is my therapy, my exercise, my routine.  If I'm not going for a run I'm doing a yoga video or wishing I was running.
I don't want to do anything else.

My children have been exposed to many possibilities. Some because I initiated (swimming) others because of PE at school (soccer and "toilet tag"...don't ask). I'm aware that some things I have pushed for. I want my kids to be runners. I want them to love running and the feeling it brings but they seem to see it as a mode of transportation... not joy. I signed them up for gymnastics because I always wanted to be a gymnast but didn't have the opportunity (or strength). They thought it was okay but too "structured".

Madeleine loves to swim. She is a natural in the water and slightly fearless. Swimming takes a little money and a lot of commitment. We do it leisurely.

Soccer/tee ball/all other team sports:
I'm a lame mom and never sign them up. I also don't really want to stand outside in the Seattle rain for hours on a Saturday morning while my kids get cold and wet in a field kicking a ball. I told you. I'm a lame mom.

Turns out what they really love is Parkour.  They do it at least once a week and have stuck with it for a good 8 months. We are hooked.

This weekend we tried something completely new. Wheelchair Basketball.
Thanks to Seattle Adaptive Sports Madeleine (and Max) got to try Wheelchair basketball (Dribble on Wheels Camp). They loved it. I mean... Loved it! My hope now is that they will continue to enjoy it and be disciplined enough to stick with it.

When Madeleine was born I heard a comment from an unnamed professional.... "It is probably a good thing she is a girl since she may be disappointed if she doesn't excel in sports." Michael and I were horrified by this but didn't say anything.
Another unnamed professional told me last year, "Get her involved in independent sports (swimming and parkour?) since one day she won't be able to keep up with her peers and my be disappointed." hmmm.

When Mad was born I thought, it may be hard for us since the doors of opportunity will be open for Max and may not be for Madeleine. I was wrong. It is the opposite. Max is not allowed to play "legally" yet he is the one who seems to enjoy it the most. Irony.

quote of the day from an amputee coach-

"I was active when I had my leg. After my amputation (due to a car accident) I continued to play basketball but I wasn't competing I was participating. I found wheelchair basketball and I knew that the guys weren't going easy on me. I found competition again."

*Oh, who is that other cute boy in the photos?  That is Logan. Our bestest buddy with a leggie.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I'm happy to report through generous donations (both on the fundraising page and in person) we have met our fundraising goal and are going to camp!  We leave Monday.
The kids are thrilled, the parents have been making lists of things to bring!  See another post.

Here's the reason for this post:
I was googling my blog (by accident, really, I put it in google instead of the other bar thingy) and realized that people all over the country have been fundraising for me!  What?!  Madeleine's story has touched other people's lives and they working to help HER!  I'm so very blessed, touched, emotional, crying, incredulous, thankful. 

Three cheers for Emily at Insanity Rules, Kim at Never lose your sparkle, my friend, Terra at Capturing Sweet Memories and my friend Karla at Karla Petersen Photography
and all the other blogging mommas of kids who Madeleine has found in some way. I heart you and thank you. We are all connected.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6 years old!

How is that possible?! Tomorrow is max and mad's 6th birthday. At this time 6 years ago I fell asleep at Swedish Hospital. I had been on bed rest for three weeks and was very much over it. I woke up to an explosion of fluid around two am. Max and Madeleine arrived at 5:59 and 6:00 am. My life has been changed forever and forever better. In my children I see the world. They are finished with kindergarten tomorrow. Sigh. It has been a difficult year. I wish I could report only positives but reality isn't like that. There is a combination, always. The positives : my kids are reading! And thriving in school. My kids love school They love each other They have friends They love school and their teachers! They are HEALTHY They are happy and fun. They are curious They are sporty They still cuddle with their mom :) As all kindergartners go through we have had ups and downs with friendships. One day a best Friend the next day not so much. Madeleine has had this intensified. Her leg is an anomaly and she has handled it with grace. I'm very proud of her and of max. How did I get so lucky!?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Foolish me...

As if I could think this was over....
As if everything would go away and children would accept each others as individuals...
Ah, where do I start?

OH yeah, it started to get warm in Seattle (I know, rare!) and Mad started wearing shorts. (Those kindergartners don't notice anything unless it is right in front of them!!!!)  Kids started to notice. They started asking questions again. again. This time it was different though. Mom wasn't there to jump in and explain. Mom wasn't at the park saying, "no, keep your leggie on". Madeleine was exercising freedom and showing kids her leg. Saying it 'accentally fell off' and then showing kids. Seriously!?

Let me back up. Pool party, 2012. All kids from her class.
Me: are you sure you want to swim with your leggie off? Kids in your class haven't seen it and they might be surprised.
Mad: Yes, I can handle it, mom. No biggie, I'm comfortable explaining it.
Me:..... sigh...... hesitation

Next stop... kids telling Madeleine her leg was:
Siblings crying because it was so "freaky".
"You can't play with us because you only have one foot"

When will I learn?
We are use to this and they are not.

Remember when I first found out? I was scared, nervous, freaked out.
"My daughter has what?!"
"What does that mean?"
"What's going to happened?!"

Yep, I remember February 2006. I remember finding out there was something different going on. I remember the doctors telling me to make that decision to terminate in a few weeks if I was going to.

I remember curling up in a fetal position on the sofa and not doing anything. I remember my OBGYN telling me to EAT more or she is going to seek a nutritionist.

I remember the acceptance. Michael saying, "I want both. We can do this."

I remember my daughter's beautiful life when she was born. I remember her wonderful hair/fuzz. I remember her silly leg.

I remember it all.

And now I look at my girl. My powerful, beautiful girl who shouldn't have to deal with questions, cries, and stares. She shouldn't be made fun of. She should be able to play, to swim, to run and not have kids stop and stare.

Madeleine, living in Seattle, wears pants most of the time. Now, she is uncovered. Kids talk.


Honestly, it got pretty bad.

I am seeking counseling. Madeleine is confused by the comments and questions. Her leggie "talking" for her now.  Her name is Sweaty and she says: "It's okay to ask questions. It is okay to stare. But don't laugh, don't make fun of me and don't run away."

My daughter didn't ask for this. Nor did I.


And then something happened:

K.B.T: Have you ever heard of Camp No Limits?
Me: Um, I think so...

K.B.T: you should talk to my friend, she says it will change your life. There are other kids there with limb differences. It should be called, camp confidence.


Multiple conversations  later and I realize this is an essential last step. Camp No Limits tells me it always happens in kindergarten.
I'm fundraising because the camp $ are just over my reach as we would have to take time off.

I think this is essential so we will find a way.

As this is my blog I can tell you that it feels funny raising money for myself.  I have rasied money before. Actually a shit load.

I have never raised money for my own cause.  This is what I can say...
there are expenses of having a child with a limb loss that you cannot imagine (her leggie costs over $15000). Athletic, high performance, feet cost a lot. Therapy is expensive. Sports are expensive. Private swim lessons are expensive.

On June 27, 2012 it will be 5 years since Madeleine's amputation.  I will never forget. I'm planning an activity for that day...  stay tuned! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Now for attention

Last night we had some very dear and old friends over for dinner. We used to spend several evenings a month with them before we all had children. Now they have two beautiful girls, ages 4 and 2. What Michael and I had hoped would be a lovely evening sharing pizza and watching our children play together became my own personal mommy nightmare. 

It was the end of the night and miraculously the guest children had not noticed nor commented on Madeleine's leg.  I was pondering how this was so unusual as all the kids were taking turns walking on the treadmill in their bare feet of socks. Madeleine had bare feet.

Right before our friends were to leave Madeleine decided that she wasn't getting enough attention and yelled to the girls, "look at me.... I'm taking my leg off!" she kicked her prosthesis off, sending it flying across our living room.  Our guests kept their composure (good parenting!) and just looked wide eyed.  I apologized and bid our friends good night.

When they were gone Madeleine and I had a long chat.  She admitted that she felt the girls liked Max better so she wanted to get some attention. I explained to her how inappropriate it was and that she should have shown the girls her leggie first and then described the procedure and her distal limb.