I decided to start blogging about Jordan from the moment I found out I was pregnant. Jordan was born with a little arm that didn't grow like most babies. Her left arm stopped just above the elbow. Now I'm committed to making sure Jordan gets everything out of life. We feel blessed to be the parents of a very special little girl.


She can eat cake!

Birthday Cake!!!
Originally uploaded by Jen Reeves.
It took a little extra effort, but today Jordan ate her birthday cake. She wasn't interested at first. She was exhausted from all of the fun gift opening. (Her favorite gift: a bucket of blocks) So I sat Jordan into my lap and started eating my own slice. I fed Jordan a couple of bites when she grabbed my fork... And started creating a wonderful mess. Jordan destroyed that slice of cake -- jabbing it, eating a little of it. But mostly, she was taking pieces of the cake and touching it with her little arm or sticking it under her little arm. Why? I don't know. But she had a ton of icing on her sleeve and under her arm. It was strange and sweet and messy and so dang funny. And obviously, she had a BALL. It made all of us smile.


Happy Birthday Jordan!!!!

Today may not have been the most fun of birthdays... We spent the day driving home from Florida. I think we made up for it by going to Disney the day before Jordan's official day. The moment we got there, Jordan was treated like a princess. She was wearing a birthday girl shirt... Someone noticed and told us to go to city hall. So we were able to get Jordan a pin that said: "Happy Birthday Jordan!" Anytime a person who works at Disney noticed that pin, Jordan got cool things: Like stickers or Mickey glitter... Heck we even got an extra "Fast Pass" to the Stitch adventure ride. I remember going to Epcot a couple of times for my birthday was I was in elementary school... But I certainly don't remember getting a pin and getting extra-special treatment from Disney "cast members."

Anyway, Jordan was an awesome Disney World girl. She napped in her stroller, she smiled and waved hi to strangers, she gripped onto me tightly on the Buzz Lightyear ride. And she started picking up words. When we first got there, Cam said the name Goofy, Jordan said: "Goofy." We never got her to say it again, but it was cool for that moment. She did say "Yay!" a bunch of times. But for most of the time, she just smiled, said hi and giggled at her brother. It was pretty awesome. We had a dinner lunch at Disney where Jordan got a cake. The wait staff announced Jordan's birthday and asked everyone to blow her a kiss. It was very sweet. She wasn't very interested in the cake though. I'm guessing it's just because she was tired. But when she licked the icing, she made a big face! We have another cake planned for her at Grandma and Poppy's house, so we'll see what happens.

When we were driving towards home today... I watched the clock and kept thinking moment by moment about what was happening one year ago on this day. At 5:06 we sang "Happy Birthday" in the car to Jordan. She was pretty tired at the time, but seemed to appreciate the song. This picture is one of the many I took while she and I played in the back seat of the van. I can't believe what a sweet and happy girl Jordan has become in the last year. She and I have spent so much time together... As I fed her and watched her grow... As I took her from appointment to appointment... As we learned how to hit every possible milestone in whatever way it took. My big girl is amazing. I've said it many times before, when Jordan was born, Randy and I were at peace with the challenges ahead. But I seriously believe that Jordan can and will do anything. She might have to do it differently, but she is amazing and has found a solution to everything. She is also so flexible and willing to go with the flow. She has dealt with so many therapy appointments, doctor's appointments, family trips and needs... Even loud kids in the baby room. She maintains a happy attitude and a willingness to play and enjoy life. And she LOVES her brother. The one thing that was proven time and time again during our holiday trip was how Jordan LOVES her brother. The way he makes her giggle and how she would play with a piece of dirt if Cam was playing with it first. She loves that boy with all of her heart. Our family is so blessed. The cool part about Jordan's limb difference is how we've been able to meet new families, get to know new communities and have a better understanding about how being "different" is okay. And an amazing benefit to Jordan in our life is how we're learning how being around different people doesn't have to feel different. That may be one of the greatest gifts for all of us. When I think about my family and how lucky I am to be a part of this, I want to cry. I feel blessed and lucky to be the Mom who can guide Cam and Jordan into happy and caring lives.

Happy birthday little girl! I can't wait to see the amazing things you are going to do in the next year.


Get ready... She's almost one!

I'm in shock to be honest with you. My little girl... Who I was so worried about when she came into this world is becoming a self-sufficient, communicating and very happy little girl. She is still very clingy to me, but I have to be honest, I love the attention and love. The greatest development is that she has similar feelings for Daddy since he got back from his latest trip to China. They were napping in the same room this morning when Randy heard: "Hi Dada!" That has to make your heart melt.

Other little things that I've noticed this week: When Jordan sweats, the hair on the back of her neck curls in all kinds of directions. It's sweet. I'm not sure if she'll feel that it's sweet when she's older and trying to control her hair. For now, it's sweet. Another thing: She loves to kiss. She loves to kiss me, her dad, her brother, other family members. She loves to kiss toys... Especially a new teddy bear she got from her uncle. It's HUGE. She loves to roll on it, pull on it... And especially kiss it.

I went shopping today in advance of Jordan's big day. I was suckered into buying this sweet doll that has an outfit that matches. I can't wait to get Jordan into it. Isn't that silly. Heck. I bought a new diaper bag and it is GIRLY. But I love it. I think another wonderful thing Jordan has given me is the acceptance of my inner girl. I'm not ready for these super girly stores that have gotten popular in your local mall. But I'm okay with pink these days.


My merry little girl

Jordan enjoyed her first Christmas... And she proved again and again that her brother is so much cooler than any gift we can give her. Every time we had a present to open, she was more interested in what Cam opened and what he was playing with. It was sweet and funny to watch Cam's aggravation.

Miss Jordan is trying harder and harder to pull up. She's finally taking steps when you hold her arms and guide her across the floor. And man, she loves saying: "HI!" It's been so fun to watch her grow in the last week. She amazes me by the minute how grown up she is these days. My baby... Isn't really a baby. And an amazing development... Jordan loves and I mean LOVES talking on her Elmo cell phone. I have no idea where she learned that! (ha ha)

We're getting ready for Jordan's big birthday. To think a year ago on this day I was feeling very certain Jordan was coming soon... And man was I uncomfortable! She was worth all of that and more.


Working so hard

Jordan had to run off to school early with her brother the last two mornings because I've been leading the morning meeting in the newsroom... And that means scurrying the kids to school right after they wake up. It's no fun for any of us... And I miss my mornings with Jordan. She's been a trooper... I gave her a bottle the last two mornings and she didn't care at all. I did get out of work early enough today for Jordan to work with her physical therapist... And Jordan showed off how hard we've been working on her ability to stand and attempts to pull up. Afterwards, Jordan scooted all over the basement looking for ways to pull up and stand. Our best options right now (other than her cool cube toy) are the stairs and full clothes baskets. Lucky for Jordan, we have stairs on two floors and there seems to be a full basket everywhere as well.

I'm exhausted. All this work, kids and holiday preparation is just a bit much. I'm trying to get some laundry done and get to bed at a normal hour. I can only hope I can pull that off.


Bulging gums

I'm wrapping presents tonight. I was tired of doing that so I thought I'd drop a few thoughts about Jordan's life. I know Jordan isn't really one to complain... I mean her first teeth showed up with no change in her personality. But I keep thinking about teeth when I'm around her because her upper gum line is SO swollen. I wonder when all of her teeth will decide to pop through. Her front teeth not only have caused swelling, but there are now two lumps where they'll eventually show up. The funny thing is how she's not waking up in the middle of the night to complain. As usual, she's not drooling. She's kind of cranky when she doesn't get her way, but that just comes with the age.

What am I babbling about? I don't know. I guess I'm giving fair warning for some announcement about how all of her remaining teeth arrived in one week. Mind you, she only has two teeth at this point.

Another issue to think about. The pants Jordan wore today were almost black on her bottom. She scooted on my recently swept floor, the newsroom AND the damp ground in our backyard (it was a really warm day). I don't know what to do except just buy cheap pants because if she continues to scoot, there's nothing I can do but wash in hot water and deal.

We went to the mall today. Dumb I know, but I had to get gifts for a few more people. I strolled around with Cam and Jordan and we actually had a pretty good time in the crowds. Cam was great and Jordan kept it together with the help of a few diversions from her tickle-monster brother (he likes to tickle her face and she thinks it's SOOO FUNNY). When I go out in public with Jordan now I don't look for stares I'm happy to present her and I offer no excuses or reasons because Jordan is who Jordan is. She was cooed over in so many stores. It's the sparkling smile... and swollen gums. Anyway, I caught a couple of stares from kids here and there, they were slight and not offending in any way. But it was funny to notice a few and not take offense, not worry about it... it's just the way things are. I'm SO glad I'm cool taking Jordan anywhere. I'm not patting my back, I just feel like it's still an accomplishment to have grown so much in the last year with my little girl. I'm so much less self-conscious about my life, my family... We are who we are. And if you want to get to know us, go right ahead!! We don't bite.

I'm still looking for the shirt: "You stare because I'm different. I stare because you're all alike."

More technology playing

Jordan slept really late today! I attended the honors convocation for a student of mine this morning... Jordan slept an hour past the time I left this morning. I'm so glad I decided to not wake her to feed her. This may be the first step towards saying good bye one more mommy feeding.

Anyway, I'm playing with a technology called Flash. It isn't a new technology per se, but I'm finally starting to figure it out. So visit this page and see what I've been able to do with pictures of the kids. It takes a little time to download, so take that as fair warning. When I really figure things out, I'll embed it on this site instead of linking to it. But all that takes is some code that I don't know yet. But I can make a slideshow of the kids and I'm thrilled with that!


Time is ticking

The holidays are roaring into my calendar and I feel totally lost. I have a ton of wrapping, packing, mailing, sorting, cooking... everything to do. But I have to clean my house. It's terrible and it's starting to bother me. It doesn't help that our backyard is muddy and the dogs keep tracking mud into the house. It really doesn't help that Jordan scoots on her butt and nomatter how I try to sweep and clean, her butt is always dirty looking from being my own personal Swiffer broom. Tonight I couldn't take it any longer and threw the pug into the bathtub. Hopefully that will help my nose buds from falling off everytime he tries to sit on my lap. The big dog is a lost cause.

I can't over emphasize how Jordan has turned into a toddler in the last week. She is arching her back and getting mad when I pick her up sometimes. When she WANTS something, she really wants it bad and she's not afraid to scream or yell for it. She really wants food and she's going to wave her hand around it in a similar fashion to the sign I made up for her that means "More!" She is obsessing over a toy that lets you put magnet letters into it. When it fits perfectly, you press down on the letter and it plays a song about that letter and tells you the sound it makes. Jordan loves it when she gets the magnet to fit. But she gets very upset if she can't make it work fast enough. She'll actually throw a magnet to the side and pick up a different one if it takes too long to work. I'm guessing she's assuming that the letter must be broken and the next one might fit better. It's amazing to watch. And exhausting to think about the next stage we're heading into.


Baby's first stage performance

Jordan got to perform in her school's Nutcracker show... And she was sweet and happy and waved at the crowd at the end of the show. My camera didn't do a good job capturing her very brisk time on the stage. But she got to sit in the front of the sage at the end of the show... And she smiled and clapped and waved. It was very sweet.

She did such a great job at the show and even smiled a ton while we went out for ice cream afterwards. It was a fun night!

By the way, Jordan was wearing her baptism dress as part of her costume tonight. I can't believe she still fits in that... And it still fit with her wearing a shirt under it. Crazy.


New trick

Today, I found out that Jordan drank her own bottle at school! I was thrilled to hear this, and decided I'd try to push those lessons further with travel sippy cups. I've read on some limb difference boards that those cups are the easiest for one-handed kids because they're so light weight. Apparently, that advice might be true. Jordan grabbed the top of the cup and then pushed the cup up with her little arm. SO freaking cool.

Tomorrow the girl and her brother perform in their school's yearly Nutcracker performance. Jordan will play the role of a snowflake and I'm not quite sure what Cam is going to be -- something that requires dancing in a circle. I'll let you know tomorrow.


Breaking news

When Randy and I weren't looking, Jordan pulled up into standing all by herself onto a big block toy. This is a picture of the toy. I bought it for Cam when he was little... And he never really took a serious liking to it. But Jordan digs it... And here's a funny thing: Cameron really likes it a lot now that he's 4 and a half. Anyway. Jordan pulled up so she could look inside the square compartment. Big freaking deal. Then Randy thinks Jordan tried to take a step to me. But I think he was seeing things.

Either way. The girl is rapidly figuring things out. I'm thrilled and I'm really happy I've found a toy that she can use to pull up and keep practicing the skill.

The holidays are here

After the big storm, we've been delayed on decorating... But yesterday we turned on the holiday music, put up the tree and turned on all kinds of lights outside in the front yard. Jordan seemed to have a lot of fun pulling ornaments off the tree. She won't keep a santa hat on... But I caught this picture at the right moment.

I've been getting nostalgic about Jordan since her birthday is coming up soon. For some reason, her first birthday feels like a huge accomplishment... But in a different way from Cam's. I think it's because I know what happens after the first year... She's days or weeks away from becoming an official toddler. She's already growing a personality that fits a toddler: She knows what she wants, but she doesn't always know how to explain it beyond grunts and whines.

Then there's the standing... She's trying so hard to stand up. Almost every time she's on the floor these days she plants her feet and sticks her butt in the air. We just have to get her to improve her pulling up skills. Balance? She has some of it. It's a process that we'll just keep working on day after day.


Quick update

Every night I have a little time to prepare pictures or write something about the kids online. Obviously I haven't done as much of that lately. Why? I'm trying to figure out the right way to save the almost 8,000 pictures I've taken in the last couple of years. If you visit our Flickr site, you'll notice I've posted more than 2,000 pictures... And those aren't even all of the pictures I've taken this past year. Scary, huh? So my computer is full. It's really full. So I've been spending all of my time moving folder after folder of pictures into an external hard drive. Thanks to black friday sales, I bought a second external hard drive that I plan to use to mirror the original external hard drive. Why all the fuss? I tried to save old pictures of Cam when Jordan was born into an external drive... And it crashed. I have video and images stuck in that drive that I may never be able to recover. It crushes me to even think about it. So this time I'm going to be extra careful.

As for Miss Jordan, she's doing well. Our therapist wants her to be challenged to reach for toys, so everything needs to be a couch level for her. That's tricky. But she has the needed body strength to stand and walk, we just have to encourage Jordan to actually do it. So we're working hard on that. And even though it's hard to watch, it's a great sign when Jordan gets aggravated after falling down or angry because she can't reach something. The angrier she gets, the more she's going to want to learn this next crucial milestone. Other signs she's getting bigger: Food. She wants everything and anything that anyone else is eating. Last night she was saying good night to her dad when she noticed he had a slice of pizza. She waved good bye... But immediately started grunting for that slice. Did I mention she LOVES pizza. The picture above says that. I think I'm a lot braver with messy food with Jordan. Cameron missed out on that. Randy thinks I'm crazy, but I think it's cute... Until clean up time.


Baby's first snow

Snow Bunny
Originally uploaded by Jen Reeves.
Man, the snow that hit our part of the country has kept me very, very busy. So I'm finally going to catch you up on Jordan's many adventures in the past many days.

First, we had a lot of snow. Way more than our town can handle. So on the first day after the snow, i was in the newsroom for most of the day. Jordan got to hang out with her Dad and brother.... longer than she's ever done before. And she handled it pretty darn well. I went 24 hours without a baby feeding and I didn't wake up the next morning wanting to die of physical pain. So that was a good sign as we get closer to weaning.

Second, when Jordan went out in the snow, she was amazed, scared and then thrilled by it all. She was amazed when I plopped her on the sled. When I put Jordan on the snow, she was not happy, it scared her -- or it was cold. I don't know which. But after I picked her up and she realized snow is tasty. She wanted to return to the fun after we went inside.

While we were mainly homebound, Jordan was really working hard on pulling up!! Sunday she made big progress: She was trying really hard to reach me on the stairs, so she pulled up to her feet -- her butt high in the air. It didn't last long and when she fell down, her Dad and I cheered!!!! Big progress.

She's also scooting everywhere and I'm getting nervous. I have to get some gates put up. I was going to put a gate up or block off the one step down to the living room -- but Jordan has already figured out how to get into that room on her own. Once she's in there, she can't get out (the world's largest play pen). So I can cross that step off my list of worries.

Today I had a mini-freakout about Jordan. I was reading a little note sent home to Jordan's classroom parents about the kids and the new month. In it, her teachers wrote how Jordan's birthday is coming up. And it hit me: 12 months is when everything changes. And honestly, it already is. She's becoming more demanding of my attention, of food... of toys she MUST play with (or the remote control). I'm trying as hard as I can to help her use more sign language to help her not get so upset. It's hard when you want words, but you don't have them yet!


11 Months Old

We're only a month away from Jordan turning one. It floors me. Today I had to run around doing way too many things... So I didn't get to spend enough time with Jordan on her big 11 month old birthday. But I did catch her happy this morning as I got her ready for a breakfast snack at school.

It's so funny to see her as one of the "big kids" in her room. I think back to when she was tiny and would play with the big babies and couldn't even imagine my daughter growing up.

Speaking of growing up... As promised, here's video of Jordan scooting around during our Thanksgiving fun in the newsroom last Thursday:

If you can't see it, feel free to visit the video page.


So many reasons for thanks

This Thanksgiving is special for so many reasons. We had our annual newsroom dinner. We got to eat really great food. We work in an environment where it's okay to bring the kids to work. I was able to work from home for half of the day so I could keep an eye on the kids. I got all of the evening's news on the web with Jordan at my side or while other newsroom folks played with her and Cam. Jordan chowed down -- actually grabbed a huge chunk of turkey off my plate. Cam nibbled and scammed multiple people out of bread. And while my family was enjoying time together with our work friends... I'm thankful that my family is giving new relationships a chance. I'm thankful that other family members are looking forward to spending time with us.

But most of all, I'm thankful for my little family and everything we've been able to do this year. To think that in some pregnancies, I could have lost Jordan. That thought just stuns me. Whatever glitch that made her grow the way she did could have caused a spontaneous abortion. Imagine if we didn't have Jordan's smile and cuddles and love. Imagine if Cameron didn't have to scream and cry everytime she tries to take down his block castle. Imagine if I didn't have a year like this year. The trials and joys that we have in our life are worth a lot of thanks.

Of course our life isn't perfect. But I'm so thankful to have my family, my friends, my job and our community. The support and love from everyone has really made me proud and I know we are all cared for.

While I'm babbling... Please pray for a little 3 year old boy who was diagnosed with lung cancer this past week. I don't know his name. I just know he used to go to the same school where Cam and Jordan attend. He needed serious surgery and there are few positive expectations for his condition. I'm praying for his comfort and for his parents to have the strength to get through such a difficult time.


I've got to get video of that!

Jordan woke up this morning with cute little noises so her Dad and I went in to say good morning. She smiled big and then quickly moved around and sat up on her own... FAST. I've never seen her do it so efficiently and quickly. I was very proud. I still am. She's figuring things out, just like she always does. But every time she learns something new, I'm so amazed!

So obviously I need to get a few pieces of video of Jordan's skills. We had an online camera chat with Jordan's Grandma and Grandpa Lee along with Aunt Jan and Uncle Chuck... And they got to see a live performance of Jordan's scooting. I realize I haven't posted video that really shows her skill in moving around. And while I capture that, I might as well edit in some of her new sitting up skills!!

I just bought a new external hard drive, so I should be able to start editing video again soon! (and even get video blog #5 finished one month late after my initial external hard drive crashed!)


Extra day with the parents

Jordan had a strange tummy issue at school yesterday, so she's going to stick with us today. I think she's okay, but we're going to keep watch on her. This morning we spend time just giggling. It's awesome. Baby giggles may be one of the happiest sounds in the world.

I watched her struggle to sit up in my bed this morning... I wanted to help, but I know the only way she's really going to learn is by trying again and again. She's such a trooper. She finally sat up and I gave her a huge hug to cheer her on.


Baby's first visit with Santa

Santa smiles and tears
Originally uploaded by Nerdy Mom.
She didn't like it. She didn't like it one bit. And Cam tried SO hard to smile, but it's chaos when a baby is crying and thrashing for her Mommy. Poor kids. I plopped them on Santa's lap today because I wanted to get the last seasonal photo for the yearly family picture calendar.

Beyond Santa sadness, Jordan and Cameron are clinging to me at the same time. It's exhausting. They both are vying for my attention and time. It's crazy. It's typical. But I'm having a hard time keeping my cool at times. That's why I raked the front yard all weekend. In between crazy kid moments, I was out pulling bags and bags of leaves off of my lawn. It's therapeutic.

Jordan had physical therapy on Saturday... And Jordan is really starting to understand the concept of standing up. I'm practicing it with her while she wears her arm. She seems to be having fun. She's also getting REALLY speedy with scooting on her butt. If anyone knows where I can find Swiffer brand baby pants, I could really get my floors clean. I usually sweep once a week. But man, with the kids, dogs and normal wear, Jordan's butt gets dirty. A Swiffer layer would really help all of us.


You have to watch this!

This is video of Jordan watching herself online. Too funny.


What a great baby

Jordan was the center of attention for two occupational therapy labs this morning. She got to scoot around and show off her little arm, her prosthetic arm and her many skills that she's able to do. She was amazing. She flirted, she smiled, she cooed, she uh-ohed... And she didn't really get cranky until the end of the two hours. I'm proud of her and I was so happy to share her with the students.

The university's OT clinic helped us get started with therapy before I started working with a nearby rehab clinic. Now that we're with the state program, our therapists kindly meet with us at home or at school. But the entire process was given a little assitance and support from the OT clinic. So I'm glad I was able to give a little back.

Jordan was exhausted! But we weren't done after that. We had a big feast at school for Thanksgiving. Jordan did a great job eating turkey, beans, sweet potatoes and stuffing... And the funniest part was how she kept stealing the food off the plate of a little boy who was sitting next to her. It was funny, but I kind of felt bad for him.

This evening, Jordan and I spent some time at work... Then we cleaned up her room and while I cleared away the 6-9 month clothes that she has grown out of, she played with all kinds of toys in her room. I have to say she's really getting good at pulling up, grabbing toys. She's also getting down onto the floor and sitting up so much better. This last week has been so amazing to watch her develop physically. She's growing so damned fast.


Learning and growing

Miss Jordan is doing well. I took her to the doctor's office today to make sure her skin rash isn't something that needs serious lotion or care to clear it up. I had her sleep with Desitin on her arm and I think the skin is finally losing its redness. It turns out our concerns about her skin were because I probably wasn't cleaning the prosthetic properly. After calling Houston, I was given tips and advice on what to do. Hopefully we won't have a similar problem. So after a two day off, Jordan is going to wear her prosthetic for at least a couple of hours tomorrow. We kind of lost a week of wear with all of her skin concerns. Hopefully we didn't lose too much strength in her shoulder.

Tomorrow I'm taking Jordan to the infant cognition lab to continue the study she participated in when she was around 10 weeks or so old. That will be cool. Also on Thursday, Jordan is going to be the focus of questions and fun for a couple of occupational therapy labs on campus. Hopefully we'll be able to offer students some knowledge they wouldn't have really been able to get without meeting my girl.


Big Freaking Deal

For the very first time, Jordan sat up all by herself. She was playing on the floor in the "man cave" when she tried to sit up... Failed and continued to play on the floor. Moments later, she tried again... And DID IT!!!!!

Her Grandma and Poppy were in the room at the time as well... We cheered for her! We gave her big hugs. I called Daddy immediately. I am so very, very excited.

Earlier in the day, Jordan had a wonderful therapy meeting with her occupational therapist. Jordan had been playing on her own in the living room and when our therapist got here, Jordan was trying to climb up the little step from the living room into the entry way. She was playing on her own, she wasn't clinging to me. She was just ready to move around and work. She didn't wear her arm again today to give her skin time to heal. But that didn't matter. I'm wondering if just a little new strength she's gained from the arm has helped her work on these new developments... She actually climbed over my leg earlier this afternoon. It was a first as well.

I'm just thrilled.

Tomorrow, Jordan will wear her prosthetic for about 2 hours. We'll stick with that schedule for a while... Maybe a week. Then we'll increase her time slowly from there. We certainly don't want to hurt her skin... And slowly build up a callus instead of a blister.


More time in the leaves

45 Weeks Old
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
I found time to get Jordan out into the leaves on a beautiful day. Awesome. Jordan is getting better and better at saying "uh oh" and lately she's starting to say: "Bye!" She's happy to move around on her butt, but I'm still working on getting her to stand more often.

The toughest part of this day -- I think we're going to have to figure out why Jordan's arm is a little raw. The red spots are now getting a bit flaky. I'm not sure how or what we can do to help. But our therapist thinks we need another day off (we had a day off yesterday as well).

We can only hope that she's just getting a callus on her skin and she's going to be able to wear the prosthetic without breaking her skin down!!


An interesting arrival

This isn't something you would find in your average home: Five hands. Yup. These arrived in the mail today. But in our household, it isn't a huge surprise. These are the covers to Jordan's myoelectric. I can't imagine us needing 5 of these... But you never know. I do know it's a BEAR to get these onto a prosthetic, so I'm hoping I won't have to replace one of these anytime soon. By the way, Jordan wore her prosthetic for 10 hours today and she was still moving that hand a TON. And right before I took her up to bed, she lifted her arm up and waved it at her Daddy. It was mighty sweet.

Along with our interesting prosthetic arrival, it's a lot easier to see Jordan's new two teeth. I caught it on camera yesterday. She was eating a HUGE dinner and happy to be happy. Jordan is doing so many sweet things. This morning she threw her sippy cup onto the floor and she quietly said: uh..... oh. Adorable. I watched her say it again at school today. Apparently there's a new baby in the room who's 12 months old who said Uh Oh all the time. Jordan has quickly picked it up. She also was playing peekaboo behind a curtain where they hide the diapers and wipes (under the changing table). She's just so sweet and wonderful and all I can do is squeeze her. And I'll soak in those hugs as much as I can for as long as I can get them.

Oh on one side note... Today Jordan had her final mommy milk at school. I'm sad I couldn't continue to pump. But the way she's going with her feedings, she's going to have formula once a day... maybe two. She's eating more and more solid food and milk is becoming less a dominant portion of her diet. I'm sad to watch her grow so fast... I'm not quite mentally ready to start the full weaning process. We're talking about being done by the time we travel to Florida for the holidays. We'll see. It's just so hard to leave the baby phase while Jordan is still so sweet, girly and small. Well... Skinny. I put her into a 12 month old outfit today... It fit loosely, but the long pants almost hit the middle of her shins. It is way too short. Oh, one other thing. The upside of getting a prosthetic that Jordan wear this long: Long sleeve outfits. She can wear more of those outfits. There's no rolling, no need for altering. She just wears it. It's not as easy to put on with the prosthetic side... But it's kind of cool to wear long sleeve clothes.


Therapy, therapy

We've had occupational and physical therapy meetings the last two days... And Jordan is showing of how tolerant she is of her new prosthetic. She's also showing off how she does NOT like to be tinkered with.

Wristband toys... We need more. This is a kind of toy that really seems to catch her attention from time to time when she's wearing the prosthetic. She moves her arm and reaches at the midline. Pretty cool.

That's a quick update here.


Always thinking

My mind is always churning... It's not a lot of fun when you want to sleep. But yesterday had a lot of reasons to get the mind moving. First it was something Randy said as we were eating lunch together (which we don't do often enough). He said that the worst thing that comes of this prosthetic experience for Jordan is that we tried and she doesn't end up wearing a prosthetic. Which is exactly right. Worst case scenario: Our baby continues to be our baby. I don't need a baby with two arms. I just want to offer her all the possible options in life and our therapists think this option is an important one at this point in her life.

So with those thoughts churning in my head, I found out our general manager's daughter died in a car crash yesterday. She was 18 years old. I hate feeling helpless... I want to help the family, but I don't know how. I want to hold onto my kids tighter and be thankful for the time I get to have them. The mind just churns on and on. At work, there's a somber tone in the air. We've already discussed how we have no idea how to help... Food. Bring food. At least that's something. But it seems so trivial.

I'm so thankful for what I have and hope I can offer something for this grieving family.


Girl update

So for the last couple of days Jordan has been a superstar prosthetic wearer at school. She's worn it without protest and even took a nap wearing it for the last two days. When I've removed it, her little arm looked healthy... No bruises, no red marks. She's a trooper.

She has bruised a teacher with her pincher grip.

So here's my theoretical plan of attack. We get her to build her muscles, we teach her how to use the prosthetic to hold onto things at her midline (like holding a ball with both "hands") and eventually taking advantage of the extra hand to hold things. Therapy with our local therapists starts Friday and Saturday.

So here's the fun thing about Jordan. She's turned into a thief at school. She likes to go up to babies, steal their pacifiers and then scoot away. Funny little girl. She doesn't even like pacifiers for herself. She also stole a new baby's blankey yesterday... This new baby is actually 12 months old and she LOVES her blanket and is never far from it. And Jordan stole it. Silly girl. I'm glad she has a sense of humor. She won't think it's funny when her brother steals stuff from her. I think we're headed into a very interesting battle of personalities in the months ahead.


Boo to you

There you go... Our little boo in a Pooh bear outfit for Halloween. Just like her brother when he was a baby, she won't last in this costume for long today. So when I tested the outfit out, I took some pictures just in case we don't get many more later today. Unlike her brother, Jordan swims in this costume. She's so skinny, the Pooh bear kind of eats her up. Either way, it's cute.

Happy Halloween everyone!


10 Months Old (by the way)

I didn't mention that Jordan turned 10 months yesterday... And accomplished something new on our long, 8 hour trip home from Kentucky: She drank from a sippy cup all by herself. I was so proud, I snapped this picture of her in her car seat. I'm proud.

So, as part of that, we started getting Jordan to drink from a sippy cup at school today. And we tested out drinking formula for the first time as well... I've been overworked and exhausted -- so pumping hasn't been a priority. So I will run out of my frozen storage this week. We tested Jordan's reaction today at school... And it was like she didn't care at all. Maybe it's because she just thinks drinking from a sippy cup is just so cool. Maybe it's because food is food is food... But I watched her and she didn't seem to mind. That eases my mind... But I'm a little sad that I couldn't exclusively provide her milk all the way up to 12 months. I fully weaned Cam by 11 months because we were going to the big job interview for our current jobs. I probably will continue being the majority of Jordan's milk feedings up to or just a little after 12 months. Who knows what will happen. I'm just kind of sad to think that Jordan turns a year old in only 2 months. That's shocking.

So Jordan doesn't seem to mind her new prosthetic at all except when I put it on or take it off. She's pissed off about anything that involves her laying down or being restrained in any way. She throws an all out fit: If it's getting a diaper changed or a new shirt... So her reaction to the arm isn't any different.

Overall, I'm glad we made this trip. The folks at Pediatric Prosthetics treated us really well and gave Jordan a lot of care. They put a lot of time, focus and effort into her challenging arm. It will be interesting to see how we can integrate this prosthetic in her life and see if it helps or hinders. I'm certainly hoping it helps.

Back in town... And exhausted

I'm coming down with something... It figures after all of the travel and craziness of the last week.

We're finally back in town, I finally have web access again and I promise to write more details about last week as soon as I catch up at work. But the good news is Jordan has a prosthetic that she wears, the moves and she is paying attention to. Jordan has two teeth, two arms (one myoelectric, one passive) and a new love for cheese crackers.

On the technical side of things, my final video blog is stuck on a storage drive that crashed during the trip... So blog 5 will show up eventually, I promise.



Day 2 - Getting Started

We got right to business when we got to Houston. Here's a look at Jordan's silliness in the plane and all the work we got done on our first day at Pediatric Prosthetics.

Video delay

We're in Houston and I have a great 4 and a half minute video that's processing through Google video... After I spent all kinds of time dealing with spotty internet access on my Mac. So I've moved to borrowing my kind host's computer... And waiting on Google approval to post the second blog online.

So a review of yesterday: We flew, we arrived and we went right to work on Jordan's new prosthetic. The two lead prosthetists think Jordan has a very small amount of elbow... Today a therapist who saw Jordan thought that might be the case or there's a ball of muscle that can do some similar motions like an elbow. Who knows. We can only wait and see as Jordan grows.

Today's big event today was a therapy session. Jordan was getting tired and cranky by the time we started, but we did get some tips on neck exercises we can do with Jordan. If things go better in the video department, I'll try to upload that later tonight.

So that's the scoop for now... If we're lucky, we could have a new prosthetic tomorrow. Our tricky and challenging little girl will be able to give this prosthetic thing a really good try.



Baby's First Parade

Jordan and Cam were up late last night getting a chance to hang out with alumni and walking around campus. So the kids actually woke up a little late this morning... And we rushed to campus for the big homecoming parade. Jordan got to wear her new team outfit... And she smiled and stared at this loud, clapping event. She took a couple of small naps. But on the whole, she watched everything.

It's been awesome to let more of our former students meet the girl... And show off how big our boy has grown. Hopefully Jordan will get enough naps to recover from this morning's events so we can take her to one more spot and show her off.


Yup. I'm losing it.

I took the kids to get their pictures taken today... And almost immediately after I set Jordan up in a chair, she fell off it and landed on her face. She was fine. But upset... And that was kind of a symbol of the rest of my day. I think I got one, maybe two pictures out of the entire exhausting event.

I've noticed that the longer this year goes... The more emotional I react when things don't go well. I'm emotionally drained, and I'm not rebounding as well as I usually can. Today, things at work didn't go well at all. I ended up verbally sparring with Randy... And I hate doing that. I ended up angry, drained and an emotional wreck. I feel better now. But I know I have to change something about the way I'm conducting life or else I'm going to go off the deep end.

I think my Mom and Randy are right: I need an activity. I always felt like my blogging and constant photo taking was my hobby. But I get the point. I need to distance myself from the kids from time to time. I was able to do that better when it was just Cam -- Even when he was a baby. But I think Jordan's extra needs has kind of kept me from giving myself "me" time. And I know I have to work on that. The lack of me time has prevented me from losing all that baby weight. The lack of me time has prevented me from relaxing. Heck, last night I went to bed and couldn't sleep for a good hour and a half because my brain just wouldn't turn off.

Houston, Homecoming, Halloween... all kinds of other events and work items. My head kept churning. No fun.

Things have to change. I realize this. The next step: Deciding what I want to commit to. My friend Liz and I have committed to walking every Saturday morning. It's good for us, it's a good time to reconnect. Who knows. I need to keep working on things like that.


Getting over the ickies

So I took Jordan and Cam to church on Sunday. Jordan was drippy, but nothing too bad. Later that day, she started another fever. I felt bad for her, she was sleepy but not acting too strange. I put her to bed a bit early... But once again, no big deal. So around midnight I went in to check her and she felt like she was on fire. I took her temperature and it was way too high for my comfort zone. I ripped her out of her PJs and called a nurse. Randy and I were pretty worried... The funny thing was how Jordan was just talking and waving and being sweet. I was amazed by her positive attitude. So I just fed her and fed her and fed her. There wasn't a lot of sleep for her or I. But at some point in the haze of tired feeding, I picked Jordan up and she was soaked in sweat, her body felt cool. I knew we'd gotten past it.

But in the morning, my happy girl was cranky. So I scheduled a doctor's appointment. Of course they just said she has a virus. But we wanted to be sure she didn't have an ear infection. Poor Randy took Jordan to the appointment... She cried and cried and he didn't have the mommy food system to help calm her. So they had a rough run. After I taught my class, we traded baby care... After I took Jordan to campus for a campus presentation, Jordan slept and slept and slept -- in the car, in her bed. She's still sleeping. I fed her one more time... But other than that, she's just resting and rebuilding. Poor baby.

But the up side -- at the campus presentation, she just kept waving at people. It was so sweet. I swear I thought I heard her say hi and bye. This little one is going to be talking very early. I'm pretty sure of it.


The drip continues

I'm sure my discussion of snot is relatively non-stop when I write about Jordan. Poor kid is battling this cold. I was hoping it was going away so I could take the kids to see their uncle... But she woke up with a low-grade fever and it didn't want to go away all day. She took about 6 hours of naps during the day -- about 4 and a half hours more than on a school day. Hopefully that rest will help.

During one of her two awake times today, I plopped her outside and took some pictures of her in an outfit that was Cam's. I thought that was kind of cool... The funny thing is how I put her in a brown corduroy hat that fit Cam's head so well at 6 months -- and it's WAY too big on Jordan at 9 months. It's so funny how different kids can be.

I don't try to go out of my way to stress out... but I think there's something in the Mommy brain that is always on the lookout for something to be worried about. I asked our PT if we'll be starting over in many ways once we acquire this new prosthetic in Texas. And she told me that in a way -- Yes. And I know Jordan will be aggravated if she is not able to move around. Once you get the taste of motion, you don't want to stop. So I'm feeling bad for Jordan in advance. There are so many unknowns that come with this trip: Are we doing the right thing? Will insurance pay the 80% it is supposed to pay? Am I ever going to feel like my life is under control? The answer to that last question is totally up to me. I'll work on it. I have to work on it.


Snotty and drippy

Poor baby.
The little cold that Jordan seemed to have yesterday turned into an all around snotfest today. It wasn't pretty. And as usual, she put up with it pretty well except for: THE NOSE WIPE. It's like we're killing her.

She had a great PT session. You should see her try to pull up on me. She actually gets onto her knees... She just hasn't figure out how to pull her torso up. The only recommendation we have: find shoes that have a little bit of traction. That's a new project for me to embark.

Also, Jordan just keeps amazing us with her eating abilities. Tonight before bed, she had dinner with us. She tried to eat carrots that I didn't quite cook long enough, so she threw up a little. Cam immediately goes: "Ewww! She's throwing up! I'm going to tell all my friends how Jordan threw up at dinner!" Jordan wasn't phased. I cooked the carrots some more, and she chowed down on the carrots (I cooked them longer), sausage and macaroni and cheese. Man did she love the carrots!! It was so fun to watch that I put her to bed a little late. Bad Mommy.

We're getting close to just a week away from the big trip to Houston. I'm nervous. I hope this prosthetic will be able to offer her assistance that she hasn't had before. I worry that we're going to go through this huge trip and we end up learning that there really isn't any type of technology that will help her. Only time will tell. Here's the really cool thing: Jordan's physical therapist is going to meet us in Houston. She needs clinical hours I'm happy to have found her an environment where she can benefit as much as Jordan will. Pretty cool.


No luck on picture day

I don't know why picture day is such drama for us in the Reeves family. But yesterday didn't work out for us on Cam's picture day. And today didn't go perfectly for Jordan. I tried so hard to make it work for her.

Here's the story: Jordan woke up early with a little cold. No fun for her. So I fed her and got her back to bed early so she would be fully rested for her picture at school. I took her to school in her PJ's so her dress wouldn't be wrinkled. So we get to school, I put her in a very sweet little red dress, add tights, a bow and her shoes. Very sweet. Adorable actually. It was awesome. I left the room to go hang out with Cam before his field trip. 5 minutes later Jordan comes in with a teacher. The baby is naked. Why? Because the teacher left her cup of coffee on the table and Jordan spilled it all over her new red dress. Outfit ruined. Luckly I brought a secondary dress and it happened to be a dress I wore when I was a baby. And my Grandma sewed it, so that makes it very special. But what a bummer. Really. No luck. I think I make a big deal about it all because I have NEVER done a professional picture with Jordan. So this was kind of cool.

So I got to be there when Jordan had her picture taken. She was hungry by the time we finally got to take pictures. But of the two shots they got before Jordan wanted to scoot away weren't bad. The second one was great. So my sweet little girl will have her first school picture. Yahoo! But man, it was drama to get there.

Skinny girl

Jordan had her 9 month old check up today... and it turns out that she isn't gaining much wieght lately. She's holding at 18 pounds... And that moves her down from the 50th percentile to the 30th. But her height went from 50th to 70th! So she's tall and skinny. That's not quite worrisome, but the doctor wants a recheck on weight in 6 weeks. In that time, we're going to up her carbs and I'm going to try to boost that weight.

She's obviously doing really well.

Funniest thing that I haven't caught on camera yet: When Jordan sees me, she starts scooting after me. Then she'll pound her hand into her chest like she's saying: PLEASE!! So I let her move even closer to me (with more chest pounding pleases)... And help guide her into standing up. It's going to be a slow, but methodical process in teaching her how to get up on her own. But wow... She's actually mobile. It isn't efficient, but she's going places and I'm proud of that.


I'm so bummed

So Randy wanted to mulch up the leaves in the yard... So I told him to hold off on doing the leaves in the front yard. I wanted to get the kids' pictures with the leaves and why not do it before it gets too cold outside? So I exhaustedly piled up the leaves into piles. Cam and I ran through them MANY times before I actually cleaned them up. After Jordan's nap I put her in a sweet new dress and plopped her in front of the leaves. ADORABLE. She was much more willing to try and eat the leaves than her brother ever was when he was little. I pulled leaves out of her mouth multiple times. Cam came out to play with her -- posed a little. But I caught some awesome moments of the two naturally enjoying the day. We played and played (not caught on camera). It was wonderful.

So just when the night was winding down I hooked the digital card into my computer...

And the pictures weren't there.

They were deleted.


I have no idea. And I'm so bummed. Technology strikes again.

I wanted to share my fun time with the kids with everyone else. And I LOVED the pictures I captured today.

Did I mention how sore I am from raking all those leaves?

What a bummer.

So that's the update here. The crazy picture-taking mommy lost many sweet pictures. But I'll tell you what. Now I have an excuse to play in the leaves and take the time to rake instead of use the lawnmower and/or the blower. It's hard work, but Cam's smiles are worth it.


Growing every day

Baby hand
Originally uploaded by Jen.
I took a picture of Jordan's hand... She's SO big. 35 weeks ago, I took a similar picture and she was so tiny in comparison. So here's the big development this week: pulling. Yesterday at school, her teachers watched her try to pull up on everything. She actually stood next to an exersaucer and said hi to a friend for a few minutes. A teacher spotted her, but she was up on her own. Very cool. She was pulling up on cribs, toys, chairs. She's not quite getting up on her own yet, but I have to start baby proofing my house.

The other big news is how I'm working on taking Jordan to Houston to get her a new prosthetic. It's a big deal and I'm exhausted just thinking of it. So for the time being, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get my class covered, how I'm going to be able to get work done while I'm away... How we're going to do this financially. Say some prayers that insurance will pay for the percentage it's supposed to pay for.


Eating and eating and eating

I'm not exactly sure when my baby turned into a big eating kind of kid... but yesterday she was snarfing down peas and chicken pieces all by herself. She chowed down on cheerios and peaches this morning... And at lunch she LOVED her veggie soup. She loved it so much, it was all over her clothes. Very cute. Of course, I think now that she wants to eat is stuff she can pick up. I think she isn't eating as much as she usually does, so that leads to her wanting to drink more milk. And since I haven't pumped in a couple of weeks... the extra milk storage is running low. I think the weaning process will probably start sometime between the 10th and 11th month -- very similar to Cameron's experience. He turned out okay. I figure Jordan will be just fine as well.


Day off

Chewing on paper
Originally uploaded by Jen.
Jordan picked up a very odd rash yesterday while she was at school. It was strange enough that the doctors thought we should take a day off and let me stare at her all day. So we're doing just that.

I'm including this picture just because Randy and I think she has a look of pure contentment with that paper. Honestly, paper is her personal bliss. It's so great.

In other Jordan-related topics, she's trying to move around more. She isn't crawling... but she is trying to pull her body around when she's sitting. Most of the timem she makes progress if there's something she can grab... Like a chair. So she's trying to slide around a bit. She's still trying the crawling thing as well... But I've noticed she's more successful in a scooting mode.

With this time off, I've actually had time to work on the family boards that we due almost a month ago at school. I'm almost done with Jordan's and Cam's has the pictures picked out. I don't know why I've let this project weigh on me. So it feels good to finally get it done!

Oh, one other thing I forgot to add. During the appointment I confirmed something I was pretty sure about... Jordan has an umbilical hernia... There's a spot right above her belly button that pokes out when Jordan gets really upset. It's gross. Traditionally, the body closes that spot on its own. The only thing I'm supposed to worry about is if her little bump (or intestine) gets stuck and doesn't go back down. Gross eh? The doctor said that if if doesn't go back down, we have to go straight to the ER. Just another little thing to worry about.


My big girl

Wow. She's so big. To think all the ways Jordan has chanced in the last 9 months. She's starting to try to move around. She's trying to eat on her own. (She's playing with chunks of banana as I write this.) She's communicating and showing more and more opinions. Who knows if she'll be as stubborn as her brother. I'm hoping to catch a break on that one.

Anyway, Jordan had a great time at a station picnic yesterday. She got to play with the many babies born in the last year. I think it's kind of cool that she has a chance to grow up with them. I'm not sure if they'll all live here when she's grown up, but we'll enjoy their company while we have them around. (The TV business is normally pretty transient)

I'm about to put Jordan down for a nap... And I'm thinking I'll join her.


9 Months Old

It's a big day... Jordan is headed into her final 3 months of baby life. She had a fun day... and I promise to post more tomorrow. I just wanted to officially recognize this day. Hooray for Jordan!


She really wants to be a big girl

Jordan is figuring more things out... She's wiggling and moving around a bit on the floor. Enough floor time to worry my physical therapist -- She's concerned Jordan's skin may not be able to tolerate some of the textures she's around. So I kept watch of Jordan's arm all day. She rubs it on everything and I think the arm changes to red quickly, but today when I stared at it for a while, I didn't see major redness problems. I hope that's the case. If her arm does need a rest, we're going to need to wrap it up for long periods of time. We'll just have to wait and see.

I took Jordan to school and visited a bit today... She is trying SO hard to play with the older kids in the room. She actually played CATCH! Isn't that cool. She rolled a ball a couple of times with a friend. Made me very proud.

I'll be honest. The Mommy in me wants to be around Jordan every second of the day to eat up every baby moment I have left with her. I'm self-centered in this... I've allowed her to fall asleep on me a couple of times at school. I just can't help myself!

I'm exhausted. More details about the girl soon.


Baby's First Football Game

Mark it down in the baby book (if only I kept up with one)... Jordan got to go to her first football game today. Mizzou kicked some serious butt... Even though the game started out with a turnover. Jordan had so much fun. She danced to the band. She got excited when the crowd got excited. She smiled and flirted with people. And best of all: A hot dog wrapper. It kept her happy and involved for almost 2 hours. We didn't stay for the whole game, but I think she had more fun than Cam to be honest!

When we were done, Jordan took a big nap... And I crashed hard on a chair in the man cave. Randy said I was so asleep, Cam went upstairs to ask Randy where I was... I was so quiet and asleep, the boy didn't notice.

Yesterday was also a big day for Jordan. She had her first official play date! She got to hang out with her friend Cooper who is exactly one month younger than she is. Coop is awesome and I think at the end of the play time, they were really digging on each other. Jordan isn't as mobile... but he crawled over to her, sat near hear and then went back into crawl mode. Jordan kind of moved into "crawl" pose right next to him... It was the most natural sit-to-belly transition I've seen from Jordan. She's a bit wary of that move since she often falls on her face. She can do it... She just doesn't trust her body all the time. Poor baby.

Anyway. She's a joy to be around these days. She's feeling better. The nose is still runny, there's still a cough, but she is bright and cheery. So fun.


Quick mentions

Jordan is still a bit cranky... But I think she's coming out of it. She is sleeping through the night again. The down side of that? I think my milk production went back up from the night feedings. Along with not enough sleep, I'm not feeling so great. Jordan, sleep, water and pain relievers are what I need.

So I'm taking a nap for a couple of hours before I start my day. Jordan and Cam are at school. I'm going to sleep.

Developmentally, Jordan and I played this morning and she can hold herself in a standing pose for a pretty good amount of time when she's near something tall. Her therapists says once Jordan can figure out how to sit on her own, she's going to be mobile. That could happen really soon... It's up to Miss Jordan.


Busy, busy days

I'm in the middle of so many projects at work... I just haven't been able to keep up with details on Jordan's exciting world enough. She was sent home from school on Thursday with a fever... I couldn't really figure out what was wrong. When she woke up on Friday with the fever still around, I took her to the doctor. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't an ear infection. And since Jordan is so calm, I wasn't sure if she was sick or not. So she let two doctors check her ears without crying. No ear infection thank goodness. Just a virus. I took her to work for the day -- And she was not feeling great, but I had to get some work done. I didn't get nearly as much work as I needed. But at least I tried.

She didn't sleep well last night. Jordan actually woke up twice in the middle of the night... A first in a really long time. But that's okay. I got a good nap in this afternoon.

Other than the sick fevery stuff... Jordan is getting more and more social. We were on campus this week and Jordan was waving at every person we walked by. Oh -- And signs that Mizzou students are the best around: Jordan dropped her blanket as we rushed to a class where I was speaking. During the class, I noticed the blanket was missing and figured it was gone forever. I retraced my steps after the class and found the blanket on a lamp stand -- someone obviously picked it up and put it where I could see it. Thank you anonymous blanket saver!!!

Another sign of Jordan's growth: She is letting Daddy and other friends and family members hold her... As long as I get out of her view pretty quickly. Her clingy-ness has been pretty tiring, but I really can't complain. Watching my daughter love me with all her might is not something I want to complain about. I just went through the pile of pictures I took this week of my kids... I took way more of Cam than of Jordan. I know why. Jordan is so in need of my attention, I haven't had enough space to breathe -- let alone take pictures of her!!


Now that's kind of strange

Jordan woke up really early this morning. I couldn't figure out... Except it was punishment for going to bed really late. But later when I was feeding her at school, I noticed her thumb. It's bright red and has blisters on both sides. She sucked it THAT hard. It's gross. It has to hurt. And she keeps sucking it! I wonder if her painful teeth or thumb woke her early.

I felt Jordan's gums, I don't feel any teeth... But maybe she's sucking and chewing harder because the teeth are almost there. I feel bad for her.

She only napped for 30 minutes today again.

That drives me batty.

The worst part of that is how she needs to go to bed the moment I get her home. She fell asleep as I fed her tonight... It was so sweet and simple. We're only a few months away from saying goodbye to breastfeeding. The nighttime feeding is the hardest to let go. And it's all because of that sweet, quiet cuddle time. Watching her fall asleep while she eats... That little face she makes when she lets go of the latch. It's a look of pure contentment. I feel so lucky to have this time with her. But it's bittersweet to watch her grow so fast.

A friend of mine and his wife had a new baby boy this past weekend. Looking at those newborn pictures give me a little pang of sadness for the baby I'm losing so fast. I also started just surfing around looking at other baby pictures that belong to random people I don't know. I still house a little jealousy for parents who get to raise a typical baby. I'm blessed to be Jordan's mommy... But it's hard sometimes to not feel some jealousy. And I'm trying to not be jealous to watch a baby in Jordan's classroom develop in a more typical manner. She's almost exactly a month younger than Jordan... She's pulling up, she's rocking on her hands and knees... So close to crawling. I'm jealous of a 7 month old baby.

The thing is... Jordan doesn't care. She loves the little 7 month old little girl. They smile at each other. Jordan is getting aggravated over some of her challenges when she wants to reach a toy or get down on her belly. But on the whole, she doesn't mind at all. She's so damned happy to be who she is. I shouldn't be jealous. I should be lucky enough to experience a one-of-a-kind developing baby. And honestly, I spend more time absorbing and loving every minute of it. But sometimes, I still feel the need to be sad.


A new toy to take the cling away

Jordan is madly in love with Mommy attention. Yesterday she had to go home with a low-grade fever. So I was really worried she was getting a nasty illness that is spreading through the baby room. She went to bed last night and didn't wake up until close to 8am. No fever. Just a little extra clingy. I think she's okay. Maybe it's teeth. Maybe it is an illness. Only time will tell. She took two huge naps today. Hopefully that helped.

I did spend a lot of time outside with Jordan and Cam. Cam played baseball. Jordan sat in the grass and tried really hard to eat the dirt and grass. She enjoyed her swing and she really liked sitting with me. She wasn't happy with Daddy's lap or timein the high chair unless she was eating snack food or playing with a sippy cup of water (she hasn't really figured out how to use one yet).

So after talking to the doctors earlier this week, I went and got Jordan a new exersaucer. She got into it after her huge afternoon nap and it was like she was in baby heaven. She smiled, giggled, cooed and had a great time. She had so much fun, she didn't even noticed that I left the room. I actually had time to myself while she was awake. Cameron also kept her occupied showing her the many features of her new toy. The best part of it: a noise-making set of animal faces. It includes music... And I watched her actually dance! I didn't catch it on video yet. But I can't wait to show everyone her amazing and sweet little dance. She kind of makes a shy face and shakes her head and waves her hands. Adorable stuff. She was also turning her torso -- which is a skill our OT is encouraging Jordan to work on.


He's home!

Just an update: Dudley is home and well. He must have had a great time because he's exhausted. We've learned a lesson and Randy has something new to tease me with.


Signs my life is too complicated

Dudley pose
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
Dudley ran away when Jordan, Cam and I rushed into the house today. Cam didn't close the door to the garage and Dud ran off.

Did we notice?

Nope. Not until a very kind animal control officer called us. Someone in a neighborhood that's about 30 minutes away in Dudley speed called animal control thinking Dud was dangerous. He was barking at a dog inside the house. The officer said the house dog was very loud and must have caught Dudley's attention. If this person hadn't demanded an officer get Dud, he could have walked to a very busy and dangerous road. So of all the things that could have happened, he is VERY lucky. We are very lucky.

We can't get Dud until tomorrow morning. Apparently he talked them into an extra dinner when they got him into "impound." I'll be waking up early to get him the moment they open.

Jordan had an appointment today to check in with the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation folks. They recommended that we buy one of those exersaucers. I would have bought one a while back... But I've resisted the expense. Silly me. They think it will help her work on her leg movement, standing up and all around comfort in an upright position. Darn. An excuse to visit ToysRUs or Target.


Busy girl

So we got back late last night after another fun-filled trip to Uncle Barry's house. Poor Jordan gets pulled in all kinds of directions... And puts up with it. She and I did a little shopping and she got to go to the Magic House again. She wasn't so excited about the baby area like the last time. She obviously needed a nap and ended up passing out on my shoulder for a good amount of time (I'm still sore).

The hardest part during this trip was how obviously attached Jordan is to me. I actually hid inside Barry's house while he showed her off to a bunch of people who were hanging out for a Labor Day party. She just will not hang out with other people when she knows I'm available. If I'm not around, she's just fine. It kind of stinks. So I hid so other people could enjoy her cuteness up close and personally.

She's getting really good at holding finger food. If she'd just sprout some teeth, she's be getting along pretty well with a little bit of chewy food here and there. I'm not sure what's going on with that delay. Other than that, she's doing great. We had more arm time today and I tried to take her on a walk to our local garden wearing the arm, but she was getting tired and cranky. She enjoyed a snack while Cam and I ate under a shady tree. But she didn't last much longer than that. She passed out in the stroller before we returned home.

We have another busy week ahead of us... For my job and for Jordan's various appointments. We will keep working on the current prosthetic and I'm probably going to move forward and work with another company that may build her a myoelectric arm. I'm just not sure if it's the right direction to go. But I guess the only way we'll know is by giving it a try.


Therapy therapy therapy

Cam asked me this morning: "What is therapy?" I'm not sure how to explain it. He asked after we had an all-family physical therapy session this morning. Jordan does NOT like a new huge blue exercise ball that I bought for her. So we really taxed her by getting her slowly comfortable with the experience. We also learned that we have to stop just picking her up when she needs something. We have to listen and watch her physical cues and show her how to do things for herself. Most babies figure it out... But she is so careful and unsure with certain functions of her body that we have to guide her. So no more picking her up. I have to crouch down low and let her pull up onto me. It makes her mad, but after a while, she's going to figure out this pulling up skill.


Scooting around

Jordan is trying with all her might to move around. So far, what works best for her is slightly moving or scooting on her butt. A teacher told me that Jordan was sitting nearby playing on the play mat. When the teacher looked away, suddenly Jordan was right next to her. Jordan is just scooting slowly around. If that's how she gets around, that's great. But I'm really hoping we can convince her to crawl... But whatever works for her will make me happy. Just watching her want to move around warms my heart. Once again... Another milestone she's going to figure out in some way.


A new prosthetic

Wow. Jordan moved her arm with a prosthetic today... She didn't just move it, she waved her "arm" and she even grabbed a toy with her hand from the prosthetic hand. We finally have a chance to work with what the therapists call her "midline." That's the center of her body... Patty cake is a good example. This new prosthetic works with a suction "gel" that rolls on her arm. There's velcro at the bottom of the gel that threads through the prosthetic and velros onto the side. It holds on with the gel's suction. No straps = Freedom for Jordan's arm.

The coolest part was when I put the prosthetic on Jordan, she was sitting on my lap. Basically she didn't mind the arm, but she wasn't doing much. So then I put her on the table to sit. She immediately noticed the prosthetic and started chewing on it (notice the picture). The upper arm is oversized -- She kind of looks a bit muscular. I'm not quite sure how she can use it with clothes when the temperatures get cooler. But tomorrow, I'm going to try to put her in the car seat wearing it on her way to school. That's actually possible with this new tool. I'm excited. It's a little bit of progress.


8 Months Old!

Can you believe how Jordan is already 8 months old? I'm shocked and amazed by how quickly this year is going by. I'm also amazed by how Jordan is growing her opinions and ideas of what she should be doing. It must be so hard for her since she can't quite move around the way she wants. She reaches and is trying to trust her body. We tried as hard as possible to get Jordan some therapy time with her physical therapist today, but we just couldn't find a good time to make it happen. We'll try again on Saturday morning. We're so lucky she's willing to work with Jordan's schedule so we can really accomplish something. From the way things are going... Jordan has all of the skills she needs to crawl. The trick is showing her how to do it. She's going to end up scooting on her bottom to get around unless we show her the crawling option. According to our PT, that's not the end of the world, but crawling will help her get better at the skill of pulling up. And of course, that's the next step towards walking. I know I say this often. But it really stuns me how simple physical milestones rely on natural skills of every little piece of the body. Take a piece of that body away and the brain has to figure things out differently. That different thought process makes it harder without a little guidance. I swear the last few PT sessions have made amazing changes in Jordan. All she needs are some tips. She's a smart little girl. She's figuring it all out.

I tried to capture pictures Jordan on her 8th month birthday at school today. I didn't have enough time this morning to make it happen at home. She was so tired, but I grabbed a couple of shots that really show my girl.

Tomorrow morning, we're meeting with the prosthetic company to see their newly reworked prosthetic for Jordan. I'm hoping we'll have something that works better. It's been more than 3 weeks since she really fit well into something. Keep your fingers crossed.


Insurance challenge #1

Let the health insurance battles begin. I got my first letter telling me the insurance company won't pay a dime on Jordan's first prosthetic. More than $4,000 worth. I'm ready to do battle. But really, what a bummer. This prosthetic hasn't done much to help Jordan and I'm going to have to fight to get the insurance company to pay for it. And to think I'm going to convince this company to pay for a $20,000 myoelectric prosthetic.

What fun.

On a nice side... I took Jordan to work today and she was so funny. She's obsessed with chewing on paper these days. Any time we were kind of close to paper, she reached for it. When we walked by a printer printing out scripts... She was in LOVE with that machine. It was classic. The new thing with her -- If she gets any grasp of a piece of paper, you have to let her rip the crap out of it. If you take it out of her hand, she gets really upset. It's funny. Paper is the first thing she's willing to fight for.

I'm willing to fight for anything for her. Tomorrow will be round one in the insurance department. Wish me luck.