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.


Grandparent time

Jordan gets to hang out at home for the rest of the week... Her Grandma and Poppy are here because of a big tree house project underway in our backyard. I'm really glad that she had that chance, because today was a really big sleep day. She woke up early and less than an hour later, she was back asleep. She slept for more than 3 hours, and took a nap two and a half hours later in the day... along with another 45 minute one. She wouldn't have come close to that kind of sleep if she'd been at school. So I'm so glad she got to rest at home today. The down side, when I came home to feed her, she had gone back to sleep. So I didn't get a chance for my midday feeding... and that means I missed out on my midday cuddles.

But Jordan got Grandma love... And I'm always happy for her to get that from any of her grandparents.

Jordan has a big day coming up. Both sets of her grandparents will be there this weekend. She's getting baptized in an outdoor church service this Sunday. I hope the weather cooperates. Cam had his baptism outside in Grand Rapids... And it just felt more special outside. Instead of next to the Grand River, we'll have the ceremony at a local garden.

Today when I came home from work, she was in her Grandma's arms and she just saw me and gave me the happiest smile. The moment I picked her up, she giggled and buried her head into my shoulder. It was wonderful. She squealed and smiled for a good 15 minutes or so with me before it was obvious she needed to go to bed. But man, those were special 15 minutes for a Mommy like me.

By the way. I finally updated a few weeks of pictures.


5 Months Old!

Wow. How fast the time goes by as Jordan grows. It's pretty amazing. Today was a holiday, so we had to work with the kids. And I don't fear that, I actually consider that a fun day in my world. Cam and I got to hang out while Jordan took her morning nap. After we got her ready, we took a bunch of Jordan's 5 month old pictures. She's so sweet. And Cam gets her to laugh SOOOO big. When she's around Cam, her big smiles turn into open mouth smiles.

After the many pictures with Jordan and Cam, we headed to work. It was great. Cam played with the reporters and Jordan helped me work on the web. She ate and napped a couple of times. Acutally, her second nap was so long, I can say today was a productive day at work. Randy and Cam left early to go shopping an dstart up the grill for a local slab of yummy beef (brisket to be exact).

Jordan got to hang out and smile with many reporters and producers... But I have ot just say how amazing she was: The only time she complained was when she was hungry or needed a nap. She's so peaceful and pleasant... Very second child. She's much more willing to put up with what she's dealt.

Now that Jordan's been with us 5 months, I think back on how much we've learned about her and how she's becoming a little person with a personality. She is happy playing... with a person or on her own. She loves music and she really loves Cam singing to her. Heck, she loves Cam doing anything with her. She's having a hard time focusing on things like eating with Mommy when there are things to see or listen to... Even when a dog shows up in her room, she has to stop eating and see the dog. She'll show off her smile and return to eating for a little while... Until the next noise. She sleeps 12 to 14 hours a night and rarely has a hard time going to sleep. She's a joy. I'm so lucky to be her Mommy. And to think she's only been with us for 5 months. It feels like she's always fit in with our family.


Rolling and giggling

Have I mentioned that Jordan can't pay attention when I'm feeding her these days? It's a very standard issue for babies at this age. The world is exciting, and she doesn't want to miss any moment that is happening behind her when she's eating. So she eats a little, turns around to look at something... then returns to eat. I was late for almost everything by 10 minutes this week because of her attention defecit issues. I don't mind. I just have to plan the feedings better until she gets over the attention thing.

Then there's the rolling thing. I'm still thrilled. I couldn't get her to do it during her occupational therapy session on Friday. But she's still able to roll when I'm watching. I've got to get her to do it more often and around more people.

Have I mentioned that I got a new phone? It's a nerdy nerd phone. But as you may have noticed in my last video posting -- the phone has a video camera and a little still camera on it. So I'm snapping pictures at everything Jordan and Cam are doing. I've stopped dragging the really nice camera to every appointment... Since a camera phone picture is okay for a blog. It's not really great for photo frames, but really -- How many pictures do I really print? Very few.

Jordan is one step closer to her first real prosthetic. This is a picture of her wearing the top portion of it. There's no bend to it yet. The prosthetist ordered a hand, but it's the size of Cam's hand... Way too big for Jordan. So now the hand part is delayed. We're also still looking for a better way to hold it onto her arm... A simple strap isn't enough and it doesn't let her move her hand enough to the center. So we have to keep working on that as well. Jordan' not too thrilled about it all... And so far, I don't think this tool is much of a tool. But if we just practice with wearing something on her arm, I have to believe we're doing something.


Rolling over!! Both ways!!

I'm so excited. Two days ago, Jordan's teachers said she rolled over. They missed which direction she rolled. Today I was in the prosthetic office when I got Jordan to roll one way on camera... And then she rolled the other direction! Very cool.

If you can't see it, click here.


Kick kick kick

She figured it out. Jordan is kicking up at everything. In the last week it finally clicked: kick high and you can turn or hit the mobile or hold onto your feet and eat them. Fun stuff. I guess this picture of her kicking her feet up before a performance of an Elmo show is a little strange... but it shows how she'll start kicking anywhere -- even on my lap. We also have a new test socket to work on -- this time with velcro to help keep it on her arm. She's starting to get used to it a bit. We'll see.

I dressed Jordan up in a sweet bow and an outfit with little rosebuds yesterdeay... So I had to get pictures of that. Jordan is turning into an all around sweet little girl. I took her furniture shopping with me yesterday. I knew she'd get tired at some point, and she didn't complain, she just fell asleep as I rolled around the stores. She did complain when we all took a family walk around the neighborhood... But she got to sleep during that trip as well yesterday.

Oh -- And anytime Cameron does anything in her face -- sing, talk, act goofy... She giggles. I do the stupidest things to get her to laugh. All Cam has to do is get his face near hers. Lucky kid.


Another long day at school

Jordan had another hard day sleeping at school. I feel so bad for her. When we get her home, she's so darn tired.

Today I had to work late, so Randy got to put her to bed. He said it was two minutes of crying, 30 minutes of sucking down the bottle, two minutes of crying and another 30 seconds of sucking down the bottle... Then it was time to sleep.

Her new thing: Kicking her feet up VERY high. Then she kicks her feet up over to the side of her crib and starts turning her body sideways in the crib. I've also noticed she's trying REALLY hard to move her body to the side. I'm thinking she's getting much closer to rolling over on her own.


Shopper, sleeper and traveler

Jordan and I and my Mom just got back from a conference where I had to sit in a room and talk about my future as a professional practice professor. I improved my portfolio and got some good advice on how to improve.

Our first night, Jordan stayed up really late to go shopping with my Mom and I. She was amazing. She looked at the clothes and smiled at us. She didn't even freak out and act overstimulated and upset when I finally put her to bed.

She's napping better than how she naps at school... But she's still a little behind on her nap schedule compared to the way it was before she went to day care. I'll try not to dwell or be sad about that one.

It was cool that my Mom got so much one-on-one time with the girl. She's so sweet and I think my Mom really got to enjoy her sweetness.


Special Mother's Day

So today I was a Mommy to two on a Mother's Day. I'm so lucky. Jordan was full of smiles today. We finally found a baptism dress! It is sweet and simple and sleeveless -- which I felt was very, very important. My Mom came into town yesterday. She arrived late in St. Louis, so I stayed in town after taking Cam to a Cardinal's game. That's why we got a chance to shop at real stores for a day and find a great outfit for Jordan. Heck, Cam and Jordan got to go to the Disney Store too. Lucky kids.

Anyway... I just want to say how lucky I feel to be a Mom. I think the challenges I'm dealing with are just so small compared to other Moms... But this year's Mother's Day is a little bittersweet. Why you ask? It's because I'm a member of a special Mom's club. It's a club none of us asked to join. But I'm proud to be a member of Moms with kids who are different. We are the encouragers, the supporters and I hope God gives me the ability to help Jordan and Cameron grow to be loving, caring and understanding people who aren't afraid to be who they are.

When I went to buy Jordan's baptism dress today, I told the woman working at the store that I was looking for a sleeveless dress... And I didn't hesitate to say it's because Jordan was born missing her arm from the elbow down and how I don't want her arm to disappear in her dress. No flinching, no hemming and hawing. And I'm proud of that. It took me a while to not flinch in preparation for the other person's reaction. So on this Mother's Day, I'm proud of how I'm a new Mom... A more caring Mom. And I really do feel blessed to be the Mom to my two kids.


Tummy time, better. Sitting, needs work.

Jordan had PT and OT in the same day. Bad planning on my part. Jordan dealt with it pretty well... Until after about 20 or so minutes of OT. She got so upset. I felt terrible for her and we had to end our appointment. So I sent her off to "school" so she could try to rest in a room where that one baby is so dang loud, I don't even know how the teachers can tolerate it all day... Let alone the babies.

Randy and I went by school for Jordan's first parent-teacher conference. Silly, eh? Anyway. This school actually has a curriculum for babies ages 0-8 months. I guess that makes it more possible for me to call Jordan's daycare a "school." Good news. Jordan is kicking butt at school. No, really, she's doing just fine. She's found her place as the little baby in the room. The teachers protect her from the other "big" kids. And she's really enjoying playing with the adults and the toys. The older babies are a little too rough for her at this point.


Busy, busy, busy

Life is so busy these days... I'm struggling to get a new syllabus put together for a class that I'm kicking off next week. There are so many logistics that I am not sure how I'm going to get it done. At the same time, there's a few fun things going on in my world. The best one: Jordan and Cameron and Randy got to meet my friend Ambrose. This year he's touring with one of the tent shows of Cirque de Soleil. He's a clown and it was so obvious when you watched him interact with Cam and Jordan. You should check out some of his funny stuff on his personal clown team named Happy Hour. There are some very funny video clips that are great to watch when the kids are in bed. If you just want to watch the videos... If you search "happy hour clown" in You Tube, you'll find three of their mini-movies. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Ambrose for about a half of a day. Jordan loved his hair. Did I get a picture of him with Jordan? No. She slept through most of his visit. She had another 13 and a half hour rest. And every time I checked on her in the night and morning, she was sucking her thumb. I recently changed the type of matress pad she's sleeping on and I took off the crib bumpers.

Why you ask? Well, she finally showed signs of trying to roll over during our most recent OT appointment. And she was trying to throw her LEFT side over. The side where she doesn't have as much leverage. Amazing. She is incredible. Oh and her teachers told me that she doesn't like to be held when she is upset -- She'd rather go on a swing or lay down in her crib.

One other mention about Ambrose... When I stopped by school this afternoon to feed Jordan (which today was the first time I arrived and she wasn't hungry -- she was so hungry this morning, she had eaten 10 ounces just an hour before I got there), everyone wanted to know about Ambrose. I brought him in when I dropped Jordan off for the day. He also got a chance to say good bye to Cam. It was very sweet. They all wanted to know who was that tall skinny white guy with the huge 'fro. I smiled... He's just a normal everyday friend of mine!


The fittings just keep going

So we had another fitting today for Jordan's arm. She was so good... The test socket is made of a plastic form that kind of moves around like a soda bottle -- it's thicker, but very similar in how it stretches and bends. Actually, it's kind of the thickness of a Livestrong bracelet. I digress. Our prosthetist has to mold it here and there a little more. The biggest challenge is the ball of muscle at the base of Jordan's arm. When she tightens up the muscle, her arm shortens and gets wider, when she relaxes, the arm is much longer in length and thinner. Yikes. That's pretty tricky for the guys who are going to construct this arm. There was a cool moment as we were leaving. One of the guys who works at the prosthetics business had his wife come by with their 6 month old daughter so the girls could meet. They both looked at each other, touched their clothes, touched hands... It was cute.

Tonight when I came home, Jordan was outside with Randy and Cam... She is so dang happy outside. She almost jumped into my arms, she was happy to seem me. That made me feel pretty darn good. It's nice to be loved.


Fitting Day

Jordan survived another fitting. Instead of waiting and doing another fitting on the same day, we're going back on Monday to do a final fitting before they build the actual arm. I keep wanting to write more about her visit... But I keep getting dragged into taking care of the kids, or the house or finally going to sleep. I don't do that enough.

Anyway, Jordan and I got the fitting done with a few tears... When she was crying, I wasn't taking pictures. She was pretty annoyed with the poking and prodding. So we'll do it again on Monday. Hopefully we'll get the real thing soon. Will it help her? Only time will tell.

This weekend, Grandma and Poppy came for a visit, so Jordan got all kinds of extra love. She gave me some AWESOME giggles after her first nap. I'm working really hard to get a couple of giggles. More often, she just smiles big when I'm being silly. But man, she is TALKING. She squeals if she's happy, sad, annoyed... just about anything. It's very cool. I love baby development.

But I'll also miss the sweet little "goo" that she used to say.


Go girl!

So I mentioned to the OT that Jordan tried to grab onto something with her hand and arm over the weekend... So we worked on that skill today. SHE ROCKED! She's figuring out that if you reach further out with her hand and meet up with her little arm, she can hold onto things. I'm so proud to watch her figure things out.

I would have to say this is the first development that just makes me swim with pride. She is figuring out her world on her own and in her own way. During the last two or three OT appointments, I've really seen her develop. These 45 minute sessions help me just focus in on what she's learning about herself. I'm so happy.

We have our second fitting for Jordan's prosthetic on Friday. The appointment may last two hours... Followed by her OT apointment. Friday will be long and exhausting for my baby... And probably for me.