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.


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.