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.


Wow. Things change fast

I got stuck at work late today because we finally launched the new and improved KOMU.com! (hooray!) So my in-laws got to be there with Jordan when our PT worked with her. Miss Jordan "walked" for an entire 30 minutes. Up and down the driveway, along the little walkway. She just wanted to go, go, go. I'm proud. I also kind of think that the day wouldn't have been as productive if I was there. So I'm proud.

The girl is babbling a TON. She's trying to copy words. She so happy to get involved in our dinner conversations. She's still eating all kinds of foods (past the time when her brother made the decision that bread products were the only things he would eat). It's just fun.


15 Months Old

15 Months Old
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom.
She's growing so fast. But you know, I've been able to slowly work into the toddler world with Jordan. The lucky part of not having a walking toddler is how I've been able to watch her personality grow, her language grow... Her love of the world and communication grow. I'm not focusing my attention on her need for walking speed. She scoots fast, but it isn't as efficient as walking. And that gives me more time to hold her, sit with her and just play. At this age, Cam was so on the go, my head was spinning. My world with Jordan is going to change into something like that soon. But I have to say I'm lucky to have enjoyed an extended "baby time." But with more communication. Girl knows what she wants and I'm getting good at reading it.

Jordan is doing a fantastic job at walking with my help. It's a really new thing. I hold onto her hips and she is moving - both left and right foot going forward. I'm thrilled. I'm scared. I hope we'll be able to continue to make so much progress. I got an email from a parent web page that said: "Happy 15 month old birthday. At this age, 90 percent of kids walk." I shouldn't care. But I do... Just a little bit.

One other little note: Her top molars started poking through this week. Must be why her nose has been drippy and her cough returned. She still doesn't drool.

So this is what I do

Here's a truthful parody of my industry... except I work on the local level. Honest. We're not as swarmy.


Oh dear. I'm obsessed.

So I'm falling deeper and deeper into this little blog world. I like it. It's nice to find other mommies out there who understand what's going on. Sometimes I link over to visit with BethGo and find her to be a wonderful support source. Sometimes I visit Imperfect Mommy to check on my friend's wife and kids or Sweetney who happens to be very kind to my brother. But now I've started visiting all kinds of other Mommy blogs through these two blogging groups I've joined (notice the links to the left). I feel like I'm spying, even though these other Moms have welcomed me by being a part of these groups. I'm a bit hooked though. I have a new website to help launch at work (a new and improved KOMU.com coming to a computer soon). The majority of my web crew is on vacation this week, so I should be copy editing everything that's online right now.

Anyway. That's the strange thing I'm going through right now. And a tiny sidebar to that. Every time I look at a photo of a child in these blogs. I have to be honest. I look at the hands first to see if there are any differences. It's a bad habit.

Oh! And one other thing. A friend of mine has started a new jewelry business. She has beautiful stuff. I highly recommend her work!!

One other thing that I've been pondering. I realize that I don't talk to a ton of my friends anymore. I'm so self-consumed with my little world. I worry that my blogs allow me to consume myself even more. Then there's my dear friends who don't have to call me to see what's going on... Because my life is available right here on this blog and Cam's blog. I have no idea what they're up to. So if you're a pal of mine and I haven't talked to you in a while, please leave a comment. Let me know you're okay. And I'm sorry I don't call enough. I'm sorry I don't send enough personal emails. I'm just sorry I'm not giving you the time and attention a friend should give you!!

Taking a stand

As I had mentioned earlier this week... I didn't take many pictures of the kids over the weekend. But this one makes me proud. She stood up at the door all by herself. She wanted to watch her brother while I cooked dinner.

It's sweet because she chanted: "Dog! Dog!" And "Bubba! Bubba!" Who knows if she was calling to Bubba the dog or trying to say "brother." Probably both. She loves them both a lot.


So big

I swear Jordan is trying to say "brother." Today we watched her big brother pedaling his new bike all by himself. Big day. We watched him ride up and down a nearby parking lot. She just waved and tried to say "brother." Very cool stuff.

After he rode the bike, she wanted to check it out too. She was lucky to get instruction on how to ride a bike from her now-expert big brother.

Classic weekend

Although daddy wasn't around this weekend, I have to say we had a really good time. It was one of those weekends where I focused so deeply on the kids, that I didn't even think of finding the camera. I pulled out the camera phone a couple of times.

We were outside or doing something all day. Church, Sunday school, napping, playing, shopping and we even spent some great time at the library. Jordan was scooting and pulling up on all kinds of things. The big shocker for me: She pulled up into a couple of little kid chairs. It was cool. Of course, I was reveling in her sitting skill when she suddenly lunges forward to touch the table... but the chair wasn't pushed in. So she head plants into the little table. Fortunately, it was a rounded edge table. I caught her before she fell on her face, but she'll have a bit of a bruise there. It's so hard to not hover over her. She has to learn her boundaries. But watching her bump and bruise up isn't fun. Cam went through it too. This isn't a new experience for me. But it's never fun to watch!

By the way. The girl LOVES oranges. You should have seen her tear though them at church. It was especially fun to hear a parent say: "I wish my child ate like that."


Big strides

Jordan's physical therapist worked with her today... And we've both come to the conclusion that we just can't get much therapy done when I'm around. I'm the comfort zone. I'm not supposed to force her to do things she doesn't want to do. So she's going to look into getting permission from my case manager to work with Jordan at school. She'd like to up the time with her and really get focused on walking. She really thinks Jordan is weeks away from the skill.

After today, I really think it's possible.

She was pulling up onto just about anything: the fridge, the stove, the door, any type of chair, my leg, statues at the local garden where we spent hours playing today.

Jordan's therapist also put new inserts into her shoes... Hopefully that is helping as well. The inserts have really helped her right foot. Without a shoe on, she holds that foot flat on the ground. It's fantastic.

The hardest part in watching Jordan finally gain better skills in cruising along furniture and pulling up to stand at things is watching when she fails. Without that second hand, her leverage is tenuous at best... And that little arm can be very slippery. I watched her crash to the floor a lot today. And I can't gasp in horror or cry out, or else she will lose it and give up trying. But I just want to pick her up each time and do it for her. But she has to learn. It's really hard. But it thrills me to watch her have this problem. She really wants to stand up more. When I put her down, she holds her body into a standing position for a little time, or she chooses to stand at my legs. All of these little developments are a really big deal.

I took Jordan to the nearby fountain and garden this afternoon with her brother -- she stood along all kinds of things -- even tried to climb into the planter that is around the fountain. She almost did it, then sat down and clapped for herself. Plain cute.

The one thing I regret was not taking a camera along for the fun. I gave her a grocery-store boxed ice cream cone and it turned into a very big mess. I have yet to clean up the sticky stroller.


How she grows

I've been drowning in work, child care and travel. I haven't been posting about my world enough lately. But I have to say life with my girl is getting more and more interesting. For a couple of days, the boys of the family were out of town enjoying basketball. So I got to enjoy Jordan time to myself. She and I played outside and enjoyed some good giggles and talking about the dogs. She loves saying: "Hi Bubba!" Bubba is our little black pug dog. She ADORES our dogs.

Jordan got to enjoy her brother's performance in "Curious George and the Puppies." She was more interested in the fact that there was someone sitting in front of us and could kick.

Then we went off to enjoy a little basketball fun with family and friends. It was really my first time with Jordan away from home since she's gotten a bit more adventurous and mobile. She was climbing up steps, scooting and pulling up on a bunch of furniture. I was tired!

To make the past week more exhausting, I agreed to analyze 60 different news websites for a national contest. 60 websites is a lot of work... Especially since more broadcast companies use similar content management systems. I was trying really hard to find the elements where each station was trying to (get ready for this one) break outside of the content manager box. (yeah, I'm talking like I'm teaching my class) This hard work has been pretty exhausting. I'm happy to be done.

So here's a little blast from the past:

powered by ODEO

I'm tinkering with an embeddable audio player for my work web page. I have a reporter who is working on a story with images and audio... and I'd like to use our standard content manager to post the items.

While I was out of town with Jordan, we got her new, expensive shoes. It turns out her feet were an entire size bigger!! That's kind of surprising. The shoes are cute. I did buy little bells that you put over the shoe tie to keep Jordan from undoing the shoes. It's kind of cute, but tricky to get on in the morning if Jordan isn't in a good mood. Hopefully better fitting shoes will help her with moving around!

Oh... Best part of last week: I took Jordan and Cam to the children's museum that we love to visit. This was the first time Jordan was old enough to really love it there. She stood up and enjoyed so many different experiences: blocks, water, sand... toys. It was wonderful. I'll try to get pics uploaded to Flickr soon.


She stood up!

After months and months and months of encouraging Jordan... Today, I walked into her room to say good morning and I watched her stand up in her crib. SHE STOOD UP!!

I'm so proud. I picked her up, spun her around and read her all of her favorite books.


Some work to do

I've been trying to work with Jordan on her walking with very little progress. Today we met with her physical therapist and she said we have some intense work to do. But if we do that, she thinks we could get Jordan walking in a month or two.

So here's what we have to do... Never just plop her down into a sit. And we have to get into a habit of always walking to certain spots in the house. We'll start with always walking to the high chair to eat. She didn't like it this evening... But she also had been walking around the house a lot this afternoon with her therapist. That is hard work.

The therapist is going to see if our state program will approve working with Jordan two times a week for a month so we can hit this effort really hard... But first, we have to work on Jordan's left leg. Apparently, her right leg is doing a really good job going through the motions of walking. Her left leg shoots out too much to the side. We have to keep teaching her how to move her leg well. I'm not sure how yet, but I'm going to spend more time focusing on walking. We'll also work on her shoe lift... Get it forcing her left foot flat more. At this point, her right foot is figuring that out.

I try not to get worried about Jordan's physical needs. She always figures it out eventually. But I want to help her as best I can. I worry I can't give her enough time to focus on walking. I know the teachers at school can't do it all the time. So the walking task at school will be anytime the kids are walking outside. We'll have Jordan walk out as well. Our therapist is recommending I scrounge up a bunch of overalls... without snaps in the legs so you can actually tug onto her and keep her up. Yikes!


Another rash

A day "airing out" Jordan's little arm didn't really help get rid of her heat rash. So I put some cream on it before bed time and I hope it helps. I've been obsessively cleaning the prosthetic, so I know that's not the reason behind her rash this time around.

The day ended with Jordan seeming more like herself. I can't see any teeth poking, but I may not be looking in the right place. I do know that she's madly in love with her brother and the dogs... They make her giggle the most. And honestly, she could sit outside all day and giggle manically and say "dog" again and again and again. I have to get video of the laugh. She has two kinds: hysterical laughter (from tickles and outright silliness) or mischievous laugher (from seeing things she likes or doing something she's proud of).

Oh and one other thing. Without her prosthetic, my girl climbed up 5 stairs all by herself. It's cool and scary all at the same time.

Words, words and more words

Jordan's words came spilling out this past weekend. Now she's trying very hard to copy things I say and she's saying things more and more. Yesterday she said hi to a teacher and actually said something that sounded like her name... And as I commented on her flowers, Jordan said: Flawwww.

Here's a cute moment of Jordan over the weekend:

If you can't see it, go here.

At the same time, something is going on with her -- She's been crying in her sleep. She had a long crying spell at school (which is TOTALLY strange). I think she's cutting teeth, but she just seems to be acting a little odd. And another challenge: things are getting hot here for the first time and Jordan's arm sprouted a heat rash yesterday after wearing her prosthetic. I feel terrible for her. Not to mention, if this was the very first warm day, what is she going to do when it's hot every day? It's a bummer.


More family time

Jordan got to hang out with all of us this weekend... Along with Grandma Lee! As a part of her visit, Jordan started using more words again: "hi," "dada," "bubba," "dudley," "dog," "duck," and "night night."

Big fat sweet moment: I was rocking her in my arms just before I put her down into her crib. I told her night night and she waves her hand and said: "night night."

I melted. It was so perfect.

Things are warming up again. I bought her a jacket that's too big for her -- but easier to fit her prosthetic... And easier to roll it up for her little arm when she isn't wearing her robot arm.



Times change

As Jordan and I got our day rolling this morning, I had a knock on the door. Crews were here to clear some branches so the power company could tighten our power lines (it was droopy in the backyard... and as Cam gets older, the scarier that droopy line seemed). I showed the crew a tree that was threatening the power lines and convinced them to take the tree down as well. It really stinks to have to say goodbye to a tree.

The tree was rotting from the bottom and was going to fall. It had to happen. But I had to take a picture of it to remember. It's the tree in the middle of this picture. Why am I so sentimental? Well, first I'll miss its shade. But most of all, it's my favorite hide-and-seek tree with Cam. I have used it to avoid his poor ability to seek for years.

But what made me very sappy, was just knowing that Jordan never had a chance to enjoy that tree. So I leave this picture for her to know about it someday.

The upside of it all: We don't have a droopy power line anymore. Let the backyard volleyball commence!


In a funk

I've been a bit down today... So it's great to know I have my kids to bring in the smiles. I let Jordan take a big long morning nap before heading to work today. She decided to try and play with head bands that are too big for her head... and just slightly too small for mine. She thinks it's funny when we both wear them at the same time. As you can see in this picture, she's giving me my head band for silly dress up time.

Cutest moment not caught on camera: I snuck in to watch Jordan nap and found her sleeping butt-up. You know, curled up in a ball, with the butt sticking up in the air. It's the sweetest thing and I've never seen her sleep that way before. It was Cam's constant sleep position when he was a baby... And I'll tell you: he sometimes still does!

How much is too much

I've hit the classic working mom hump. My husband has decided that I'm not doing enough at home and too much at work. What is the right balance? How important is our housework compared to the time I spend with the children?

My priorities are my kids, my family and my job over housework. Apparently I have to drop some work items and place more importance on the housework.

I'll be honest. I don't know what I'm going to drop. But clearly I'm going to have to drop something.


Outside fun

Scooting through the chalk art
Originally uploaded by Jen.
We are slowly getting outside again as the ice and snow melts and the sun is out longer. Jordan came out to enjoy the cold pavement and chalk with her brother and I. She didn't do a lot of drawing, but she did seem to enjoy trying to chew on chalk and scoot around on our colorful art.

Her butt was covered in dirt and chalk... And I didn't care. She's missing out on some great parts of Spring because she wants to move around, but can't walk yet. I guess I could let her scoot around in the dirt and mud, but I'm too prissy to let her do that. I opened up and at least let her get dirty and dusty on the driveway.

She loved it. Jordan, Cam and I took a walk earlier in the day and she just grinned and laughed, even if the wind was a bit chilly. The outdoors just make Jordan bright and cheerful. The natural effects of the sun work instantly for her.

As I drew with the kids, I realized the joy on their faces and the art on the ground deserved some camera time. This is my favorite picture... I didn't pose it, it just happened.


Family weekend

Jordan got to spend the weekend with her Grandma and Poppy... While I judged contest entries all day on Saturday. It was an honor to be a part of the judging process, but MAN did it take a long time. I missed a whole day with the family.

But here's the moment every Mom wants. I came home while the family was eating dinner. I walk in and there's Jordan waving her hand and little arm to say hi. She was SO happy and it made me smile. You know, the deep-down smile where you feel warm in your belly. Her bright little face. It was just a great moment.

She started chanting "no no no no no" this weekend. Yuck. The funny thing is most of the time she's not really saying no to mean no. She's just saying it because it's a word. Hopefully it's just a beginning for words that help her feel like she's communicating... And won't need to scream.

Another thought... I've noticed I'm obsessing on two-handed kids again. Maybe I'm really just obsessing on kids that can walk. I'm not sure. But it feels like I go through waves where I'm still dealing with a little sadness and jealousy towards other families. It's silly though. Jordan doesn't know any different... Her world is complete. Hell, my world is complete. But every once and a while, I just wish it was as simple as other families have it. Pulling up to stand isn't even something you notice, because it's so easy. Going out doesn't require finding a jacket that fits over the prosthetic arm. I don't want pity... I guess I just want it to be easier. In reality, things aren't that difficult in our world. Jordan needs therapy, she isn't walking, but she is growing, learning and so happy. I shouldn't complain. I'm just a little jealous lately.


Three days in a row

It's like this blog has taken a fast turn into the negative about Jordan's world. I don't mean to do that. But here's the latest news: She has bitten a child at school three days in a row.

I think she's aggravated. I feel bad for her and her hand biting victims.

This is a hard time in a kid's life. There aren't enough words, teeth are ripping through your mouth and in Jordan isn't as mobile as most of the kids in the room. Not to mention, all kids want the world to revolve around themselves. It makes it a breeding ground for biting.

I'm not sure how you fix it. Consequences are a lesson that we're just starting to teach. You can't drop her off at school and say: Okay Jordan, don't bite today. Okay?

So I'm hoping this phase just goes away soon.