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.


17 Months Old

Miss Jordan is 17 months old today. I'm so proud of all she's been able to do in the last month! She's walking better every day. Yesterday, she was walking FAST from one spot to the other in our basement. She fell on her face on Sunday and even though she bruised her mouth, she kept going. I tried to capture a sweet moment with her outside of school. She was a bit skeptical with my picture taking efforts... As you can see.

Most mornings, Jordan is willing to hold my hand and walk into school. Lately she's demanded that she gets to walk in and visit Cam's room first. She'll be pretty disappointed in two weeks when he's not around anymore! It will be three years before she gets the chance to go to school with him again! Jordan is excellent at saying hi and bye. This picture is her saying bye to me this morning. She's also picking up fun words. She kept pointing at a doll yesterday saying: "Baby!" She also likes to say "tickletoes" when I start tickling her toes. I usually yell: "Tickle Toes!!" And she repeats after me. Now when I tell that story with her around, she starts tickling her belly to show how she knows how to tickle.

Jordan loves giving high fives! Last night she blew a kiss to her Dad and then required him to high five that kiss that she blew. Pretty cool.

With Jordan's growing enjoyment of walking, she's more independent. She wants to go outside all the time and will cry at the door if she doesn't get what she wants. But she's also able to play a little with her brother. It's fun to watch. Hopefully they'll be able to continue to play and giggle together.

In the month ahead, we're going to work harder on specific signs to help Jordan with her words. I can read her really well, but I'd like to remove some of the screaming and pointing. We're also going to work on walking better and going up and down stairs. It's something she already loves to do at school. The goal is to just get her moving and grooving as best she can! It's exciting. I know we're finally officially moving into "toddler mode." She's getting more independent and I'll be chasing after her soon enough!


Jordan's Third Movie

Jordan went to her third movie today... But I think this was the first that she really watched. She giggled when other people giggled. She waved at the characters and actually sat in her own seat the majority of the movie. Fun! What makes this especially fun is how Cam's first movie was Shrek 2... He was a whole year older than Jordan is today.

So I just discovered a super cool nerdy application. If you have a flickr, picasa or facebook account where you store photos, this thing called picnik where you can edit the photos once they're already uploaded. Right now I tend to import into iPhoto or Photoshop and then export to Flickr. This would be reason to just madly upload all of my photos and just edit once it's there. I dig it.


Prosthetic action

Jordan is figuring things out. Last Friday I got a voicemail from her occupational therapist telling me how Jordan was figuring out how to really use her prosthetic. Today I got to see the proof. This picture shows Jordan holding a striped tube that you have to hold to put shapes on it. She would actually grab the tube and throw it under her prosthetic arm. She also would hold onto things with both arms to place items onto the floor. It was very cool to watch.

Of course, I'm proud. It's a great feeling.

Later this afternoon, Jordan followed me down a school hallways as I went to pick up Cam from the playground. All of Cam's little friends got excited. Heck, I was excited. This is so fun!


Wow (Shaking head)

I normally talk about Jordan here, but I've turned up my nerd level a notch since I got a new MacBook Pro yesterday. I'm scheming to get my station's website up and running with a big project for next year, so today I started building documents on Google Documents and I'm kind of excited about it. Hopefully it will be a way to help get all of the players communicating with each other.

As for Miss Jordan, the walking comes when she wants to. The good news? She wants to walk more than she used to. It's exciting. She's also trying to say so many words and has so many wants and needs. Her happiest is when she's outside. I try to get her out there as often as possible. The strange thing is she's outside just about as much as Cam, but her skin is so much darker than his. They both get slathered with sunscreen so I'm guessing Jordan's tan skin is more of a genetic thing. I haven't quite figured it out. But I do know that when she's tan, her prosthetic looks REALLY white.


Here we go

With Jordan' breaking into a more independent world... The terrible twos are breaking through. In the past week, she falls into severe tantrums. They are loud, emotional and shockingly upsetting. She got so upset today that she started to gag. It happened twice.

I talked to her physical therapist who says she's seem similar issues during her time with Jordan. So she's kindly coming over on Saturday so we can figure out the right sign language that might help guide Jordan into less screaming and more communicating. I hope it helps!!!


Even the boy is excited

Cam and I watched Jordan stand up, walk across the grass and step up onto the concrete in the backyard, then walk over to me where I was sitting in a chair.

Even Cam was excited.

Wow. Now I have to carry a camera to capture a moment to share with everyone!


Home just in time

I got home this afternoon... While I was on the phone with the family this morning, Jordan took six steps across the room without any encouragement.

When I got home this afternoon, she started walking non-stop... Holding hands or not holding hands. Then something amazing happened while Cam, Jordan and I were playing with chalk: Jordan started standing up and walking all by herself. ALL by herself! The scooting world is days away from leaving us. And my simple non-mobile baby world is going to change.

The picture? Well it was taken awhile ago, but I had forgotten my brother-in-law text messaged it to me. It's fantastic and one of the best I have of both kids at the same time. I makes me happy, so I thought I'd share.

I'm so excited to be home. I'm extra excited that Jordan waited to really kick the walking into full gear until I got home.


So silly

I was snuggling with Jordan right before bedtime and I got all goofy... I'm not sure why. I'm going on a road trip to a conference tomorrow and for some reason that makes me more nervous than flying to a location. It's easier to get into an accident in a car.

Anyway. I just soaked in my time with both kids this evening... Maybe because I had enough time to cook and enjoy them. Usually it's a big rush towards dinner and bed time.

I don't like leaving the kids. This conference is an important chance to connect with industry folks... But I don't think I'm going to do this again for a while.

I haven't had a lot of sleep lately. I think it's making me extra goofy.


Is it too late to change my mind?

So I'm heading out of town this week for a conference and a quick visit to see old friends. I just got an email from Jordan's physical therapist who said she thinks Jordan is possibly days away from walking and recommended someone keeps a video camera around at all times to capture the big moment when it all kicks in.

Maybe I shouldn't leave town!

But then again, she's probably more likely to walk without me around. Maybe a little time away from me with intensive PT will be exactly what she needs.

Another interesting development: Jordan's therapist thinks she walks way better with the prosthetic on so we should wear it more than I've had her wearing lately. Apparently Jordan throws her little arm high into the air to try and maintain balance that she feels when she wears her arm. Very interesting.


Hooray family

In the midst of my crazy life and efforts to balance everything I do... I spent the majority of my day with my kids. Even though I went into work this morning... I brought the kids. I wanted to be around them as much as I could.

This weekend has been overwhelming. Our students graduated yesterday... It was my birthday. We tried to celebrate the students and my birthday at the same time. Today was our last major day of flood coverage... I went in to take care of the newsroom this morning. It's Mother's Day. It was a strange Mother's Day. Cam and Jordan made cards at school... But it never felt like a Mother's Day.

My Mom basically hung up on me today when I had the kids call to wish her happy mother's day. We were lucky enough to enjoy mother's day with her last year. I didn't send a card. I didn't have the kids do an art project. I screwed up.

I didn't win at anything today. At least I got a couple of pictures with the kids.


Simple sadness

For the last four years, we've had it really good. Really good. We've had a job that has been incredibly fulfilling, although exhausting. We have two awesome kids, although exhausting. But there's been a very fortunate family connection. My brother-in-law lives less than two hours away from us. He has been a really important part of our lives.

This morning we found out he's moving and I'm devastated. His love for us and our kids has been incredibly special... And his ease to visit has been really special to Cam and Jordan. He's one of the few people who she'll let her hold other than me. I knew this was a possibility all along. But it's rare to fall into such a comfortable pattern.

We go there, hang out, play with his fiends. The in-laws can meet us there and watch the kids while we play. We can go there, go to the zoo or a children's museum. He's always made his home our home. You just don't get that lucky. I moved a ton as a kid and I had to accept change. I'm in a position in my life where I've decided to stay put. It's a new experience. So just as I settle in, Uncle Barry has to move on.

So I will celebrate the wonderful four years we've had living so close to Uncle Barry. Maybe someday we'll be lucky enough to have him live near us again.


She has her own baseball

Here you go... My girl with her first baseball from Busch Stadium. It was hot, I got a sunburn. But she didn't seem to mind. The hardest part was keeping her hydrated even though she'd been on the BRAT diet. You know: Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. I brought toast, applesauce and bananas along with Pedialyte. When the Pedialyte turned into a warm orange liquid, Jordan wasn't very interested. So we did our best with water. She seemed okay.

Today, her intestines went back to mush... So we're going to return to the BRAT at school tomorrow. Poor kid.

The good news is she's still bright and cheery unless I don't know what she wants. (It's usually something she's dropped on the floor, a piece of food on a family member's plate or a toy that is in Cam's hand.)

Jordan's physical therapist is going to meet her at school tomorrow... She ended up going out of town last week so she wasn't able to help encourage Miss Walking Jordan. Hopefully tomorrow will encourage the girl to pick up where she left off last week. That day that included a bunch of walking was an anomaly. Maybe our PT can help convince Jordan that she really does have a walking skill. Even Jordan's teachers are pretty certain she has "it" but it's going to take Jordan's wanting to use that walking knowledge.

We're so close!

In the meantime, I'm going to BRAT the girl up and hope she can get her tummy back to normal!!


Baby's first baseball game

Jordan went to her first Cardinals game today... And because her Uncle has a bunch of buddies in the left field bleachers, she got her first major league baseball just like her brother's first game! My computer is tired, I'm tired... So I'm going to have to upload my favorite picture of the day when my day calms down tomorrow.


The ouch continues

Jordan has her first official diaper rash. It started yesterday with a few stingy diapers. That usually happens when she's cutting teeth. This time her bottom is in rough shape. It was so bad that when she was at dinner tonight, she grabbed the diaper in pain. Poor kid. Most rashes have lasted last than 12 hours. This has taken over her world for more than 24 hours.

Obviously she hasn't been in pain all day. She was really happy this morning as this picture proves. Lots of fun.

I sent her off to bed tonight after reading "Goodnight Moon." I sang her a lullaby and she said "night night" as I put her in the crib. It's darn sweet.



I had planned to pick up the baby a little early today... But got dragged down at work. If I had gotten there earlier, I may have helped put a stop to Jordan's final hour of terror at school today. She bit one baby, got bit in return... Then she bit another kid 30 minutes later.

Once you start, it's tough to stop.

I did get Jordan to take two steps to me when I arrived. Another positive move forward.


I watched Jordan throw the largest tantrum at school this morning! She was trying to walk with a toy walker when she just couldn't get it to do what she wanted to do. So she sat down and just screamed. SCREAMED. Poor kid. She's big on the emotions. I wonder where she learned about that.

Take a moment to ponder her emotional brother.

Anyway. Today Jordan graduated from something... The infant cognition lab! Today was her last visit to the lab to help researchers learn about infant attention span. Jordan wasn't so thrilled to sit on my lap for long periods of time... But they said they got the results they needed. Jordan got a certificate to celebrate her time at the lab. I got slightly nostalgic that Jordan grew out of something already!


My daughter can walk!

That's right folks. Mark today down in the books. She walked many times at school today! Not just a few - 5 steps two times and 6 steps another time. They stopped counting the many two-step moments in the day. At home, she even walked a couple of steps here and there.

My girl can walk!

Our PT will be on a roll with her now!! I'm thrilled. I'm excited.

All of the teachers at school are already chuckling about how life is about to change for Cam. They're pretty sure she's going to rule life around our house and it will shock Cam's world.

Baby steps

Yesterday afternoon something little but very exciting happened. I was picking the kids up and Jordan REALLY wanted to drink water from the water fountain. So I dropped her down onto the floor and she took two baby steps before she plopped down on her butt and scooted the rest of the way.


One of the directors of the school saw it happen with me. We were both very excited.

Since then, she's stood up a couple of times by herself -- leg propelled, not holding onto anything.

We're getting sooooo close!