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.


Shoe insert drama

I'd like to introduce you to Jordan's newest tool: shoe orthotics. These are going to help Jordan hold her feet better and prevent damage to her legs. But we're having trouble finding shoes. I'm so bummed. We went to a local shoe store and tried on TONS of shoes. The problem: Cute girl shoes cut into her arch because the orthotic pushes her foot up so high.

We thought we found a cute pair of Mary Janes that would work... But after a trip to church, it's obviously leaving marks into her feet. Poor kid.

So for now, we only have a pair of princess sneakers that work. Another down side of these inserts: They make it really easy for Jordan to pull of the shoes. Every time she does it, she says: "Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh." Until I put it back on for her.

Church and music

We brought Jordan to the actual church service today (first time since she was an itty-bitty baby). During children's church, the kids went up to the front to listen to a kid sermon. For a short time, Jordan actually sat on Cam's lap. It was a fantastic thing to watch. It didn't last long... She looked over for me and decided to walk to me instead.

But that moment was so sweet.

I also took Jordan to the little kid choir. She danced around a little, but was a little too concerned with my cuddles to really participate. I can see her loving it soon. She loves music too much.


21 Months Old!

This has been a really big month for Jordan. She's really becoming her own person and this month proved it. She's turning into an independent, strong little girl. Some of her big changes this month included a TON of words and more understanding of my words. I can also talk a little bit of reason to her. Often I can direct her to new locations with just giving her some motivation: "Jordan, come into the house so you can say hi to Bubba Dog." "Jordan, where is your baby? It must be in that room." Of course, there are more times when Jordan gets stubborn and won't budge. She's starting to fall onto the ground and just scream. Typical two-year-old stuff. What is wonderful is watching how she's really working hard during her occupational therapy appointments. She's trying harder to use her prosthetic. I'm excited to get her a new and improved version so she can step up her efforts.

This past month was really special because Jordan and I got to spend time with my Aunt Jan and Uncle Chuck... We even got to hang out with my cousin and her kids. It was awesome to share extra hugs and smiles to family I really care about but don't get to see often enough.

Jordan is getting along a little better with her brother. She loves to play hide and seek and chase with Cameron. They also have this thing where they scream. It's painful to my ears, but they think it's super funny. Either way, I see these little brother and sister moments as a sign that they're getting along better. We had one moment today that I thought was awesome. We were having a non-healthy picnic of burgers and milk shakes at a local park. Jordan loved the shake, but couldn't hold it while she drank from the straw. Cam patiently would hold the cup while she enjoyed her drink. It was so kind.

Jordan is finally starting to hold my hand in parking lots and throwing fewer fits about my attempts to keep her safe. She's still closely attached to me, but she's more willing to go off with her Dad. While she was at work with us earlier this week, I needed to continue working while her Dad was ready to leave. So he walked her over to me, she said bye-bye and walked off to the parking lot with Dad. I almost fell out of my seat. It's a little sign of freedom for me. I love our connection, but I'm thrilled to see her expanding her trust.


Two big developments

Jordan has her new shoe insert/braces. I bought her a pair of sneakers and you'd never even know she has them. Of course we had to try five different pairs of shoes to see if her feet would fit comfortably. It could be a while before I find a pair of sweet, pretty shoes for her.

Also, we got a big deal letter in the mail that says we can move forward through the health care process for Jordan's next prosthetic. That's a big deal because:
a) We're going to Houston next week
b) If we didn't have health care approval, I probably would have still gotten the arm
c) It gives me a little peace of mind given the extreme cost of prosthetics

Our job is moving to a new health care system in January -- more to be worried about.

Another thing that is looming on my mind: In a little more than a year, Jordan won't have the 0-3 program that helps us TREMENDOUSLY in the cost of therapy. Heck, just the fact that our therapists come to us changed my world. When that goes away, I don't think our need for OT and PT will disappear. That's why I'm so glad our therapists are working really hard with Jordan. We're going to beat down her foot position problems and gain some skills that will benefit her for the rest of her life now. Hopefully by three she'll have a good base that won't require as much intense care. So for now, I'll do my best not to fret so much and just focus on the incredibly growth Jordan has had in the last three or four months. Really fantastic.

Can you believe she's 21 months old tomorrow? Wow.

Or as Jordan would say: "Hooray!"



I swear Jordan is going to speak full understandable sentences in the next few days. Every hour as she grows, it seems like her words are better, clearer... and prouder.

This is so fun.



Oh my gosh. Jordan is so damned sweet. I said "HOORAY!" in the car this evening... Then she joined in with a sweet "HOORAY!"

Well, I had to show off her sweet hooray with her Dad. SO right before bed we started yelling HOORAY!! I took her up to bed, sang our lullaby when she started chiming in with hoorays. As I walked out of the room:


After I got Cam to bed... there were still little hoorays peeping out from behind her closed door.


What happened to my peaceful traveler?

My poor baby girl. When we started out on this great trip. See that picture, that's how our trip started out.

Today's trip home didn't go as well. It was kind of sad. Her eye teeth have put her in a pretty sour mood. In our first flight she was okay until we had to put the iPhone away right before we landed. She threw a huge fit and didn't really calm down until I started singing a lullaby.

The lullaby kind of worked in the second flight, but we went from the first plane, to the bathroom and then to another plane. There was no time to cool off from the previous flight. So I gave her tooth medicine, motrin and a bunch of lullabies. In the end, the only thing that calmed her on that flight was cuddles and a good dose of free Sesame Street downloads on the iPhone.

In the bus ride to our parked car, Jordan once again freaked. This time it was because she was sick and tired of sitting on my lap. The only thing that helped: Dora vodcasts. We watched the four or five on my iPhone constantly. The guy sitting next to me said: "Aren't you glad you're an early adapter?" I was... And so were all the other folks in the van. It was a funny moment.

Sweet video of my girl

Here's Jordan reading to little Murphy dog. Sweet stuff. It's kind of long, but fun.

By the way, I've been preaching the glories of Motionbox and now I'm kind of sad... The company just suddenly put a size limit on accounts. You have to pay a yearly fee for an unlimited amount of space. I'm sad and not sure what I'm going to do. I totally understand the need to keep the company going. I don't want them to die because I don't want to lose my online video... But I'm unsure I'm ready to pay $30 just to keep my embedded video working.


Eye teeth are mean

Jordan didn't sleep well last night... periodic crying, restlessness. It was so sad. When she woke up she was warm and unhappy. She just cuddled for 20 minutes with me before she was ready to eat breakfast. Darn teeth.

What stuns me is how this is really the first time we've had trouble with teeth. I didn't even know when she got molars! So I'll let her get all the pity she needs on these teeth. Her brother cried through every single one! It's too bad we're out of town... This is no fun! Thank goodness the yummy waffles this morning helped brighten the day.


All kinds of family and friend time

We're enjoying our time with family and friends here in the Dallas area. Jordan is such a big, happy girl.... Even though we finally have more teeth arriving!! That's right, her eye teeth are coming in. That will leave just the bottom four to take their time in arriving.

So the teeth are keeping Jordan from eating a lot -- She just doesn't seem very hungry. But she is a ton of fun to watch run around, play with my aunt and uncle's dog Murphy. She even got to meet an old college friend who I haven't seen since 1996. That makes me feel old. When you say "old college friend" and the distance since college is past ten years. That is old.

Anyway, Jordan is having fun and doing what I wanted her to do: Offer smiles to my family who deserves all of them!

A big fun moment during this trip was when we went to a store where you can enjoy tea... AND love dolls. They sell awesome dolls and even have a nursery! We loved looking at the many, many dolls that I KNOW she'd love to play with if I had hundreds and hundreds of dollars to spare. Either way, she had a blast. I also got to go to IKEA today with her where I found a very special doll bed that was totally affordable. I can't wait for the holidays and her birthday.


Getting ready for travel

Jordan and I have many trips in the next few weeks. Tuesday we're heading off to spend time with my aunt and uncle. The big goal: Hand out lots and lots of hugs and smiles.

After that, we're home for a little more than a week before our next trip: Building a new version of Jordan's prosthetic. Jordan's arm has grown at least an inch in the last year and the sensor that triggers her "hand" to open and close is really inconsistent. We (Jordan's therapists and I) are pretty darn sure that if we could have a consistent trigger, we could get her to open and close that hand by choice. Jordan is a pretty bright kid.

So that's exciting... And exhausting. I'm trying to think of interesting ways to hold her attention and excitement while she sits on my lap. These are probably the last trips we can take with her on my lap -- 2 year olds must be in their own seat. Books work pretty well these days. Elmo is king in her world. So that probably means we'll read Elmo books. She also loves dancing. LOVES dancing. But dancing in our seat will probably be annoying to our seat mates. I'd love some ideas. We haven't been on a plane in almost a year since we started driving crazy amount of miles for mega-trips to Florida and the Northeast.


Another casting experience

We are on our way to getting Jordan a new UCBL -- a foot brace that will help Jordan stand with her feet flat. Getting her feet fixed will help the way she walks and the way she holds her legs. This also means that we will be able to buy shoes again!! I really look forward to that. There were two great things about today's casting. First, they used fiberglass instead of plaster. It hardened much faster and was a lot less messy. Second, Jordan was SO good. She smiled, she was really interested in the process. There was no screaming or crying. That was a relief.

We also got to pick out a design and color scheme for her new braces. Of course I picked pink because I've gone from an absolute ANTI-PINK person to an absolute PINK PRO. I guess I'm okay with that. It is a funny turn in two years.

Big girl

Jordan is so big. She went to the newsroom with me and helped me smile while I worked late. Then we went to a downtown festival where my girl GROOVED.

She danced freely in the crown. Just pure happiness. I couldn't stop giggling.


New book shelf!

After a crazy morning of getting dressed up and getting our family pictures taken at church, Jordan got to see a brand new piece of furniture in her room. It's a doll house book shelf!! I'm so excited. I saw one at Target and Jordan's Poppy offered to make one! This is SOOOO much nicer than the Target brand.

To make it even sweeter, a family member who is an artist put Jordan's name and a couple of butterflies on the front of the roof.

Super freaking cool!!

So the in-laws are here to enjoy the kids. That works out pretty darn well for us so we can enjoy a music festival. I love timing out family visits with fun activities that would have cost us an arm and a leg in babysitting!


Hi Jordan's Mommy!

It's official. I'm not just Cameron's mommy. I was walking into school to pick up Jordan today when I walked by Dylan who is two months older than Jordan (he was walking down the hallway with one of the directors of the school). I said "Hi Dylan!" Without blinking he said: "Hi Jordan's Mommy!"

My jaw dropped. It was awesome.


Family weekend

This was one of the few weekends where we didn't have to GO GO GO! We spent most of the weekend playing outside. The highlight is still the dog wedding... But the rest of our time has been running up and down our backyard hill and getting very sandy in the sandbox.

Miss Boo got to walk with us from church to the nearby coffee shop... She did a pretty good job crossing the street while holding my hand... She walked along the sidewalk without us needing to guide her very much. She's growing up so dang fast! While we were at the coffee shop we started talking with a mom and her two and a half year old son. They're from the UK and are moving back in 6 months. Her son was adorable and we had an interesting conversation... It's a conversation that most parents wouldn't normally talk about. But she kindly asked us about Jordan's arm without any discomfort... But then she mentioned a young man who works at the nearby pet store. I saw him earlier this week. His face is badly disfigured. He must have had a massive tumor or a terrible accident where he lost most of his nose and his face is kind of caved in a bit. When I talked to him I made sure I looked him straight in the eye and didn't stare. But this mom admitted that when her son made a comment to this man's face, she tried to change the subject and ignore her son's reaction. I tried to politely suggest that her son's comments give her permission to ask him what happened so her son understands what happened. I hope with my experience with Jordan, I'll be more sensitive when she or my son asks questions or act not-quite-so polite.


I made a big decision

I'm going to get healthy. It should involve losing weight. I've found the only way I can lose weight is by actually holding myself accountable. So here is the scariest thing I've found:

I'm not going to babble much about this on Jordan's blog... But I figured I'd make the announcement to hold myself even more accountable. I've found a website called The Daily Plate (TDP) to help me work this out. I tried Weight Watchers (WW) online and it didn't work. The in-office Weight Watchers was awesome but not possible in my current work environment. But after I couldn't convince some fellow professor friends in creating our own online support using WW, I went to an online community instead. I've committed to TDP for the next year (WAAAAAY cheaper than WW). So we'll see how it goes!

If I start getting cranky online, you'll know why. Making the switch to a healthier lifestyle is the hard part. Once it's a way of life again, I'll be back to my normal cheery self.

It isn't every day when...

...You can say you went to a dog wedding. Yup. A dog wedding.

Last night we took the kids to a dog wedding. Lucky and River got hitched. They had bridesmaids and groomsmen, there was a three month old puppy that was the flower girl. The bride and groom were all dressed up. They got to say their "bow wows" instead of vows. It was SOOO funny.

Instead of throwing flowers, they threw dog biscuits. There was even a two tiered liver wedding cake for all of the dogs to enjoy. There was an acapella group that sang "How much is that doggie in the window?" after the bride and groom exchanged decorative "rings" they wore around their necks. It was flat out silly. We brought our pug, Bubba, to the occasion. Bubba made sure he ate every treat that was on the ground. That poor fat dog got MUCH fatter yesterday.

But it was fun. And it was even for a good cause. Instead of gifts for the dogs, the owners of the bride, Lucky, asked for donations for a group called The PET Project. It's a wonderful organization that builds Personal Energy Transportation for disabled people who live in third-world countries. So as we enjoyed fun with our pets, the PET project benefited. Very cool stuff.

Another strange thing we did... Today I spent quite a while in the backyard digging up sand. Yeah. Sand that heavy rain washed out of our homemade sandbox and washed down our backyard lawn. We lost so much sand that you could see the "stream" in the lawn. So I sifted through the grass and filled a bunch of sand buckets for the sand box. The things I do for my kids. It's pretty funny.