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.


We had so much fun

Jordan was so big tonight... She loved trick or treating. At first she didn't even want to walk up to the houses. Then she realized she had a chance to ask for candy and suddenly she understood. She tried really hard to say "trick or treat"... it sounded kind of like "twickah." Then she had to hold onto her new candy until right before she walked up to the next door. THEN she'd put it in her basket.

She wouldn't let me walk up to the door with her... She wouldn't let me hold her much. She wanted to do this on her own. I think back to Cam's second Halloween -- he was three months younger than Jordan is now and he demanded I carry him door to door. (He also had an undetected ear infection)

Anyway. Jordan was amazing. She's so big. She's so independent. I'll get a picture or ten up soon.


So dang sweet

I know this picture is blurry... But I love it. Jordan was about to tackle me. I took the kids to work. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but work is near a cow pasture. (yeah) As we drove in, Jordan started yelling: "MOO! MOO! MOO!" She was really excited. So after we were done with the newsroom, we played outside looking at the cows. Then we (Cam and Jordan and I) tussled out on the lawn. The cows were freaked out.

Anyway. It was a sweet little time with the kids... It was cool out, but not cold. The sun was just starting to set and no one was outside except us... And the cows.


22 Months Old!!

Is it possible... Can Jordan be THIS close to 2 years old? It's stunning to see what a little girl she's turning into. She has more and more words. Heck she even has two and three word sentences. She's also a much more emotional and demanding little person. When she wants something, she'll scream it. Then I look at her and ask her to say it calmer and with less volume. Usually she will say it in a less ear-bleeding tone.

Jordan is still attached to her Mommy... She will grab my leg or beg me to carry her. But she's also happy to sit in her room and read through piles and piles of books. I've seen her "read" the books... But if her brother offers to read a book to her: "NO!" That word is heavily used in her world. My favorite is when she says no, but she's nodding yes.

Miss Jordan is getting stronger with her new shoe inserts and she's starting to relax with her newest prosthetic. We're finding new ways to get her to reach up more with her prosthetic and she's finding more ways to use it to carry items.

Baby dolls are still a big deal to Jordan. She loves putting them to sleep. Her new way to stall from going to bed is placing babies in different spots in her room and putting them to sleep. She lays them down and rubs their bellies. Sometimes she finds a blanket to place on top of the babies so they will stay warm. Jordan's blanket is officially named "Lamby." When Jordan asks for it, she will say "Ahh-Mee" or "Mee-Mee." Sometimes she says it three or four times for me to notice that she's asking for her blanket. I'm catching on. She's training me.

Food is still a strange thing with Jordan. On days when her teeth are obviously hurting, she will tend to not eat much at all. If she does eat, she'll end up spitting out the food. The only comfort food I've found for her is cheese-based food: Cheeze-its, Mac and cheese, slices of cheese. But the strange thing is on moments when she doesn't feel good, even cheese can't be a guarantee that she'll eat. Then suddenly, green beans or peas make her happy. You just never know. So I'm continuing to try and keep our food varied and I'm doing everything I can to not get her into an eating rut.

On the whole, this has been a great month for Miss Jordan. She's growing stronger, more opinionated and she's starting to try my patience in a good way... She's strong-willed in a cute way. At least I can still call it cute. She's also starting to find ways to use that "cute" to avoid things like going to bed or getting into the car. She doesn't want to be directed, she wants to CHOOSE to move from one place to another. It's amazing.

We're in the Halloween mood

I put Jordan in her costume for the first time today -- She wasn't too thrilled to be wrapped around by the body of a ladybug. But dang she looks cute. We had a neighborhood Halloween party... It's the third in a row and it's just the coolest thing. I don't know everyone's name in our neighborhood, but I know everyone is really cool. The kids got to run around. Jordan got to be cute and Cam got to play with A LOT of boys. There are a lot of boys in the neighborhood!

Anyway. We had a quiet weekend -- Not as much outside time as I would have liked (hiking or biking). But I did take a really great nap today.

We have another busy week ahead of us. Jordan's going to have to skip her class party to go to Cam's. I doubt that will be a big deal to her. Next year, we probably won't be able to get away with that.



We had another meeting with the physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor that's worked with us since Jordan was three months old. I've used him as a back-up source... And extra eye on Jordan's care so we can be sure that she's developing and getting the proper care.

Today we arrived to show off her growing use of her prosthetic, her amazing muscle tone at the base of her little arm and her greatly improving skill of walking -- her shoe inserts are really helping steady and straighten her walking.

He was so pleased with her progress that we don't need to come back... Unless I find a need to meet up with him.

To me, that's a great relief. It means we are on the right track. The doctor commended me on working hard and getting Jordan everything she needs. He was impressed with her muscle tone in her back and he agreed that we need to keep working on Jordan's little arm's strength to help lift her prosthetic up high. He thought the idea of getting Jordan swimming was a good idea. Just holding onto her big arm and getting her to splash with her little arm would be strength-building.

SO hopefully I won't need to visit with him unless we need his help in getting healthcare approval for a device or any type of procedure that Jordan might need. So far, that isn't a concern. Who knows what will happen next year when we have a new healthcare plan. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that.


Still talking about Z-O-U

Jordan loved going to the football game this weekend. We were trying to get Jordan to say the second half of the M-I-Z-Z-O-U chant. She kind of says "Oh-Eww"

She is getting better with her words. Tonight she called Dudley dog "Dudley" instead of Bubba. She wanted more bread, she said "more bread." I still can't get her to say Cameron's name -- Now he's kind of named "Bruddah."

I love watching her grow. I have a hard time accepting how grown up she is though. The little tantrums and the conversations where I know she understands me... They're all signs of her turning into a little person. Wow.


Homecoming is so fun

Happy on the floatSweet Homecoming girlHomecoming 2007

Miss Jordan got to ride on her school's Homecoming float this morning. She had so much fun waving hello to the crowd. I had fun listening to her yelling "HI!" to everyone. She blew kisses and wanted desperately to eat the tootsie rolls that the big kids were throwing to the crowd. Jordan is NOT old enough to eat that kind of candy. You can't explain that to a kid who is almost 22 months old.

Almost 22 months old. Unbelievable.

Anyway, we have a TON of alumni in town and I'm having a blast hanging out with them and showing the girl and boy off to some of them. We're attending the football game this afternoon... Hopefully we'll bump into more grads that way.

Other than Homecoming and showing off the kids, life is pretty good. It's slowly turning into Fall. Jordan loves checking out the leaves on the ground. She's very picky about which ones she likes... So that makes our trips home from walking Cam to school take a lot longer. But I love watching her enjoyment of nature, so I'll let her pick through the leaf piles to find one that makes her smile. She's starting to catch onto colors, by the way. Red and yellow are easily identified by her... And it makes me very proud.



Jordan surprises us. Every once and a while, when you least expect it... She does something amazing. We were all playing in the playground at Cam's school this afternoon when Jordan climbed up and just slid down the slide TWICE. No need to sit on my lap. She just DID it. I love it.

I'm so tired. I'd go on and on about the girl, but I'm running out of energy. But here's the summary about what's going on with her:

She's almost 2.

The tantrums come and go. Her moods and needs are more dramatic. She's starting to create rules and needs and we are all supposed to follow those rules -- except we don't know what the rules are. Cam did the same thing. Tonight I had to put her to bed when she started screaming at the dinner table for "more cheese!" She ate all of the mac and cheese and wanted MORE!! She was so upset that she tried to dump the rest of her dinner all over the table and floor. Randy and I were able to put a stop to that before it got too messy. But man was it murder getting the girl dressed and put down for sleep. She was ANGRY. The highs and lows with her are just a bit more exaggerated this week. I'm hoping this will pass... Hopefully when her final three teeth poke through.


Cranky pants

Something's going on with the girl. She slept poorly last night. She wouldn't eat today... only mushy stuff. Anything the crunched ended up getting spit out. Of course some mushy stuff wasn't right so she threw it. She cried a lot at school. Her nose it runny. She has a cough. It's just a mess.

Poor baby.


Day in the outdoors

Jordan made herself even more known at church today. She screamed her way right out of the service and into the nursery. It was ugly... And kind of funny at the same time. It was so loud that I was given some recognition as I returned to the service after dropping Jordan off. Aren't kids fun. Some of the parents thanked us for helping them feel better about their embarrassing moments with their kids during church services.

Jordan really needed a nap after church.

After the kid naps, we (Cam, Jordan and I) went out to a state park just outside our town and went on a mega hike. Jordan was awesome as we trekked all over the place. She oooohed and ahhhed over the beautiful blue sky, danced along to my silly hiking songs and said she thought things were pretty when I asked. After a couple of hours of hiking, she and Cam had a blast eating ice cream and playing at a local playground. Jordan tried climbing up a rock wall and fell on her face. She's pushing her limits. I'm proud of her for that -- But it's hard to step back and watch sometimes. I have a hard time knowing when I should jump in. I should let her take risks, but I don't want to see her get seriously hurt. She did go down a couple of slides on my lap.

By the time we got home, she was EXHAUSTED. A little bit of food and she was done. The funny thing is how her going to be process is changing. She's more demanding. She wants more books, more ways to delay the sleep process. I'm holding true to the bath, PJ's, one book, lullaby, sleep process. No matter what, she cries for a minute when I leave the room. A minute is nothing... But for most of her life, she hasn't cried at all. I'm sure it's another sign she's growing up... But man, I hate hearing her cry!


Arm challenge

I put Jordan in a really cute outfit today... But her arm was too wide. The wrist was a bit to wide. The dress never really fit properly. She did wear her arm all day -- She did all week except Monday. She's amazing.

Today Jordan stepped up on a stool to get water from the water fountain. She used her prosthetic to help her pull herself up. It was sooooo cool to watch her do that on her own. I just stood back and watched her try and try and try. Then she even stepped back down all by herself. She's finally catching onto steps! I'm thrilled.


Picture day

It's picture day -- and (knock on wood) there wasn't any drama on Jordan's big day. If you recall, last year her teacher spilled coffee on Jordan's dress. This year I got her to school in one piece, with a cute little dress AND no cuts, bruises or spills. Of course I had to drag the girl out of the house while she cried for "nana!" But I couldn't allow banana goo on her velvet dress.

Funniest moment was when Jordan and many other kids in her class started showing off their bellies to me. There's nothing like cute dressed up kids stripping to show off bellies.


So far so good

Jordan made it to school today with her new prosthetic. She did pretty well... But I think the sensor is turned up too high. The hand stays open more than it is closed... So I have to figure out what we should do about that.

But the good news is she was totally happy to go to school today. Her teachers say she even put books away without them asking. Also, her words are getting clearer and clearer. If only there was logic. At dinner tonight she demanded apple sauce. I heard her clearly and gave some to her. Suddenly she changed her mind. She wanted an apple. Then she only ate three bites of that apple.


Day 4: A New Arm and Exhaustion

I'm in the Dallas Airport right now... Jordan is running around in a kids' play area. She's the littlest one here, but she doesn't seem to mind.

We had Jordan's new prosthetic for about two hours before we needed to head to the airport. Occupational therapy wasn't extraordinarily helpful since Jordan was spent from all of her hard work yesterday. But we got some great tips and the therapist typed up a bunch of tips and ideas on ways to get Jordan using two "hands." The big bummer was during therapy we got a little bit of pink marker on Jordan's new glove on her prosthetic. So the hand is already dirty! I'm pretty bummed about that. Hopefully it will wear down and won't be as noticeable.

Before we left, one of our former students/reporters came by to interview Jordan and I and the folks who worked with my girl. He's working on a story about her and Pediatric Prosthetics Inc. for KTRH - a commercial news radio station in Houston. He even ran to the airport to catch some sound with us there.

So we've survived the first flight -- it wasn't much fun. The girl is EXHAUSTED and she wanted more freedom during the flight. But I hope running around at the Dallas airport will help her take a great nap

We're home... We're exhausted. Jordan was fantastic on the second flight. When we were getting close to landing, I started rocking her a little and humming a song. She grabbed her baby, wrapped her baby with the blanket that is now named "Night Night" and started rocking the baby and singing the baby song: "Baby, baby, baby, baby." When the song was over (and it was 2 minutes long), Jordan started clapping and saying "yay!!" Apparently she was very proud of her song.

She slept in the car once I pulled over and placed "Night Night" on her appropriately. She was screaming her blanket's name until I had to pull over and fix it. Geez, this girl knows what she wants.

I'll post a little bit of video of Jordan's therapy tomorrow. I'm fried from all of the travel and driving.


Day 3: My Girl is a Trooper

The day started out calmly. I got to take Jordan to the store to get her new shoes that would fit. We found a Stride Rite that was really close to the prosthetic office and found these cute little diddies. Then I went to Payless to find some black shoes that I think will work for the holidays -- they probably won't be as comfortable, but Jordan did fit in them with her little inserts. Apparently the t-strap is a good option for her feet. Most of the day, Jordan would stop and show offer her shoes to anyone who asked or didn't ask.

After an early afternoon nap, Jordan got to try on her new prosthetic. It seems to go pretty well, but not long after she started wearing it, we could see it wasn't holding up on her arm properly. It was the same problem we had before: Her arm would droop and the prosthetic wouldn't sit, it kind of fell off a little. We really don't want to do that again. This trip had two goals for this arm: 1) Get the sensor in a spot where Jordan can purposefully open and close the hand and 2) Find a way to get this arm to fit better so Jordan doesn't hold her shoulder strangely. There was a little time to tweak and poke at the girl, but an occupational therapist who works with the prosthetic company came to work with Jordan so there wasn't a ton of time to fix the problem. During the short evaluation and therapy, Jordan was doing something very cool: Holding bubbles with her "hand" and trying to blow. In the end, she was more interested in rubbing the bubbles on her belly.

Before therapy time was over, the prosthetic was off and our prosthetists were trying to figure out what was going wrong. The therapist had to leave around 3:30 and from then on, we tried and tried to figure out what was going wrong with Jordan's prosthetic. Six hours later, I was able to get Jordan back to her bed for a night's sleep. It was a long, long evening. It's even longer for our prosthetists... They're still at work building it.

Why you ask? Well, we had to recast Jordan's arm and they had to rebuild the socket so it will fit on Jordan's arm better. The best option is getting her into the arm using a think nylon sleeve. It pulls her arm in and it keeps things loose enough to help her get her arm out. She's complicated and it was hard to stay positive while Jordan was tinkered and tinkered and tinkered with. She is amazing. She really did a good job tolerating most of it. Casting is horrible, but other than that, she put up with a lot of crap. I won't have time to put a video together tomorrow (The day starts at 9:30am with therapy using a prosthetic that I hope is ready by then and we won't get home from the airport until 11pm or so).

Day 2 evening in review

We're ready to go today... But things don't really start rolling until this afternoon so we're going shopping for shoes.

In the meantime, I wanted to show you a highlight of last night:

Silly me... I forgot my camera. Can you believe... Me? So the iPhone had to do in low light -- so it was tough to catch the kids playing in a sandbox.

It was so cool to hang out with them. Jordan gave her friend a big hug and kiss... I think it surprised her. It surprised the rest of us because it wasn't prompted!

By the way, this is what Jordan's prosthetic looked like when we left yesterday. By the time we get in this afternoon, it should be ready to go! Excitement. There's more to come!


Day 2: Getting Things to Work

We slept a TON last night. Jordan was so well rested that she popped out of her pack and play and squealed HI!!! to me this morning. I figured that meant she was ready for business today. We worked with two different test sockets, watched a lot of Elmo and finally got Jordan into the mood to really work on using her muscles so we could find a good site where she can learn to open and close her "hand" on command.

It's all about getting this sensor to feel muscle movement -- and the hard part is finding a muscle Jordan can move on command that is strong enough to trigger the sensor. I hope (knock on wood) that we found one today. It's actually the muscle she uses that bunches up her arm at the base -- Something we were able to get her to do on many different motions, especially when she moved around, picked things up and often when we asked her to wiggle her fingers.

Jordan is napping now and we hope to get her back with a possible arm that's ready for her. It will probably be ready by tomorrow since it took us so long to get a good test socket and sensor site. Either way, tonight we get to hang out with a family of a little girl who is two months older than Jordan. They met last year and I can't wait to see them again!


Day 1: Getting Started on a New Prosthetic

We got up crazy early this morning (even though Jordan seemed quite alright about it at the time - that picture shows her bright and cheery in the car around 6am) and headed out to Houston. The combination of morning traffic in St. Louis and a 20 minute layover in Dallas was enough stress for the day. But I knew how things work with prosthetic building. When we got here, they got right to business with trying to locate a sensor site on Jordan's arm to help trigger the hand. We also had to get Jordan casted. Boy was all of that UGLY.


Wanna smile?

Here is mix of two fun videos of Jordan including her saying: OOOOH-WRAY!