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.


23 Months Old!

I have been sooo swamped at work that I haven't been able to keep up with the amazing development Jordan's made in the last week. She's a big girl. She's a TALKING girl. Right now, she's obsessed with nouns. She's constantly pointing words out everywhere. It's awesome.

After taking Cameron to school, Jordan and I had some time alone before her Parents as Teacher's teacher came to visit and do her 24-month-old developmental testing (since Jordan's birthday is over the holidays, we couldn't hold it in December). I tried to shoot video of Jordan before that meeting and she wouldn't have it. So I placed it on the table and just started rolling without her knowledge. And suddenly, something amazing happened. My girl broke out into song:

I'll be honest. That video is SO freaking cute I can't handle it. It makes my heart melt with glee and pride and just obsessive amounts of love for this little girl. I feel it deeply for both kids. Somehow, this video is pure love. It could be because she's singing "I love you."

Tonight, Jordan did another amazing thing. She took her sock and shoe off in the car. She would NOT let me put it back on. I had to carry her into the house (it's way too cold for a barefoot baby). She promptly sat on the floor, worked that sock onto her foot and then got her shoe back on. Then she stood up, put her arms in the air and declared: "Ta Da!" She did it! ALL BY HERSELF! I was so proud, I rushed over to her, gave her a HUGE hug. She felt so dang proud! What was really funny was Cam's reaction: "I do that all the time."


Happy Holidays! Go Tigers!

This has been quite a weekend in our household. We started getting the house switched from standard messy kid-zone to slightly cleaner holiday mode. While Daddy was helping with the big Missouri football game coverage, the kids and I set up the tree in our Mizzou outfits. I also took the kids to a local restaurant for small burgers and real milkshakes. Jordan wasn't that interested. She was really interested in decorating the Christmas tree.

Of course, in Jordan's world, decorating means putting on ornaments and immediately taking them off to put them back on the tree again. That means almost half of the tree has a sparse number of ornaments to keep me from needing to police her all the time.

By the way, I think the Mizzou outfits worked. We won the big game!!


Thanksgiving feast

We had a pretty darn great Thanksgiving. Jordan got to enjoy a feast thanks to the hard work of her uncle's boyfriend, Erik, who created a heck of a meal. Her Uncle Jon helped with awesome mashed potatoes and her dad to made his famous family corn bread dressing. All in all, we ate well. Jordan was mostly interested in eating more turkey (or as she yelled "Moh two-kee!"). It was fun to see all of my pots and pans and stove and oven put to the test by an expert. I was worried I didn't have the right stuff, but Erik made due.

Thanks Erik!! It was a great meal.

Cam and Jordan are playing a little more with each other. Jordan is really willing to copy anything her brother does -- Other than jump. She hasn't really figured out how to jump yet.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving... I want to make sure everyone knows I'm so thankful for my family and friends. I'm very thankful for the little network of friends I've developed online.



It flurried today. Nothing worth taking pictures of... But WOW was it cool to Jordan. I picked her up at school today and she rushed over to the window yelling: "Nooo! Noooo, Mommy!" Yes, "no" means "snow" in Jordan speak. She was very excited...

Until I tried to get her outside to see the "no." She said the other NO after she felt the cold wind that came with the "no." I danced around in the flurry to show her how cool it was, but she wasn't that interested. I picked her up, ran around in the snow until a flake or two hit her face. I'm not sure which she thought was funny - the snow or her mommy.

I'm probably guessing it was me.

Oh my gosh! I almost forgot about another little tidbit: Jordan is all about saying the prayer before dinner. She holds out her hand and arm and we all close our eyes and you can hear her say, "Goh eh gate, goh eh goo eh uh eh uh eh uh. YAY!" The was all says Amen and YAY! What she's trying to say: God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food.

Sooooo sweet.



**Note: I've spent a few days on this post. So pardon the slight rambling**

Staring is an issue my family will forever learn to deal with... I used to have a really hard time with it. When Jordan was a baby, I'd look for people staring. Like I was a glutton for punishment. At some point I realized I was focusing on others and not on my family. No, I'm not ignoring what's happening around me. I'm just not encouraging the drama. I also think it's more important to focus on my family than worry about the general public.

But I keep thinking about the staring.

I was talking to one of the grad students about our life with Jordan. In so many ways it's just like having another kid... But when you think about it, we're different people now. We're different because we aren't able to just pass by in the crowd. I used to be very jealous of families who have kids without any obvious differences. The comfort of just being a family without staring is a gift that you don't realize you have until you lose it. Then I felt bad for even thinking about those stares because I'm not the one who really will have these stares for the rest of my life. It's Jordan who will have it forever.

Anyway, I've been trying to think of constructive ways to deal with staring. I'm offering kids the chance to ask questions when I see them whispering. I look people head on when I see them stare. If there are any inquisitive looks, I offer the person a chance to ask. It's the kids who don't know when to stop staring. I have a hard time. It's the grown up who does a double, triple take without saying something. I have a hard time.

But then I realized I have a staring problem too. Any time I walk by a person with any type of limb difference, I stare just a little too long because I feel connected to this person. BUT then I don't want to interrupt their day just because I want to say: "Hey! I have a little girl who belongs to your world! Can I be your friend?" A limb difference shouldn't be a person's identity. But yet, I want to identify with people who live in my town just because of their differences. Isn't it strange? No one writes a book on how to be a parent of a child with a "difference." I just want to do my best. I also hope I can help other parents so we can lean on each other... And make sure our kids can lean on each other.


Learning about leaves

The kids came out today while we tried to get the decorating started for the holidays -- It's warm and we wanted to decorate in the warmth if we could and we'd turn the lights on AFTER Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, half of the lights we put up didn't work. (GRRRR) So I guess we'll have to return to the decorating in the cold weather. At least we tried.

Anyway. We tried to clear away a bunch of leaves and piled them at the bottom of the front yard. Cam was SO excited and he showed Jordan the ropes on how to play in the leaves. It was adorable. So adorable that I had to run into the house, grab a video camera and shoot a bit of it. And that's what this video is all about. (Note how Jordan is screaming about the leaf blower at the start of the video. She got over it.)

Cam's such a good big brother. Jordan's a lucky kid.



Proof that Jordan just doesn't like Santa. Maybe next year she'll change her mind. This year Jordan was so unhappy about sitting on Santa's lap, I had to sit with him too.

By the way - I know I'm crazy, but I just like getting the Santa visit out of the way. The mall had a Santa breakfast and I figured we'd have a little fun. The big bummer of the visit: This year's Santa isn't as good as in years past. He wasn't as friendly or as good looking as our Santa from last year. I'm kinda bummed.

I am really glad to have the Santa visit marked off my list.


I love Fall!

It was surprisingly warm today so I packed the kids up and headed out to our local state park for a hike. The leaves are past their peak, so the hills were just COVERED with beautiful colors. I usually plop the kids into a leaf pile in our front yard, but that also requires a lot of raking. So I figured I might try for a cute picture or ten during the hike. I was right. Jordan LOVES the outdoors and leaves are no different then playing in sand or dirt or rocks. She was very happy.

We had fun. At one point, I had Jordan singing a hiking song, Cam was singing a different hiking song and I was just enjoying the complete silliness of it all.

Speaking of music. Apparently Daddy isn't allowed to sing. Cam went through a similar stage. But Jordan yells "NO DADDY!" when he starts singing. So I've got her trained to say: "Stop please" and then he stops. During this afternoon's hike, I was not allowed to sing. She is very demanding!

OH! And in the last couple of days, Jordan is finally saying "Cameron." She still won't say her name, but at least she is working on saying her brother's name.

Church moment

It was the moment of silence during the service when Jordan yells out: "O! U! O! U!"

She thought she was still at the football game where we were yelling M-I-Z-Z-O-U!

It was very funny. At least it was to Randy and I.


Another football game

We took the family to another football game -- and it was smack in the middle of nap time. Somehow Miss Jordan slept through an entire quarter -- She even slept through a cannon going off twice.

All I have to say is that this is the sweetest football picture ever -- and DARN it -- My phone lens was dirty.



School picture!

Here's Jordan's pre-school picture of the year. I was hoping this company would offer a CD copy of the photo like Cam's school, but no such luck. This one's really cute though.


Hooray Jordan

We had our first meeting with our physical therapist in almost two months. We haven't seen her since she filmed Jordan for a "stride study" that she's working on. Jordan wasn't walking properly and was really knock-kneed. Since then we got new shoe inserts and today was the proof: They really work. Jordan's therapist was REALLY happy with the development of our girl in the last couple of months. The biggest reason: Jordan got the inserts right before a big growth spurt, so those inserts made sure Jordan was standing properly and it really helped the bone growth go in the right direction. I'm thrilled. Randy and I both have noticed how Jordan has gotten a lot steadier. It's great to hear an expert confirm. So when I thought Jordan might need inserts for a couple of years, her therapist thinks we might work her out of the inserts by summer.

Does that mean we might be able to have all kinds of cute sandals this summer??? We can only hope!

SO I also have a confession. It's a pure bad mommy confession. Last week I let Jordan eat a little banana during an occupational therapy meeting. I placed the half-eaten banana on top of our black piano. Apparently I forgot it. We left town, we came back. When I walked into the living room, I smelled something gross... SO I kept looking around for what was dying. Apparently it was an old black banana on an old black piano. Wow. That was gross. I'm a bad mommy.


A few things going on

So my girl got to come to the newsroom with me for a while -- She brought her stroller and two little babies. It was funny when she decided to lay on the floor and throw a little tantrum - a very tame one where she kind of calmly stomped her feet. It was really funny. I know the tantrums won't be funny for long.

So yesterday I was dropping the boy off at Tae Kwon Do with Jordan in my arm. She didn't have her prosthetic on and I looked over and right next to us was two boys Cam's age whispering about Jordan. I went over to them and said whispering wasn't needed, all they needed to do was ask questions. They denied whispering but went right into the questions: "What's wrong with her?" "Will her arm grow?" "How does she eat?" (That's a new one) "How does she do stuff." It went on and on. I didn't mind and they seemed okay and asked me to come back with Jordan's prosthetic another day. One of the Moms came over and asked if it was okay that the kids were asking questions. I said I didn't mind but then I wondered if I was handling the situation properly. I don't like kids whispering. I'd rather they step up and ask what's up. But I felt a little uncomfortable that I chastised the kids a bit. I told the Mom I hoped it was okay that I had a little talk with her son, but I'm still learning how to get kids who are around Jordan feel more comfortable around her. We're going to do Tae Kwon Do until March, so we're going to be there a while around these kids.

That leads to another challenge -- Jordan woke up from a nap at school and her prosthetic arm started going nutty. The hand motor started opening and closing really fast and scared Jordan. Her teachers said she kept yelling "STOP IT!" and tried to close the hand. They turned it off. So I put it on the next day and turned it on. It did it again and Jordan started screaming "TOP IT!" Yeah, that's how she actually says stop.

So we have to send the arm back to the manufacturer and she's only had it for a month and I was just finally getting her comfortable with wearing the prosthetic again after such a challenging fitting process (it's just emotionally draining).

Anyway. That's what's up in our world. It's getting cool out and I'm getting ready to plop the kids in leaves for some pictures even if it's cold out.


Family time!!

Jordan and the rest of the family just got back from spending time with Daddy's side of the family. You can see the girl enjoyed playing with her Uncle. For someone who moved out of state, we sure have been lucky to see him so often.

We also had a chance to spend with Jordan and Cam's great-grandparents who can't travel like they used to. Jordan was not into giving kisses to her Moma Dot - until right before we were leaving Moma Dot and Daddy Jr's house. The trick: Make sure I'm not in the room. I'm hoping someone in the house got a picture of Jordan doling out the smooches. I tell you, there's something about me that keeps her from sharing the love with everyone else.

So there are some fun things going on in the language department: Many, many words. Some of the funniest. Jordan's Grandpa is named Poppy. Jordan has recently stopped calling all dogs Bubba in honor of our fat pug, she now calls them "puppy." But the difference between "puppy" and "Poppy" is slight. Only an expert hear can notice that difference. Another funny one: "hot" and "hat." Oh, and her blankey is officially named "Lamby." She is still walking about the house assigning items: The couch is Daddy, my computer is "Mommy." Ditto for my chair in the kitchen and of course my van and bike and phone. Now wait, the phone is "Elmo" because she can watch Elmo on it.

Anyway, during our drive home tonight, Jordan got chatty. I sat next to her to help her eat her dinner... And girlfriend wouldn't stop talking. She talked and talked and a few times I could notice a word or two. But whatever she was telling me was SERIOUS. I just nodded my head and responded to the words I thought I heard. If this is what we're headed into -- it's going to be tricky to think with all that chatter.

Oh! One other thing: Poppy trimmed Jordan's hair for the second time in her life. Just a little off the back to help even out the natural layers she's growing. It looks great and it think it will help lighten the load and help the curls pop out a little more. Hooray curls! (I only say that because I don't have any and I think they're cool)