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.


This video brings me good luck

This sweet video that oooozes with love brought some extra good luck to the family today. I'll tell you more when I confirm our good luck.


Family time

Jordan got to enjoy a surprise visit from Uncle Barry and Beth yesterday. She was so excited when she saw her Uncle. The coolest thing: She knew who he was before we had to tell her. That's pretty special. By the end of their visit, Jordan was calling him "Beardy" with periodic proper pronunciations. Very cute stuff.

Today Jordan got to hang out with the big kids at a Science Night event put on by Cameron's after school program. It was super cool and Jordan even got to help create slime! Gross, but she really liked stirring. Maybe I'll get her to help me make pancakes or cookies that involve stirring. I think it's that play kitchen of hers that has got her into mixing and creating.

By the way, for those of you who were wondering, Jordan's prosthetic has been back for a week. It seems to be working a bit better... It still has a strange click when the hand opens very wide. But the sensor just seems placed a bit wrong -- it either goes crazy and constantly opens and closes from Jordan's muscles or it barely opens and closes. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium. So I'll just keep considering the arm as a tool to help her grow muscle -- And I've seen her use it for all kinds of gross motor things. Today I watched her push a chair into a table and pull up into a big chair. I even showed her how she could use it to drink from a water fountain.


That was kind of wierd

I took Jordan to the grocery store today. Just as we were walking in I noticed a table of Girl Scouts selling cookies. That was no big deal, but I immediately recognized my OB-GYN who almost delivered Jordan (she kind of flew out on her own... seconds before my doctor ran into the room). Anyway. I sort of never went back to the doctor after Jordan's birth. I was really unhappy about the fact that no one noticed a missing arm in the ultrasounds. I felt a bit pressured from some family members to stay away from that practice. I just kind of backed away from the medical community for myself and focused on finding the right care for my girl. So today was the first time I've seen the doctor in almost two years (she met Jordan once when she was four-months-old). I was polite and Jordan was NOT interested in saying hi. I'm guessing Jordan felt my discomfort.

For some reason that meeting made me feel a little raw.

This doctor didn't really have a thing to do with Jordan's difference, but she put me back to that place where I first felt lost and unsure about my little baby. Of course that little baby has turned into an amazing little girl who struggles to get those pull-ups on and has mastered putting on Velcro shoes. I shouldn't feel like I felt two years ago. That OB-GYN shouldn't stir that up in me... And yet she did. Damned brain.


What a big girl!

Two weeks ago we started Jordan on swimming lessons. Four lessons later and today Miss Boo kicked butt.

We got into the water and she instantly started kicking. BIG splashes. She did so well. This swim school puts short tables into the water so the little kids can stand in the water. The idea is to learn how to put on your "sea legs." Two weeks ago, Jordan screamed as we got her to walk up and down the table. Tonight, she not only walked up and down the table. She didn't even need to hold my hand. PLUS she learned how to jump. And when she realized the glory of jumping in water you should have heard the the squeals of happiness. She hasn't mastered jumping outside of water so this was really fun for her. PLUS, Jordan started blowing bubbles and being okay with putting her head under the water. I was SO proud. I never saw this much progress with Cam at this age. I felt so proud and she just had fun. It was totally worth the insanity it takes to get the kids fed and dressed and out the door in time for the class.

Not to mention how dang cold it was after the class.

When is winter going to end?


One little thing

Say a prayer for my Aunt Jan. She's amazing and battling cancer. She has battled and battled and continues to kick it's butt. She's currently going through an experimental treatment that left her a bit fried and somehow still with us.

I just talked to her on the phone and I just want to make sure as many people as possible are praying for her. While she's fighting this, she's still thinking of me and offering me advice. And that means the world to me. She means the world to me.

I love you Aunt Jan!!

Ten Percent Rule

Randy threw this one at me and I think he may be right... I just don't spend time dwelling on it:

Ten percent of parents are totally cool with being around Jordan. They don't care she's missing some of her arm and they just know she's a kid and it's obvious her family loves her. 90 percent of parents don't know what to do so they just kind of ignore the family's existence.

That sucks. But it's true. Randy noticed the 10 percent rule while at swimming lessons yesterday. I think he's right. I wish I could move that to the 90 percent rule but I don't think our culture can handle that.

Speaking of noticing differences... Some of Jordan's friends from school who are six months older started asking me about Jordan's arm. She was wearing a prosthetic that day and we all talked about how Jordan has a smaller arm and the prosthetic helps Jordan get strong. Both kids showed me how they have a big arm. It was sweet and non-judgmental. That made me realize that we're probably only six months away from letting Jordan speak for herself. Six months. That's mind boggling.


Found a new way to play with pictures

Click here if you want to see it bigger.

You can build multiple pages and then Scrapblog creates a little power point presentation of all of your scrapbook pages. It's cute. I've always been jealous of those people who create beautiful scrapbook pages on their computer. I'm a bit busy to really get detailed, but this was simple and cute.


Getting brave

Jordan had a ball egging her brother on today... They ended up playing pretty well right before bed time. But the big moment was when Cameron jumped onto the little toy rocking horse that sits in the living room. Jordan has been wary of it... Until now.

With my help, she got on and had a BALL! She was obviously proud. Check out that smile in the picture. It wasn't long ago when I tried to get her on that horse and she was not going to risk it. She felt really unsafe. Tonight, when I was taking her upstairs, she kept calling "Horse! Horse!" thinking I'd change my mind and let her ride it one more time before bed.

Nope. I'm a sleep nazi.

Anyway. I'm happy to see her continuing to be brave. It's awesome.


My little valentine

Jordan had a ton of fun with this Valentine's Day. She started the day with a yummy breakfast snack at home and at school. I had been pretty bummed that I was going to miss her school party since I was helping out at Cam's event at his school. UNTIL... The poor kid got sick. Suddenly I had a chance to see Jordan eat ALL of the chocolate that her friends gave her for the holiday. And since I'm the dorky mom, Jordan handed out little containers of Play-doh instead of candy. To be honest, I watched two of the 9 kids in the class try to eat the dough. (woops)

Jordan ate ALL kinds of sugar. I mean a lot. That picture proves it. She was covered in chocolate. So what did I do? I took her to work so she could eat more sugar while I worked. You know, newsrooms are famous for their collection of food. What was even more incredible, my sugar-high daughter even ate dinner when we got home. I don't know how she did that, but I can only predict ugly things to come in future diapers.

How's that for a post-Valentine's Day post. Pretty darn loving, he?

I love this kid


She is a different kid

Lately everyone at Jordan's school has commented how similar she is to her brother. She is stubborn, she thinks she knows what is right and DANG IT she will do it her own way. Apparently she is willing to throw tantrums like he did (and honestly, still does). But tonight proved she's a different kid.

She enjoyed swimming lessons.

She REALLY enjoyed it. She giggled and splashed and learned how to jump into the pool from a sitting position. She tried to kick and she really worked on reaching out and paddling towards the edge of the pool. I'm thrilled. While we were working, Cam was learning to swim with a class full of kids who were smaller than he was. Good news: he didn't seem to mind. He also didn't cry at all. (sigh of relief)

Anyway. I'm pooped. Changing our schedule to include evening classes is really hard. I rushed home to grab the kids to get to swimming on time. Randy picked them up, dressed them and fed them. He kindly heated food I ate on my way to the pool. We got there JUST as class started. I'm sure it will get easier. The trick is it's so cold, you have to get dressed before and after class. Add in the need to clean the chlorine off the kids before bed and you've just eaten up two hours of hard core work.

It's all worth it when you watch Jordan giggle and splash.

What's even more enjoyable, I didn't feel like everyone was staring at us in the baby class. Everyone said hi and giggled right along with Jordan. It was really nice. I didn't feel ostracized... and I've felt that way before at pools. So I think this change of scenery might actually get us swimming more by the summer.


"I fart"

As I continue to try and teach Jordan about how to manger her bodily functions... This weekend she made it clear that she understands what a fart is. Every time she does it, she makes sure we ALL know it.

"I fart! Mommy, I fart!"

"Great Jordan. Can you say excuse me?"

"I fartcuzme!"

Today she was incredible at church -- No, not when she was trying to talk about every baby that made a noise during the prayers ("A baby!!" "Shhhhhhh!!!") When I got up to take the kids to the children's sermon at the front of the sanctuary, she just walked up, sat down, sucked her thumb with her lamby. When it was over, she got up and just walked with the crowd to choir... Cam and I had to chase after her. Then she walked into the choir room with Cam and didn't even turn to say good bye. She had a great time according to the choir director. Cam says she didn't sing much. But I'm thinking we chalk up the occasion as a win since she didn't cry.

The last thing we talked about tonight was about farts... I tried so hard to convince her to say excuse me every time she mentioned it, but I think that might take a while. She's kind of stubborn.


Weekend, sweet weekend

I just got Jordan down to bed... She made sure she tried to keep me in her room longer by asking for "Moh rubs. Moh sawngs." She wanted more backrubs and more of my lullaby songs. Sorry Boo... It was time for bed. She was so tired that she was going to cry but decided halfway in the middle of the first cry to just quit and sleep.

I figured something out that's kind of cool today. I tied a shoe with one hand. It's actually not that hard -- The hard part is getting the little bunny ears tight. I used my foot and figured it out. I figure that if I can do it, I can help teach Jordan when it's time to learn.


I'm fried

The combination of election coverage and Randy not feeling well this week has left me running out of steam.

But a couple of neat things have happened this week:

Last night Jordan, Cam and I went to Cam's school for Music Night. First graders and Kindergarteners got to show off the cool stuff they do in music class. Since Randy was feeling sick, we danced and played music and just enjoyed being around the other families from school. Seriously, we have really great parents and kids that go to our school. I'm glad I took time off from the newsroom during Super Tuesday to enjoy music night.

Tonight I took both kids to a local swimming school. Cam has never been a great swimmer and I've had not-so-fun experiences at the local pool that does Red Cross classes. I'd heard good things about the local swim school and Jordan's therapists have recommended that we get her in swimming so she builds more strength in her left arm and shoulder. We started with a one-on-one class with the school owner to guage Jordan's needs while Cam took a group class. In the end, we're going to put Cam and Jordan in the same swimming class twice a week. The goal is to help Jordan gain balance and strength and get Cameron up to his age level in the pool. A two year old and a five year old in the same class? Well, we'll see how it goes.

The bad news:
The prosthetic is broken again. The motor is acting strange again. It clicks and opens and closes without any reason. It SUCKS. I'm really bummed that we're going to have to go without the arm again... Just when Jordan was starting to use it more.

I'm tired. I might actually go to bed early tonight. It was nice to have an excuse to take a shower after the swim class. It was nice to be in a pool even though Jordan cried almost the whole time.

Oh -- And the class kind of felt like when I took the dogs to puppy training school. The teacher was spending more time teaching me how to talk and help Jordan in the pool than actually teaching Jordan. It was funny.


I'm seeing a trend

I was a big nature-loving hippie type in college -- At least before I really got into this journalism thing. I would hike and camp and eat a lot of vegetables. Yeah, I went through a vegetarian phase and I'll admit I'm still a bit skeptical about meat products.

But as my life got busier and more focused on other things, I stopped worrying about it... Until I had children. When the ultrasound said our second child was a girl, I got extra concerned. I worry about the effect American produce and meats have on the hormones of a girl. I worry about a lot of things when it comes to food. So when I was pregnant two and a half years ago or so, I started returning to my organic ways.

Lucky for me that was also when our economy slowly started taking a turn. The price of organic milk isn't much more expensive than the non-organic kind, but fruits and vegetables, meats and other things keep going up. So lately I've been struggling with the organic vs. non-organic choices at the grocery store. Our bill has doubled from what I used to spend with two adults and a little boy. Now that it's two adults a growing boy and a little girl, things are different.

It's tricky. I want to offer the family healthy food. I want to afford it... But it also has to be easy to cook. Dang work. It always gets in the way.

Oh yeah. And it pays for that expensive food.

I see a pattern.


Growing by the minute

My girl
Originally uploaded by NerdyMom
Jordan enjoyed a long weekend with her Grandma and Poppy in town. Along with all kinds of attention, she got her hair trimmed a bit. It was only her second haircut ever!!

We've seen an increased drive for independence -- Yesterday Jordan threw her first SOLID tantrum in the middle of Target. She would not let me help direct the stroller that she was pushing (I should have never let her get out of the that thin!). Obviously one and a half arms aren't that great at pushing a stroller in a straight line... and I wanted to get in an and out of the store. We had already spent a couple of hours snacking and reading books with friends at a bookstore. But Jordan wouldn't let me touch the stroller -- It got bad enough that I strapped her screaming, tantruming body into the umbrella stroller and just let her SCREAM! Cam and I tried to giggle about it -- What else can you do? But MAN! "My do it! My push! My srow-wer! (that's how she says "stroller") She solidly independent. I won't change a thing about that.

She is amazing to watch -- That little fire in her personality is going to carry her far.