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.


29 Months Old (600th post)

In my constant documentation of Jordan, we've reached my girl's 29th month. Every month is another amazing jump in independence and personality. I'm not sure how I can properly document this little one's growth as she becomes more like a a little person every day. I obviously post a lot. This happens to be my 600th post about a 29 month old. That seems a bit extreme. I guess this mom blog thing has become quite the hobby.

Along with her growing potty skills (for those of you who know more than what I've been posting about that process, she finally let loose today), she's working on ways to get her clothes off. She's not an expert on putting clothes on, but off is turning into an impressive skill. I came up with a way to help her take shirts off: little arm out first, pull the shirt over her head and then shake her big arm out. It's going very well. These are the little things that used to worry me. But she finds solutions each and every day. I'm proud to be a part of it.

If I'm lucky, I'll find a way to stay patient as her powerfully stubborn tests try me. She will fight just about anything I ask her to do. But she and I are learning. I'm training her and she thinks she's training me.

Either way, in the last month, Jordan has picked up more words and abilities to really talk about what she wants, needs and is curious about. She's always asking things like: "What's that?" "What's that sound?" "I want that!" "I do it!" Classic stuff. It's just so fun to watch her grow.



A memorable Memorial Day

Jordan and Cam got to go to the local Memorial Day parade in town... And I had not realized, but this was her first chance to watch a parade from the side. She's been in two homecoming parades, but never sat through one. Funny.

She was really interested in all of the cars and waving to as many members of the military as possible. We walked around town after that and enjoyed a tasty treat for lunch. In all... She continued a staunch denial of all public toilets. Luckily, this girl has control and waited until we got home. She's been dry for all her naps and dry for the last two nights as well. We're getting there. In a week we've made HUGE strides. Then I won't have to blog about this process anymore. And I'll be very, very happy about that.


Flowers, puddles and dancing

The morning was rainy, really rainy. So rainy that when it finally stopped, the water was running through our driveway as if it was still raining. Jordan was thrilled to enjoy the puddles and blooming flowers outside. We had spent most of the morning playing Wii Fit. It's a lot of fun and I broke a sweat a little here and there.

The highlight of the day: Taking Jordan to a local dance company's recital to watch dancers from the age of three to who knows how old (probably mostly high school). I wanted to see what she thought about the performances. I'm considering a chance to put her in a short summer dance class. It's for three year olds, but I know the teacher and she thinks Jordan would love it. Jordan and I in the front row of the balcony... It gave her room to fidget and a chance for us to escape for a possible potty break. It also gave her room to dance. Oh my did she boogie. It was great. She was so excited every time another group came on stage. I never took to the dancing thing as a kid. It's not my kind of thing, and it might not be interesting to Jordan. But for now, it appears that this is the kind of stuff she likes.

Oh! On items that have nothing to do with Jordan and everything to do with me. I bought a new bike!! With the help of birthday money and saved up funds, I was able to get a new Trek bike. It isn't just a Trek bike, it's a girl Trek bike. I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy a girl version or not, but in the end, I just like this design and its features. I've never had a bike with suspension! I can't wait to enjoy my first really long trip down our local bike trails on this puppy! I'm ready to find more excuses to get outside and get healthy. I totally fell off my The Daily Plate diet (although not really a diet, just a mindful lifestyle). So I'm back on TDP and trying to exercise more... even if it's a little exercise like the Wii Fit (which has options to make things sweaty). I'm looking forward to feel a little healthier... As I did a couple of months ago before I started gaining weight back!


We had a potty party today

Remember how I was all concerned about this potty thing when we went cold turkey on Sunday? Today Jordan was dry from when we put on the cotton this morning until I put on her bedtime diaper. I'm thinking I might need to give up diapers all together and see what the overnight experience is like. (Messy I'm sure... but today she surprised the heck out of me, it could continue)

The potty party day started a little unusual. Jordan woke up ten minutes before we had to run off to school and take part in a Kindergarten walking trip to the nearby gardens (where there is no bathroom). Cameron asked if Jordan could come along so she could hang out with his classmates. I was a little nervous since she'd be in cotton the whole time. I brought extra clothes and was prepared for a mess and a bunch of kindergarteners yelling: "YUCK!"

Three and a half hours later, I rushed home as quick as possible to give Jordan a chance to go to the bathroom. And she was mad at me. I am not allowed to force her to go to the bathroom. She held it through our trip to school and even a quick lunch while the rest of her class went down to nap (we were a little behind schedule because of the field trip). As she ate, I kept asking if she needed to go... And she kept saying no. I had to ask one of the teachers at school to ask her to use the bathroom, and it worked. The girl made it through nap and didn't make a mistake. She made it through the entire day. I was so freaking proud.

So when I had both kids, we (Cameron and I) bought Jordan a balloon and some pizza. Then we had a potty pizza party that also included watching the Little Einsteins. It's like she's growing up right in front of me. Amazing. This sink or swim experience apparently is what motivates Jordan better than anything else.


Flower video

Miss Jordan is all about outside time... So during Cameron's t-ball game last Friday, we picked flowers. I couldn't help shooting her in and out of the frame (my nerdy video friends know what I'm talking about)


Potty update

I promise not to blog much more about the potty training experience. Here's the deal - Jordan will do it when she wants to do it. Yesterday at school, she told her teachers that she needed to pee, but then they got into a spat over who would take off her pants. Jordan wanted to do it!!! So since that took too long, she ended up peeing in her pants. She had a couple of situations through the day when she just forgot to go to the bathroom. All in all and five pairs of underwear later, I think she made progress.

I have no idea how she's doing at school today - I'm a little stressed just thinking about it though. I really really look forward to this stage ending as soon as possible (you know, like in a year).

Update: Today was a much better day for this experience. Only one accident, but barely an accident at school. She used the bathroom a number of times at home too. I'm feeling a little better about going cold turkey on diapers! I'm really proud of how she's able to pull her clothes up and down on her own when we're not in a rush to go potty. Go team!


Wish us luck

I bought the cotton underwear - She's wearing them and I've already had to do two extra loads of laundry. That's cool, we're learning. She's already used the potty more than ever before.

And she doesn't really like it. When she uses the potty, it's exciting and she's proud. But she doesn't like that I've pushed this situation on her. Pull ups and diapers are awesome.

So... I set her off to school with three extra outfits and an extra pair of shoes. We're in deep now.


Plan averted

I've suddenly started feeling crummy. My goal was to leave the house this evening to shop for cotton underwear for the girl... But I've suddenly picked up a sore throat and I'm wondering if my body is saying I should put this potty training on hold. I'll give it a couple of days.

Here's the problem: She's finally consistent with the potty thing without pants. So I should just go for it. I know I should. I guess I'm trying to hold on to one tiny little piece of sanity that I'd lose the moment we go into hard core potty training mode.

By the way, I stumbled onto an article that talked about how the mom blog Dooce pulls in $40,000 in advertising revenue a month. A month! I am in the wrong business. Wow.


Grace period?

So... Remember how I thought we were in a grace period when we took the crib rail down? A grace period between when Jordan was contained to her crib and the time when she realizes that she can get out of her bed whenever she wants to?

Ummm. We're still in that grace period.

Can I still call it a grace period when we're reaching close to two weeks of sleeping in a "big girl" bed? It's stunning. She stays in bed when I put her down and when she wakes up in the morning, she doesn't get out on her own without me in the room. It's great. It's also kind of strange. Randy has decided that this is going to be a great item to harass Jordan about when she's older. It took her brother about a week to figure out he could escape his room whenever he wanted. That didn't last long. IT was a bit of a battle of the wits. We're headed in that direction with Jordan soon enough. I shouldn't complain.

Speaking of not complaining... Jordan is starting to really give the potty thing a run for its money. Here's the tricky part: Taking off a diaper or pull ups are really hard. The one handed removal with tightly fitting "underwear" is really hard. Tonight she was working with just her elastic shorts and she was doing a great job - pulling up and down and up and down. In all of this effort, she was pretty productive. And it made me wonder if there is practice underwear that would make it easier for her than the disposable stuff. I'm willing to bring four outfits a day to school for Jordan if it helps her learn the potty thing faster. She wants to do everything on her own -- I just need to figure out something that will help her to just that!


Making progress

We were able to get approved and fitted for another UCBL shoe insert for Jordan today. Hopefully that can help her get those ankles working better. The poor kid was exhausted from the combination of a late night dinner celebration for Mother's Day, an early morning First Steps meeting and a 10:30 shoe insert fitting. She was exhausted... So exhausted that she fell asleep on our way to school. That ten minute drive was too much for her. But the good news: I got extra cuddles as I took her out of the car. I swear, Jordan cuddles are some of the best you can find.


Special Mother's Day Gift

Check this out. It may be one of the sweetest things I've gotten from a school project at Jordan's school. I may have to explain what's going on here. This is a piece of fabric to celebrate Mother's Day... On the right side you can see her hand print. On the left side you can see her little arm print! This is super special because none of her other teachers has ever taken part in a class project where they got Jordan's little arm involved. They usually just repeat the right hand... But her new teachers just painted up that little arm and let her go with it.

I love this gift. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it... But I'm certainly never going to get rid of it.


IFSP annoyances

I'm lucky to be a part of the state's 0-3 program that helps me afford Jordan's many therapies and care. (It took many month fighting to get her into the program) It has been a way to help me fund the little things that insurance will fight - like shoe inserts that have helped Jordan's strange leg structure. I finally got my pediatrician to fill out a prescription for new UCBLs (a technical term for the shoe inserts). But then I had to try to track down my First Steps coordinator, find a meeting time and then schedule an appointment for a fitting. It takes a week or more to get the inserts built. 


Poor kid will be without inserts at least two months before we get new ones. It stinks that the process is so slow when she's growing so fast.

What's really a bummer is how we have to leave the First Steps program in six months... We could apply to get assistance through the school system. But the difference is the school system program focuses on helping kids with the skills that will help them sit in the classroom and learn. Jordan will be able to do that. What she will need are therapists that can help her to learn how to take her clothes on and off, how to use the bathroom without falling into the toilet... You know, life skills that I hope I can provide, but I bet a little more expert guidance would help her get there quicker. Once we leave the First Steps program, I really don't think I can afford the monthly $160 it would take in copays to get the same number of occupational therapy appointments she has now -- and we'd have to return to DRIVING to the appointments instead of having the therapists visit Jordan at school. Add in the price of using more gas... and that's a lot more money each month. That doesn't even include our physical therapist who is amazing and I'm not prepared to lose. I'm bitching. I realize this and I apologize.


Wow. I'm an Alltop Mom!

I've been a mom blogger since 2004 (I started with Mom Thoughts). It isn't as long as many people out there. I have this small little following and I love everyone who visits here. I've always wondered if there were ways to make sure I reach as many moms out there who have kids with differences. I work full-time and I don't have a ton of time to "pimp my blog." But a friend of mine pitched my two mom blogs to Alltop Moms - it's considered the ultimate aggregator of blogs. I'm really honored to be groups with a great bunch of mom bloggers.

I've been pondering some issues as a parent of a limb different kid lately as I watch Jordan move into a bigger girl stage - I've been wondering if I should post it but I figured this is probably the right moment. I have a couple of hours off from work. A half hour before I need to grab the kids. So I have quiet thinking time (which is rare around here).

I've moved into another fearful stage - I realize that every time I see a huge mountain that Jordan has to climb, the girl flies over it after a few false attempts to get up the rock face. But because I live in a two handed world, I can't fathom how she's going to do all of the simplest things that I do every day. I was opening a container of yogurt, and used both hands even though I tried it with one. I started buying glass milk containers and I have a hard time opening it with two hands. This potty process... Jordan has a really hard time getting her pants up and down on her own.

I realize she's going to figure all of these things out because she doesn't even know what the world is like with two hands. But I'm intimidated. I see these thousands of menial tasks as a huge challenge. And it exhausts me. Jordan's stubborn drive to learn everything on her own will get to her accomplish everything. But to get my brain to wrap around how she'll catch a ball with her new baseball glove AND throw the ball back to me is hard. I know she'll find a way. That little arm can do a lot of work. I just get into these little ruts from time to time when Jordan starts moving into a new phase of development. It's my problem and I know she'll overcome it all. Not once will I ever tell her that she can't do a thing. I just get scared when a simple challenge like getting dressed seems so difficult.


Beautiful day

Jordan and her brother had a busy day as usual. We made a trip to church where the kids got to go to their choir practice. The choir leader says Jordan was really into it. She listened and even tried to sing along. I love that.

The day started out cool, but it was perfect for playing outside. The kids had a great tacklefest with their Dad. And they both took an increased liking to hanging out in Dudley's dog house.

Jordan also got a couple of cool new things at the toy store: a baseball glove and roller skates. I know. I know. They're both things that are a little too old for her. But I thought the roller skates would be a really cool experience and maybe help build a little less fear about rolling things. The baseball glove is from her recent interest in the game since her brother is playing a ton of t-ball games. She even tried to hit the ball off the tee tonight. It was super cute. Every time she got the ball off the tee, we cheered and she would run and run.


"I fall down the bed"

Yeah... Jordan is a wigglier sleeper then her brother. Before I went to bed last night, I found her sleeping on the floor of her room - on top of a book. Early this morning I heard her calling my name. I went into her room to find her on the floor again: "Mommy, I fall down the bed."

I picked her up and helped her back into bed.

I'm going to investigate possible bed rails. I'm not sure. Cam never fell out of the bed. Of course I have pillows on the floor of her room... So I'm not sure what route I should go: Pillow falls or bed rails.

Either way, she had a blast at Cameron's t-ball game tonight and enjoyed the little league bar-b-que afterwards. She napped HARD this afternoon and did not fall out of bed!


Big deal change

This morning I found Jordan hanging on for dear life on the top of her crib railing. I realized I can't let her do that again. I can't imagine the chance of her taking a big fall and breaking something.

So... Here we are. I have a little girl sleeping in her crib that was converted into a daybed. This will be a short run - I'll move her to the big girl bed soon enough. But OH MY was she excited to see her "new bed." The whole family went upstairs to admire her bed. She climbed in and just kept falling into her pillow. "My bed! My bed!" We did our regular book, prayer, lullaby sequence and she stayed in bed.

This is what we call our grace period. Jordan hasn't figured out that she can get out of bed by herself yet.

It took her brother (who was 3 months older than Jordan is now when we moved him out of the crib) about five days to figure out he could roam freely. Wish us luck.

Enjoying the baseball season

Jordan got to go to her brother's first t-ball game last night. She was a little put off by the heavy winds ("There wind in my hair Momma."). But after a while she was playing with the other younger siblings and chasing after me while I took lots and lots of pictures. The season is usually a bit long by the end, but we were all having fun last night.

I've even taken to introducing all of the team parents to Flickr. I created a private photo group so we can all share our pictures online there. So far I already have two new members to the group and I sent out the email two hours ago. That's pretty cool.

I'm merging my nerdy world in so many ways. I've been on BabyCenter's new community for a month or two and recently "bumped" into a new mom from my area who has a little girl born with a limb difference. The funny thing is we talked a few months ago, but we hadn't spoken online again until she found me on BabyCenter. It's a small world!


Cold turkey

Yup. The girl had to drop her lamby cold turkey today. It's been one of many reasons for her to be stubborn at school, so obviously we had to stop bringing it to school. But I'm still a little sad. I can handle her crying about it on her way to school. I'm more sad about how this is just another little sign about how my little girl is growing up. She isn't a baby anymore. Just as Jordan says: "I a big girl."