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 made it to our campsite!

You can hear the river, the kids love playing in it. So far so good!!


Last hotel

We made it to our final hotel before we start our camping trip for five days. We snagged a nice room in northern Vermont before we cross the border over to New Hampshire. It's very exciting.

I will probably be completely offline until after we arrive in Maine. I promised Cam that I would not turn on the computer at all while we camp. That means five days off the grid. It's longer than I've gone in a while and I'm sure it will feel great.

So for family checking the blog, we're doing fine. We survived a 1300+ mile, two-day drive across the country and we're ready to have fun outside! For anyone else, we have a full agenda: Camping, swimming, hiking, biking and exploring! Very exciting.

An angel

Jordan woke up last this morning. She took forever falling asleep. It was challenging sleeping next to her. Actually is was so challenging that I ended up sleeping at the bottom of the bed so she wouldn't kick me in the head. Anyway, she was still sleeping this morning when Randy and I sat there watching her. She looked like an angel. So I had to take a picture of her sleeping in the car.

We're still driving towards New Hampshire. We plan to stop in Vermont tonight. We have queen beds in our hotel room tonight. Maybe, just maybe the girl will let me sleep in peace. If not, I'll have more space at the bottom of the bed!

Right now Jordan is singing about her haircut. Very silly.


On the road

On the road

We're on the road for our big summer vacation. We're super lucky to have a great house/dog sitter taking care of things while we're away. So now we can focus on having fun without worry... Other than the fact that I'm on call for jury duty while I'm away. I'm not exactly sure how to deal with that if they want me to serve!

Anyway... We're taking the next two days to drive to New Hampshire to go camping near where we visited last year. This year we're staying for five days in Crawford Notch. I'm very excited. Both kids are much more interested in swimming. Cam loves biking with his bike extension (and we brought his real bike too just in case we want to work on his training-wheel free life). We're all excited to hike in the beautiful trails of the White Mountains. It's just plain exciting.

After the camping trip, we're headed to our yearly visit to Maine. I can't wait to sit by the ocean... And this year we're pretty certain that Jordan will be very interested in learning how to climb the rocks. That should be interesting.

We're traveling long, long hours the next two days so I packed a ton of toys for Jordan. I put it to Jordan's left side since I sit her in the car with her brother to her right so it's a fair fight. (Not that I want them to fight, but she should be able to defend herself if needed) I built up the side of Jordan's seat so stuff won't fall too far away from her seat. What's been amazing is watching Jordan use her feet to reach stuff she can't get to. She will try and try and try and most of the time, she'll eventually grab a toy with her toes. It's awesome.

Oh -- And she's rocking the travel potty thing. She's telling us when she needs to go and she's not demanding a potty too often. She even got a compliment for being such a big girl in one of the rest rooms.


A new look!

Jordan's had her hair cut one time... Until today. I wanted to help her hair take shape before we head out for a big mega-vacation. So I looked into places I could take her and the price wasn't any different between a nice grown-up hair place or the new local girly-girl salon.

I went with the girly-girl salon. She loved it. (Cameron was not that interested in being there... When we got to the door, he stopped and pronounced: "I am NOT going in there.") Jordan got her hair washed with chocolate shampoo and raspberry conditioner and seemed to enjoy the experience. She listened really well while her stylist did her hair (the barber chair was a pink Barbie Corvette). She even had her hair blow dried. SO funny.

I have to say, I kind of miss the little ragamuffin girl I had. She looks so clean cut and pretty with the new hair. I'm hoping her bangs will continue to grow and catch up with the rest of her hair. She's never had them trimmed and yet they're SO short!

Tomorrow is Jordan's last dance class of the summer. I talked to her dance teacher who says she can tell our girl loves to dance and encouraged us to keep it up in the fall. She also did a really wonderful thing: she asked how to help deal with the kids who stare at Jordan. She thought it might be too personal to ask, but I really appreciate it. I gave her tips on using Nemo's little fin as a guide to kids to help explain that Jordan can do anything! I'm so happy ABC ran Finding Nemo recently so more kids had a chance to watch it. I love that movie and of course I love it even more since Jordan arrived. I offered to talk to the kids in the class, but my feeling is I don't want to call it out. I'd rather kids learn about Jordan more organically, but if there's enough of a disruption already, I'd be happy to chat with them all. I also encouraged the teacher to see if Jordan would like to talk about her arm. I'm not sure if she's ready... Since I realized I haven't given her a chance yet. It's time to start letting go. I want to protect her and it's scary to know that she had to be able to hold her own. I realize she's only close to two and a half, but the sooner she learned, the stronger she'll be!


Our special trip

I just love spending time with my Aunt and it was so great to take Jordan back to Dallas to see her last weekend. I happen to be out of town AGAIN - this time I'm on my own to attend a journalism forum. But I just wanted to tell everyone a little more about Jordan's great trip with Aunt Jan.

First, Jordan and I were totally off schedule. I had to wake her at 3am to get us to the airport. The first thing she said as I lifted her off her bed: "I go back in the bed." I don't know why I find that so funny. Anyway -- She LOVED being on a plane. We had a window seat so she could enjoy the view and look at the clouds. "I fly in the sky!!" She pointed out everything she could see. It was just so cool to see her register the idea that she was flying and on her way to see Aunt Jan and Uncle Chuck.

Even though we were a little off on sleep the entire time, Jordan was SO dang funny. She was goofy, she was giggly. She was so great. She made all of us laugh and smile. In between a little tired issues here and there, it was just fun to watch her hang out with family and have fun.

We actually ended up sharing a bed - and the first morning she woke up and was SO excited to find me in bed with her. Her tone was utter disbelief that I would be in bed with her.

Strangest moment: Jordan decided she hated the two pairs of shoes I brought to Texas. Not only did she hate them, she was throwing a fit with them. So I did something I don't normally do: I relented. We went shopping and got the girl a new pair of shoes. It's silly I know. But I had her SO out of her element and she was SO tolerant that if shoes were what she wanted to freak out about, I was going to help her deal with it. We went to the Disney Store and picked out a plaid pair of Minnie Mouse shoes (you don't actually SEE Minnie, she's in the insole if you're curious). Either way, the girl LOVED those shoes.

Life got back to normal pretty quickly when we got back home. Jordan has been pretty good at school (until she bit a girl at school today). She also had her third dance class. Today she had to go to time out because she decided not to participate during a part of the class. The teacher said if Jordan is happy, keep taking the class... But we can wait until she officially turns three if we'd like. The teacher and I schemed to decide if this was the right time for dance class... it may or it may not. Who knows. Her last class is next week, so this was just a little peek into the dance world. Maybe we'll wait until next winter. Either way, Jordan LOVES it... At least talking about it.


"I can't do it."

I knew it would happen someday... But it's happening now. Jordan is telling me "I can't do it." She often says it with a task she can do but takes extra effort. Most of the time it is putting on underwear or shorts.

"I can't do it."

But you can. I've seen you do it. I know it takes extra effort but I KNOW you can do it.

So now I have to be stubborn. I'll let her yell or scream "I CAN'T DO IT!" But I require that she at least tries. Often when I get her to finally try, she CAN do it. Other times she's frustrated and I help. But at least she tried.

This morning I had to leave her on the floor crying for 15 minutes until I got her into the "try" mode. The "can't" mode is very hard to move away from. But I can't allow "can't" to take over her life. If there's anything I'm committed to, it's making sure my girl can do ANYTHING.

"Can't" doesn't belong in her world.


Really busy

I'm so behind on pictures and life stories about Jordan. We got back into town yesterday morning at 3am after spending a long weekend with my Aunt. She's been battling cancer and we were able to get into town in between chemo treatments. My Aunt is amazing and it was SO great to be with her while she felt pretty good. Miss Jordan was awesome. She dealt with the horrible travel schedule, danced around and sang. She fell in love with my Aunt and Uncle's dog and their friend's dog who was visiting for the weekend.

I'm exhausted and I haven't gotten to updating all of the pictures and stories about Jordan.

Let's say this: She LOVES planes. She's so excited about "flying in the sky." She had to brag about it to everyone at school yesterday. She also had to show off a new pair of shoes we bought at the Disney Store. I have allowed my daughter to totally buy into the Disney mystique. I'm totally okay with it. My husband wants to shoot me. I've never been a princess type, but if my daughter likes it, I'll play. (I can't believe I just wrote that since I swore my daughter would never wear pink and we'd avoid all gender-assigning games and toys)

Oh! And Jordan was dry the entire trip. She even went potty on the plane! Incredible!

I promise to write more, but I'm working late tonight and I want to enjoy a nice day outside and read a book for a little while. It's one of the first times I've been alone in a long time. It's also really nice out and I don't want to miss sitting under a tree for a little while!


My dancing girl

Jordan had her first dance class yesterday. It was kinda cool. Not because she really participated in the class (I'd say she half participated). What was cool was how she was excited about getting dressed up. She talked about being a princess and wearing princess shoes (her ballet shoes). She was very proud to be a part of that experience.

It was actually very cool to see her in the class. She was so tiny dancing and walking around with the other kids. It's a class for kids between 3 and 5. Miss Jordan isn't quite 2 and a half, so this was just special. I work with the dance teacher at the university and she invited Jordan to participate this summer after her awesome performance in the Nutcracker last year.

To cap off the sweet part of the day, Jordan slept in her ballet shoes all night. She actually danced to the bathroom when she woke up in the morning.


New casts

Jordan had her feet casted once again to get her new shoe inserts. It has been SO long since her ankles have had extra support. I look forward to being able to help her feel a lot more comfortable while we hike all over the place this summer.

When we got to the orthotic company, I was worried she would be really cranky and uncooperative. But she changed moods really rapidly and was really very sweet during the casting process. She played with the foot molds (that the blue thing on her left foot in the picture). She was happy to hold onto the molds and admire them (she was calling them her foot by saying: "I got my foot Mommy!"). She was sweet even after she got a little boo boo on one foot.

After her appointment, we walked to Cam's school and picked him up to celebrate the end of the school year. Jordan is on a three year countdown until her Kindergarten experience. That's a strange thought. On our walk home, we noticed a neighbor who has a four (almost 5) year old son and twin girls who are four months younger than Jordan. We spent time over there. It was so fun to see Jordan starting to build a friendship with girls who live so darn close to our house. Play friends so nearby. It's very exciting. The girls played in their backyard pool - Jordan didn't have her swimsuit but I just let her go crazy in her underwear. Jordan also decided it was cool to use their bathroom - she made four pit stops. (Only one was productive) She didn't want to go home and cried all the way. I didn't mind, Cam was pretty upset about going home as well.

Fun fun fun

Jordan is starting to talk and talk and talk. So I have to write down a couple of funny things she's saying.

When turning on a light she says: "I open the light."
When turning off a light she says: "I close the light."

When Randy was leaving for work yesterday she asked: "You got your bye-bye bag? You go to your car and go bye bye?"
Bye bye bag. I like that. I isn't a computer bag anymore. It's a bye bye bag.

While going upstairs with Cameron yesterday, Jordan started yelling: "Wait up you guys!"

This weekend, we went on a bike trip down the Katy Trail... It's a pretty nice and easy trek even though it was hot outside. We were all biking while Jordan road around in the bike trailer. She did NOT like riding in trailer. She was feeling trapped and uninvolved. Her best tactic: Scream that she needed to go potty. We'd stop and offer her a chance to use the grass as a bathroom, but she was not interested. We finally had to turn around and find a bathroom. She actually used a public bathroom for the first time. But since that's been a challenge and we're planning a big road trip, I just bought a travel potty. I think it will make like a little easier. Anyway, after we turned around, she got to run around on the trail and she was just so dang happy (see picture).

We're finally getting Jordan's feet casted today for her shoe inserts. The previous fitting wasn't done properly so we have to go through it again. This has been a really crazy delayed process and Jordan's really enjoying life in shoes that don't require socks. I'm expecting a pretty unhappy process when we bring the inserts back into her life. (There I go again - always so negative. Sorry about that.) The upside of taking her to the appointment, I get to leave work a little early and spend some time working out. I work an odd shift on Mondays and I did some Wii Fit yesterday afternoon while Jordan snacked and watched. As I tried a number of yoga poses, Jordan kept asking: "Whatchya doin' Mom?" It's very hard to hold a balancing pose when you're getting the third degree!