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.


Strange little moment

I had a crazy day... The kind of day when you wake up you don't want to get up but if you don't everything will just get crazier. Jordan had a meeting at our house that was followed by an appointment for both dogs at the vet that was followed by a gathering where I was helping set up a computer system. I had no time to go from one place to the other let alone get Jordan to school!

So Jordan "helped" me take the dogs to the vet. I've avoided taking the dogs together for a number of years. I had no choice since we're in the middle of what I'm now fondly calling "Flea Drama 2008." I'll just say I've never had to vacuum so much and I've never combed out our fuzzy dog Dudley as much as I have during all of this. Anyway, when we first got there, a young boy (older than Cameron) jumped up and seemed to be staring at the dogs. I figured he wanted to pet them, but I was concerned about controlling the dogs and keeping him safe (you never know) so I moved past him quickly. But later as I was rescheduling ANOTHER flea check appointment, the boy walked up to me. I expected him to ask to pet the dogs. But instead he asked what happened "to that little girl's arm." He pointed at Jordan who was trying to "walk" our pug Bubba around the hallway (she was doing pretty well for a small kid and a strong 23 pound dog). The boy was obviously developmentally delayed in some way... It didn't really matter. He was just curious. He was obviously confused when I told him that's how Jordan was born. Just another of those moments when you're just going about your day and forget there's something a little different about Jordan.

By the way, Jordan has named Bubba "Bubby." She loves to walk around and pat him gently, but Bubba is a little unsure about the love. She's always so proud when she can give him attention.


Special Exposure Wednesday

Jordan discovered her brother's digital camera (don't tell him) while she was in the newsroom yesterday. She ran all over the place taking pictures. It was SO classic. It took her about four or five pictures when she figured out the whole process. She actually took my picture while I took her picture.
5 Minutes for Special Needs


31 Months Old!

Jordan got to celebrate her 31st month birthday by enjoying dinner at a station potluck. We had a TON of food and Jordan got to woo every single person there. She is not worried about being polite (although demanding) and adorable.

I'm so amazed to have this big girl in my house. In the last month, Jordan has taken her independence and shown me how easy it is to switch between big girl who can do everything on her own and one second later is desperately in need of me picking her up and giving her a cuddle. She still loves her lamby blanket even though I don't let her bring it everywhere like I used to.

We lost some potty skills during our vacation, but she's slowly getting back on track. I kind of forgot how I need to remind her on a regular basis about using the bathroom. I'm getting myself trained a little better, so she's staying pretty darn clean these days. (I love it!)

In the last month, Jordan has shown she can get really angry. She'll throw a huge fit, thrashing, punching, screaming... And I will try to help direct her into a calmer state of mind. The amazing thing is how she'll return to her calm demeanor eventually and apologize to me for the outburst. It's pretty awesome. She and her brother are still at each others throats -- Although they are getting to a point where they can play together a times. It's awesome to watch them pretend to cook at our play kitchen or run around outside being silly.

Speaking of sweetness, here are a few Jordanisms: Jordan can't just give you a kiss. A kiss ALWAYS comes with a hug. At night, she tells me "Good morning! Good night!" In the morning, she always tells me: "I wake up!" Recently she loves to walk up to me and let me know: "I happy Mommy! I really happy!" She's scared of bears due to my speech to the kids about how we don't put food in our tent while we were in New Hampshire. She still will tell me at a random moment: "Bears really scary. I not like bears."

Everyone at Jordan's school calls her Jordy and when Jordan talks about herself, she calls herself Jordy more often than Jordan. Oh - and when she says her name, it sounds like "Yordy."

She's growing up so stinking fast!! I'm absorbing myself into this phase. She's strong-willed, dynamic, sweet, loving and EXHAUSTING. I love it.


The grace period is over

I had to work tonight, but I wanted to announce that Jordan's bedtime grace period has ended. On May 2nd, we moved turned our girl's crib into a daybed. I waited a week and expected her to start escaping from her room and avoiding bedtime.

Almost three months later, she finally did on the day before she turned 31 months old!

Randy found her at the top of the stairs grinning a silly grin and telling him she needed to go potty.

Our enjoyment of knowing our girl is safely in her bed is over.


I'm playing with technology (as usual). Here's a piece of video I posted a while back (I think). There's a video hosting company called Motionbox I use that just started making it possible to embed HD quality video. Here you go:

Unfortunately the video isn't actually HD quality b/c I can't edit in HD at work yet. If I have time to learn Final Cut on my computer, I could start pumping out some really nice stuff. Darn life -- If only I had more time!!


Strong opinions. WOW. They're strong.

We've been out to eat a little more than usual. With all of our traveling, Jordan has figured out the process it takes to eat food at a restaurant. Lately, she takes charge when the waitress asks us for an order.

My in-laws were in town to spend time with the girl and take the boy to their house for the week. So we got to go out to restaurants again. Last night, Jordan immediately asked for her drinks: "Water! Milk! Water and Milk!" I had to reminder her to say: PLEASE!! She didn't forget please after that. I tell you, the girl got her water and her milk. She also ordered her dinner. It was pretty impressive. She holds her own.

This morning, she ordered her milk and waffle at the Waffle House. She was polite and VERY excited about eating a waffle. She ate the whole thing. Seriously. All of it. She had to take some of it home, but she ate it all up. If Jordan can just improve her tone with the wait staff, she's going to get everything she ever asked. She's dominant, but learning to remember to say please (and a smile on the side). She just floors me.

Today I took her to my friend's apartment complex to swim in the pool. I was impressed with Jordan's attempts at kicking and moving her arms. She was a bit nervous at first, but warmed up and got brave in spurts. It was good. No crying. Impressive bravery for a two year old.

I'm planning to meet up with Jordan's occupational therapist this week. I'm questioning our prosthetic more and more these days. The hand's opening and closing mechanism hasn't been consistent since we got our second arm last October. I've been brainstorming with our OT on other options. I'm looking for a prosthetic company that is willing to be creative. I really think Jordan needs someone who wants to try something new. If not, it's time to start planning to work with my current company to schedule Jordan's next arm. Wish us luck!!


Special Exposure Wednesday

I stumbled upon this awesome idea from the blog 5 Minutes for Special Needs. It's a chance to show a cool moment of our kidlets through photos. Special needs is a tough word for me to swallow sometimes even though Jordan is two and a half and we've had a long time to digest what her differences mean in this world. She does need special things every once and a while. But thanks to her stubbornness, those special needs aren't as obvious as you would think.

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Here's a sweet moment when we were at the beach in Maine. She was so happy she started dancing. It's her newest love and she's getting stronger at jumping and spinning every day... She's figuring out her balance!

It was so fun to watch - The picture doesn't tell half of it.


Baseball and movies

Jordan had a very busy weekend. It started with a Friday night trip to the Cardinals. She had an amazing time especially when you consider the fact that she should have been in bed at the time the game started! She loved the hot dog, she loved seeing Fred Bird (she even had his picture on her t-shirt and that apparently was AWESOME), she loved being silly in our seats. It was great.

What wasn't great was the whole going home part -- we live about two hours away from Busch Stadium. The kids needed to sleep. Randy was exhausted and wanted to sleep. I wanted to sleep, but I drove instead. But the funniest part was how Jordan was so overtired that she couldn't fall asleep. Instead, she couldn't stop singing. She sang nonstop in audible and inaudible tunes. She sang about mom and dad and the cars and baseball (she calls it base-eh-ball). Jordan sang for 45 minutes nonstop. Randy was aggravated. Cameron slept through it. I just laughed quietly and tried not to interact with her so she'd wind down eventually. She did. Even better. Both kids slept until 9 in the morning! That was cool.

Today we took the family to WALL-E. The first 30 minutes or so has very limited dialogue. Jordan enjoyed it. She was dying through all of the previews... That was the best part. She kept asking "Where's WALL-E?" After the Pixar short she announced: "It's all done. WALL-E's coming!" Once the movie started, it held her attention pretty well. The popcorn helped. I swear, she would eat that food and nothing else if she could.

On the whole, a good weekend as we try to get back into the swing of things. On deck: Jordan has three occupational therapy meetings this week. She hasn't had her prosthetic on much lately, so the battle to wear it has gotten pretty rough. Right before our vacation, she had picked up a really nasty blister on the tip of her little arm. I'm hoping that was a fluke. I plan to really keep a close eye on her arm just in case.

Another cute thing, there's a picture on our refrigerator Randy took the day Jordan was born. It's been there since I printed it out when she was a week old. We put it up there so Cameron could notice Jordan's little arm. Well, now I just keep it there because it is a really sweet photo. But what's really interesting is how Jordan's looks at it. She takes it off the refrigerator, sits down and compares her arms to her baby version. She points to her little arm in the picture and then shows me her little arm. Then she points out her baby hand and shows me her hand. I just think it's interesting to see how she sees herself. It's important to me that she sees her difference and loves it, accepts it and is open about it.

About to watch WALL-E!

I tell you, the girl really loves popcorn.


Connecting without BlogHer

So there's this big event underway that only Mom Bloggers really know about. It's called BlogHer. It's a really cool way women bloggers connect each and every year. It happens in the summer, which makes sense. But it also happens close to my family vacation time and I haven't been able to attend... Let along AFFORD to attend!

So I've started talking to a number of mom bloggers on Twitter and they've started a BlogHer Pity Party. I'm planning to chat with some of the other moms and whine (if you see the little link to the right of this post, you'll see there's also and excuse to WINE). If you want to attend, register on mommytalk.com and join in on the fun. It will be nice to have an excuse to meet more moms out there!


It's my fah-mah-wee

We finally made it home. I'm so happy and sad at the same time. Every year, our time in Maine has become a natural constant in our lives. It's a great chance for my little family connect with my side of my family. The kids get to play with my parents and my brother. It's such a constant that my Mom reminded me that I didn't mention them in any of my vacation posts.

Jordan proved our family time was meaningful in a sweet little way when she went to bed. She was reunited with her stuffed animals who live on the top shelf of her bookshelf. She showed me a couple and I asked if she was going to sleep with them and she said yes. I walked away to unpack. I didn't notice she had put all of her animals and dolls into her bed. When we finally walked to her bed I told her there was no way she could sleep with that crowd. And she started crying: "It's my fah-mah-lee! I sleep wit them!" She wanted to sleep with her family. She had spent so much intense family time, she wasn't ready to let go.

She had some very sweet moments with all of our family members over this trip. It's so wonderful to watch her hugging and squeezing and squealing and giggling with my parents and my brother. She was super cute with my dad. She would walk up to him sometimes and say "I a princess." Then my dad would correct her. He considers his daughter (me) his princess. So he'd tell Jordan that she can be the little princess. Jordan was totally cool with that. She was full of snuggles and cuddles for him.

Jordan had all kinds of special time with her Uncle Jon as well. She covered him in sand and he got to show her the joys of burying your feet into the sand. It was cool to watch my brother smile that goofy uncle kind of smile that you don't get to see on his face on a regular basis - Since he doesn't live nearby.

And that's exactly why we all hang out each year. So the kids can play and experience and have a time where it's just natural to hang out with family that isn't normally so close at hand.

We had such a great time. It's going to be hard to get back into the regular swing of things.


An end to a great vacation

We're wrapping up our first day of driving home from a great vacation. The kids have been pretty tolerant although I think they've just about had enough driving for today. I have to say, the more often we visit Maine, the more thankful I am to have such a beautiful place to visit with my kids. Both Jordan and Cameron seem to have a true enjoyment of the outdoors and beautiful things like the ocean, boats, mountains and the moon. Jordan and I were hunting for the moon last night before it got too dark.

I tried to snag a chance at a family picture yesterday after attempts the day before didn't work because the kids were too tired. I think this one is pretty cool even if the wind was blowing Jordan and my hair.

For Jordan, the highlight of this trip was probably so much Mommy time. She really likes me. She really really likes me. We spent a lot of time cuddling, singing and dancing together. There's a rock near the Maine house that turned into her dance rock. Everything we did ended up becoming a song. There was just a lot of entertainment during this trip. But for her, the best part was probably her constant access to my cuddles and ability to answer to her every beck and call. The down side to it: She wouldn't let anyone else do much. She had a bit of a stranglehold on my attention - screaming anytime she didn't get my attention. If she needed help, she's wait until I did it for her. Or she'd just scream. Not a pleasant habit for me or anyone else who wanted to spend time with her. It certainly a phase I hope ends soon.

Our trip was fun. It was beautiful out the entire time we were in New Hampshire and Maine. We were so lucky. It was so fun to watch my little girl turn more and more into a big girl each and every day. She is turning into a witty and very able little person. She knows what she wants and most of the time, she figures out how to get it. It makes me proud. It makes me tired. It makes me excited to see how she continues to grow!

Driving home

I started writing a bunch of stuff about our vacation in a post last
night but I didn't get it done before I needed to go to bed. Now we're
on the road headed home. We expect to stop somewhere in Ohio tonight.
We are almost out of New York and plan to eat dinner somewhere in
Pennsylvania to give the kids a chance to run around and eat food I
wouldn't normally feed them.

Speaking of food. During thus trip, Jordan ate wayyyyy too many fries
and Cam ate wayyyyy to many grilled cheeses. I tried to not let that
bother me while I gobbled down lobster and scallops and yummy stuff
like that.


Exploring, demanding and exhausting

We're all winding down our big mega-vacation. Tomorrow is our final day in Maine before we drive home. It's a long 24-hour trip in the car -- which could be even longer with Jordan's constant need to use the bathroom. I'm hoping we can get her toilet training back on track - she's had a few more accidents than before the trip. The good news: She hasn't completely lost her skills. I'm certain that she'll have all of this figured out really soon. There's a little boy next door who is two months older than Jordan and still uses diapers. Randy and I both just look at each other and feel relieved that we're this far through this journey.

Speaking of journeys, Jordan has gone on a few little journeys around the island and around to other nearby spots here in Maine. She's really excited about planes, boats and her iPod. It's terrible, but I've found life on long car drives are just a bit easier with the help of technology. Her audio wrap from ifrogz.com is awesome since she can watch and listen to her podcasts without needing earphones.

Jordan got to hang out with a former student of ours and her boyfriend. They were awesome and put up with all of us. Jordan had fun and gave everyone SO many hugs. It's so funny to watch her moods with these kinds of public displays of affection. One second she's giving away dozens of hugs and kisses, the next second she doesn't want anyone near her. There are so many stories and pictures to post, but I'm exhausted! Maybe I'll try more tomorrow.


Having all kinds of fun

We've been in Maine for four days. I guess the ocean air has kept me unmotivated and unable to hop onto my computer or cellphone to send pictures or stories. Sorry about that. I've been trying to sift through the hundreds of pictures I took of our camping trip while compiling new ones here in Maine. I actually took the majority of yesterday off from the camera. I needed a break from documenting... even though the kids are so stinking cute in between harassing each other.

While we were camping, I tried to send a few pictures just so family members would know that we're alive. I have a ton of stories to write. Top of it all, she's INCREDIBLY clingy. In between the ultra-independent attitude, she's needed a lot of Mommy. She won't even let her dad let her out of the car. She often runs around the house (or campground or hiking trail or store or where ever) whining: Pick-ah up me! Yeah, she wants me to hold her. And for some reason, instead of saying "Pick up me" she says "Pick-ah up me!" I love spending time with her, but this is a bit much. She wouldn't even let her Uncle Barry carry her in the hiking backpack as we hiked 1.4 miles up a mountain to see the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire (the hard work was TOTALLY worth it). To add to the clingy, we're still potty training. While we were camping, this intense scrutiny was enhanced in two ways: Jordan would cry ever time I made her sit on any type of toilet and most toilets were chemical toilets that smelled bad. It was very challenging to maintain my sanity at times.

In between the challenging stuff, we had amazing times. Jordan has seen and explored so many amazing things. But she's also used me as her base. No matter what, she wants me to protect her, carry her or help her do something. I will do my very best not to complain because very soon she will not want me near her. The funniest thing is sometimes when I ask her if I can help, she'll yell "MY DO IT!" And I can't come near her, but the next second she wants to cuddle on me.

Since we got to Maine, her potty training needs have improved again and we're back on track. On the whole, there are SO many moments where I watch my girl talking, singing, dancing and just being who she is and I just have to stop and watch in wonder. She's SOOO stinking sweet. Even more fun, I just watch the two kids. In between their little squabbles, they are starting to get along. They actually played outside together this morning. The two of them are so alike and SO different at the same time. We've been outside so much - it's everything you want in a vacation. Outside time, lazy time, kid time, playing with pictures online time. This has been very nice.

(by the way, that picture is the official rock picture of the year)