Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moving Up In The World

My Big Brave Kindergartener!

The night before the first day of school, I was a complete wreck. Jordan, on the other hand, was beyond excited.
           "Mama!" she shouted. "I go to school tomorrow! I'm going to kindergarten!"
And I only smiled and nodded, barely able to contain my tears. I tucked her in to bed that night, a million thoughts running through my head all at the same time.
            Would she be okay? Was she going to have a meltdown as soon as she got to school? Was I going to have to pick her up after only a few hours because she became inconsolable? How would she adapt to eating lunch in the cafeteria? These worries had never been a problem before, because she always went to the same school. She saw the same people every day, in the same room,  went to school with kids all her own age, and ate lunch in the classroom. But this was a new school, with more kids in her class,two different teachers and two different classrooms. Not to mention the lunch in the cafeteria and that there were older children there, too. The changes to her routine were tremendous and potentially detrimental. As with most kids on the spectrum, Jordan has never adapted well to change. The slightest difference in her usual routine has the potential to throw her off so much that it can often take several days, in few instances weeks, to get her used to the change and back to her normal self. Our nights during these "transition fits" were more often than not sleepless and very stressful on the whole family. There was so much going on with the start of this new journey that I feared the worst. That we would lose our Jordan to a meltdown of epic proportions, and it would take the whole fall to get her back.  But these were only a few of my worries.
          The worst of my worries fell in line with bullying. This has become more and more of a problem in recent years, and it seems like not enough is being done to stop it. Older kids are picking on younger ones, little kids are getting picked on by the big kids, and kids with different learning capabilities are getting targeted by those deemed "typical" or "normal."  Children can be down right cruel, and Jordan, being as sweet and innocent as she is, would easily fall victim. She sees all other kids as 'friends' and in trying to be nice to another child could get taken advantage of and potentially hurt. And with the amount of students that the teachers have to watch over in the schools, some children can fall to the wayside, and that is how the bullying goes unnoticed. I am so afraid of this happening to my Sweet Pea.
          With all this swirling through my brain, it was difficult to sleep that night, so when I got up for work I was a jumbled mess. It was hard to focus scanning the truck and making sure everything got to where it needed to go. I muscled through and practically rushed out the door at the end of my shift, anxious but not really to get home.
          Jordan was dressed and almost ready to go when I walked in the door.
         "Hi Mama!" she greeted me with a grin. "I have kindergarten today!"
          "I know, Sweet Pea, and we're so proud of you!" I hugged her, and helped her to finish getting ready. We brushed her hair, brushed her teeth and tied her new, light-up shoes. I put her lunch in her back pack and had her put it on her back. She rolled her eyes and complained when we asked her to pose for pictures, but reluctantly agreed  and smiled for a couple of candid snapshots. At just past 8 a.m., we walked down to the truck and waited for her bus. Sure as the sun rises, the bus showed up a couple minutes later and I snapped a couple more pictures as she was buckled in to her seat. She waved excitedly as the doors closed and the bus pulled out of the lot for the first day of the biggest journey of her little life.
        That day was the longest, most excruciating day of my life. I kept busy in the morning by hanging out with Pat and Gena, but when the afternoon rolled around and Johnny was napping, I was left in a quiet, lonely living room by myself.  I missed her terribly and could only think about how she was doing adjusting to the new school. We practically ran down to the bus stop at 3:30 to wait for her to get home.
         She was so excited when she got home that she could hardly focus to tell me about her day. The most I got out of her was that she saw her teachers, her friend Justin, and that she ate lunch in the cafeteria. In true Jordan fashion, she was so overwhelmed by the end of the day that she had a meltdown that night and crashed at 6:30 pm.  But I didn't get a call from the school, and the reports I got from from her teachers were glowing. So I was left with only one conclusion: the first day of school was a complete success!
          That was the only major meltdown she had. As her first full week progressed, she was able to tell me more and more about her school days. She came home Tuesday and told me, without prompting, that they had a fire drill. She told me it was really loud and she covered her ears, but she listened to her teachers and followed directions. Just yesterday, she told me that her friend Sean didn't like the applesauce they made in kindergarten and he cried. But my daughter, ever the counselor,  told him it was okay and he didn't have to eat it. I get only positive feed back from her teachers and she is adjusting beautifully to the change.
           Words can't even begin to describe the pride I feel when I see that glowing smile as she jumps off the bus at the end of each day. My little girl, who just three years ago couldn't talk and whose future to us seemed unclear, is now a successful kindergarten student that everyone, from the bus drivers to the school secretary, knows and loves! She's moving up in the world, and I may not know what the future has in store for her, but I know that if she goes into it with the same positive attitude that she takes to kindergarten, she can conquer the world!       
Waiting for the bus with Johnny!

Bye Mom! I'm off to school!

For more recent updates on Jordan and her little brother Johnny, Follow Me on Twitter!

@MrsCeda , #SweetPea , #AdventuresWithJohnny

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun in the Sun! Summer 2012


         The summer of 2012 has  brought us many adventures, and as we wind down and head toward the biggest transition of Jordan’s life, it’s time to pause and reflect how far we’ve come.

June brought us to the end of preschool for our Sweet Pea. I think her last IEP meeting with her preschool team was the toughest. She has made a great deal of progress in her cognitive and expressive skills, but still has a bit of trouble focusing and staying on task. Her social skills are superb. Everyone loves Jordan! Whenever a new friend joined the classroom, she was always the first to greet and make the new student feel comfortable. Our main concerns going in to kindergarten were the new atmosphere of the big elementary school, having to change classrooms for different lessons (ie: gym, music, art, etc) and having lunch in the cafeteria with the other children. The biggest sigh of relief, however, was in learning that she would be attending the ASD program at Federal Furnace Elementary. What this means for her is that she will go to school for a full day, as opposed to only a half day were she a typical student.  She will still have a half day in the typical classroom, but the other half will be with the ASD class.  So there will be no transitional issues in switching from a full day of preschool to only a half day of kindergarten!

Preschool graduation was positively adorable. This year it was held outside on the front steps of the school. All the children filed out in construction paper graduation caps decorated with stickers, markers and glitter glue. Jordan waved to all of us and was most excited to see Gammie, Great Grandma and  Grammie all clapping and cheering for her along with Daddy, Mommy and Johnny. Miss Melanie announced each child by name and said something nice about everyone.
We got to meet Jordan’s best friend Charmaine, with whom we exchanged phone numbers and promises of play dates. Jordan then got special gifts from Grammie and Gammie, and Uncle Josh joined us all for lunch at Bertucci’s. It was a very special day!

The birthday girl turned 5 on June 20th!  We celebrated at home with chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream (her choice, of course) and Jordan picked out a Disney Princess pretend hair styling kit as her present. We then surprised her that weekend with a trip to the New England Aquarium! I had some fears going in that she wouldn’t like the dark, closed in atmosphere and would have a melt down due to the crowds. But she surprised me yet again and was on her best behavior! She loved every aspect of the aquarium, from the penguins and the giant tank, to the jelly fish and the ray and shark touch tank. She stayed close to us, held hands when we asked and listened to everything she was told. We were very pleased! She is very anxious to go back!

After a minor debacle with the school department regarding her transportation and the lack of necessary paperwork that they never sent, Jordan started her final summer program with Mt. Pleasant. Unfortunately, Miss Melanie had resigned so she had a different teacher this year. She seemed to do well and enjoy her time there, but I was more than a little disappointed at the lack of communication from the new teacher. I never received notes home regarding the day’s progress and there was one incident that almost prompted a call to the program director. Jordan had a coughing fit at school to the point where she almost got sick and was running a fever. And, instead of calling me, the teacher’s aides had the bus driver relay the message to me. The driver was equally dismayed and agreed that the school should have contacted me. I managed to calm myself enough not to contact the director and chew her out, and decided to give them one more chance and if it happened again I’d be on the phone in a heartbeat. Fortunately for everyone involved it did not. The rest of the program went off without a hitch.

Our other big trip of the summer was to the Franklin Park Zoo with Uncle Pat and his crew. This probably would have gone off with out a hitch if not for a couple of reasons. It was part of a program called “Free Fun Fridays,” so the entire state decided to show up and the crowds were obnoxious. It was over 90 degrees, so we were all hot, sweaty and particularly whiny. And naturally, as per usual in public places, Jordan refused to use the rest room and began to scream and cry. After we battled through lunch and it was time to leave, Jordan pitched a fit and fought me the entire walk back to the car. I practically had to drag her out of the zoo and  dodge her feeble attempts at hitting me to get her buckled in to her car seat. Unfortunately, and due in large part to the excessive heat, she got car sick on the way home.  The exhibits we did get to see the kids enjoyed,  and we may go back in the early fall and try again when it’s not so hot.

We made our yearly family trip to the beach house on Saquish which was very relaxing for everyone! Jordan had great time playing with her brother and bonding with her cousin Kerri. She had the most fun wave jumping and swimming in the ocean! She has no sensory issues out there, and no problems eating, going the bathroom or sleeping. She’s looking forward to more trips out!

Fun time in the water!!

Jordan is eagerly anticipating the start of school in a couple of weeks. I think I’m more nervous than she is! I have the “I’m-not-ready-for-my-baby-to-start-kindergarten” jitters, as any parent should, but it’s more than that. I worry that, because of Jordan’s naturally congenial nature, she’ll get taken advantage of by the older kids and potentially bullied. There’s the worry, of course, that she won’t get the services she needs or was promised in her IEP. But I’m not too concerned on that point, because I have every intention of being 100% involved with the school and the PTA.  There is no way she is going to get lost!

There’s three weeks left of summer, and we have every intention of enjoying every last minute of it!  The next blog will be after school starts!

Until then!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Increase Awareness: Let's Do Our Part!

In 1994, Autism occurred in 1 of every 166 births. In 2000-2002, it was 1 in 150. 2006 saw that statistic go down to 1 in 110, and just today the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  released a very sobering statistic. The newest data (as of 2008) shows autism occurring in 1 of every 88 births.

1 in 88.

That statistic is mind blowing.  In the past ten years, that's a 78% increase. How do we stop that steep of an increase from happening again? Can we make it go away by curing it?  It's a tough nut to crack. Autism isn't something you can stop as it still isn't clear what exactly causes it. It's not a disease, so there's no magic pharmaceutical that's going to cure it.

So what can we do?

We can broaden our awareness. Know the warning signs, because early diagnosis is key. The sooner it's discovered, the sooner the proper services can be sought and administered. It is likely that with these services, the autism will have less of an impact on their learning capabilities and social skills in the long run, according to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. I know this first hand as Jordan has benefited tremendously from them.

Those of us without medical degrees and licenses that would allow us to diagnose and treat Autism can still help. We can get the word out. We can let people know that, though we can't see it, Autism is out there. Let's   all of us pledge to light it up blue this Monday April 2nd. If you can't light it up blue, wear your blue. Whether it's a shirt, a pair of socks, or your blue jeans. If you have puzzle piece jewelry, wear that too.  Even the smallest tokens can make a world of difference.

Here's the story on CNN:


Take the 2012 Pledge to Light it Up Blue on Facebook:


And here's a little something I made, as Jordan's favorite movie right now is 'Rio'

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Red Light, Green Light

You always want to believe that your kids are the best behaved kids on the block. They never do anything wrong and you never, ever have to discipline them. They are angels all the time, every time.

Yeah right.

Every child misbehaves, it's in their nature. It isn't always malicious. Most of the time it's harmless. 

"Stop jumping on the bed."

"Sit down on that couch!"

"Give that back to your brother. You have to share!"

But sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's hurtful and can border on dangerous.

"Stop running in the house, you're going to trip and fall."

"Don't push your brother!"

"Don't throw that! You're going to hurt someone!"

After once, perhaps two times of yelling at a typical child, s/he will get the message that you mean business. No means no, and when I tell you to stop you'd better stop. With a differently abled child, you can run in to some serious road blocks. While Jordan has made huge strides in her comprehension skills, there are still limits in her ability to understand certain things. She doesn't quite understand that when we yell, it's not usually a good thing. She often laughs and runs away, thinking that what she has done is a joke and that she can do it again. We try to put her in her room, but all she ends up doing is screaming at her door and pounding on it until we let her out, more out of frustration than anything else. Spanking is out, and yelling never did anything but make us all upset.  Discipline has been an uphill battle in our house.

One night two weeks ago we were at the end of a particularly frustrating day with Jordan. She had just been plain old rotten all day: hitting and kicking her brother, throwing books and toys, and screaming at us when she wasn't getting her way. She spent most of her day in her room, because every time we let her out she would do something else defiant that would make one of us yell at her and the other send her right back to her room. I was sitting in the recline, literally pulling my hair out. I wracked my brain for hours over what we could do to get the message across of what was acceptable, and what was unacceptable behavior.

Then I remembered something I saw in her classroom. They had signs up dictating what was good behavior and what was bad behavior. The green sign had a list of positive behaviors, the red sign negative behaviors. It was brilliant! If it worked at school, it should work at home, right?  I immediately opened up the computer and started typing up my own lists of positive (green) and negative (red) behaviors, entitling them "I Am Being Green" and "I Am Being Red."  As I was writing, I remembered something from her therapy sessions: she responded to rewards. If she had incentive to do something, she might actually do it. So I devised a reward system. If she was misbehaving, she would be "Red" and would earn a 5 minute time out, usually in her room. If she was behaving, she would be "Green," and if she stayed "green" until the end of the night, she would earn a sticker on her chart for that day. If she earned 5 stickers by Saturday, she would get a special treat. (My initial requirement was 6, but John convinced me that was a little too much to expect from a four year old.) I had my mom print out and mount the signs, and beginning last week they became a part of our home decor.

We are in week two now, and so far, it seems to be working. Her behavior has improved dramatically, with fewer incidents of misconduct. She does not want to be red!  She insists that Johnny should get a sticker, too, so we have been awarding him one every time she earns one. Their treat the first week was donuts, and we have yet to decide what it will be this week. We'll see!

PS: Don't forget about Autism Awareness Day, Monday April 2nd! Wear your blue!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words are like Weapons

"Words are like weapons, sharper than knives."

The second you become a parent, that protective instinct kicks in. Your baby is your whole world and you would do anything to protect her. You're a mama lion, and you'll bite the head off of anyone that messes with your cub, directly or indirectly. I have found this even more true having a child with autism. As a parent of a differently abled child, you're on constant high alert.  You know the ignorance is out there, lurking in the form of a glaring stranger when your child stims to keep herself calm, or an uneducated youth making an insensitive comment.

This is the indirect harm I am referring to.  Insensitive comments can be very hurtful, even when your child is not within earshot.  This happened to me just recently. It was the beginning of the work day and my crew was milling about, waiting for the okay to start our work day. A few of the guys were joking around, calling each other names. One asked:

"Why do you call him that?"

to which the first responded,

"Oh, because he's [so and so's] retarded brother."

I didn't hear the rest of the conversation or the crude noises made afterward,  because at this point I was so angry I was seeing red. It may not have been directed at myself or at Jordan, but to me it didn't matter. Language like that is a direct insult to my Jordan Elizabeth and all  individuals like her. I took several steadying breaths, turned around and snapped at them to watch their mouths. There was a momentary stunned silence and a chorus of mumbled apologies, but the damage was done. Not only was I fuming, but I was also devastated.Why would they make such harsh, insensitive comments about people like my little girl? It chewed away at me for a few hours until I went to my boss and reported it, on the verge of tears. My boss, being able to sympathize with my situation, was very understanding. All involved parties were dealt with accordingly, which brought me a sense of satisfaction, but not a sense of closure. It still hurts. This leads people to believe that the developmentally or intellectually disabled (differently abled) are sub-human and not worth treating with respect. 

With the prevalence of autism, downs syndrome and other developmental and intellectual disabilities, it surprises me that people still use the word "retarded" so freely. And almost every time it's used, it's in a negative connotation. It's used to insinuate that someone is beneath you in lines of intelligence, and can't possibly understand because they are too stupid. The media is worse. In shows like "Family Guy" (which I find myself liking less and less) this word is depicted in the worst ways, showing in one episode an autistic child in a helmet and protective gear, slurring his words and petting Brian the dog too hard, causing Brian to bite him on the hand. It's meant to be funny, but in reality it is insulting and demeaning. The writers and creators of the show should be ashamed. I have met many people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and they are the sweetest,  most pleasant people I have ever met and have the most positive outlooks on life. They are wise beyond their years, my baby girl included., and could really teach a lot of us a thing or two about personal conduct. 

Most of the time, when today's youth uses that word,  I hear "oh, they're young, they don't get it." or "they're just uneducated." in defense of their ignorant actions. Well, I am sorry, but those are just not valid excuses anymore. The resources available and coverage of all the charity organizations (Best Buddies, The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism for example)  on the news  are plentiful, so there is no reason for anyone not to understand that the word "retarded" is hurtful, harmful, and should never  ever be used. Period. 

You see what I mean about protective instinct?

My little star!


www.dougflutiejrfoundation.org    The Doug Flutie Jr Foundation for Autism

www.bestbuddies.org                      Best Buddies

www.autismspeaks.org                   Autism Speaks

www.autism-society.org                 The Autism Society

Educate Yourself and Others!  April is Autism Awareness Month and Monday April 2nd is National Autism Awareness Day! I will be wearing my blue and my puzzle piece pin! Will you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Did We Learn?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 7:30 a.m. (driving home from work)

John: We have a problem.

Me: What do you mean?

John: Jordan hurt herself.

(cue panic mode)

Me:What?! How?! What did she do?!

John: I think she climbed the gate and fell. I was in bed and I heard a loud thump and then Jordan screeching. Now she won't let me touch her arm.

We keep the hallway gated off and lock it at night. The idea was to keep Jordan confined to her room with access to the bathroom while we are in bed. We didn't want her wandering around the house, getting in to God only knows what, and potentially hurting  herself. If we'd warned her once, we'd warned her a thousand times not to climb over the gate. We told her she was going to fall and get a boo boo. For a while she stopped, but then she picked up the bad habit again, only this time with unfortunate consequences.

I rushed home from work and found John trying to get Jordan to lift her left arm and bend it at the elbow. She was sobbing, completely unable to move her arm and repeating "I have a boo boo on my arm! I have a boo boo on my arm!" When I was finally able to calm her down, I got her to at least wiggle her fingers. She favored the arm, kind of dragging it around, and still wouldn't bend it at the elbow. I asked her where it hurt, and she pointed to her forearm. I didn't see any swelling or bruising, so I figured it couldn't possibly be broken. I was thinking maybe a sprained wrist or a dislocated elbow. I convinced her to sit with the arm on some ice while I called the school and the bus company to let them know she wouldn't be in, and my mother to ask her to watch Johnny. We were off to the doctor's.

Once we got Johnny settled at my mothers, I took Jordan to the sick clinic at her pediatrician's office. She was in good spirits, but very tired and still very much favoring her wounded arm. I reiterated the story from my husband to the on call doctor, who then examined Jordan's injury. He gingerly bent her arm, and she grimaced and whimpered.

"Unfortunately, I can't tell anything without a film."

We were going to need an X-Ray. Perfect. I started planning out in my head how I was going to tell her and how I was going to have to restrain her when the inevitable meltdown occurred. I took the orders from the nurse and Jordan and I proceeded to the radiology department at Jordan Hospital.  She cried a bit in the car because we weren't going home yet, but I soothed her by very calmly explaining that some other doctors needed to take special pictures of her arm, because her boo boo was on the inside. She sniffled and agreed, and bravely held my hand as we walked into the hospital.

We arrived in radiology around 10 a.m. and naturally it was packed to the gills. Knowing how little patience she had, I feared the worst as we checked in and sat down. But Jordan was an angel. She sat calmy by my side, as we read books, colored and skimmed magazines while we waited. I was so proud of her. 45 minutes later, give or take, they finally called her name and we followed the technician to the exam room. Jordan balked when she saw the size of the camera, but soft, soothing words from both the technician and myself help her to relax and she sat on my lap while the tech took the films.
Upon finishing, we were told to go wait in reception while a doctor reviewed the results. About a half hour later, the on call pediatrician called me in radiology.

Dr. Gaynor: She's fractured her ulna.

Me: Oh dear...

Dr. Gaynor: We usually don't see that in a fall like this. I'm going to call an orthopedist and see what they want to do. We'll give you a call back, hang tight.

Me: Okay, thank you.

I couldn't believe it. My baby had a broken arm. I felt horrible as I hung up the phone and looked over at her as she happily flipped through a book. I hoped it wasn't too bad as I returned to my seat next to her and waited for the next call. By noon time we were on our way home with an appointment in Duxbury to see an orthopedist at 2pm. After lunch and another round of ice on her arm, we were on our way to our third appointment of the day.

Jordan happily interacted with the staff at Plymouth Bay Orthopedics, telling them all about her boo boo and how she got special pictures taken of her arm. After a short wait, we went right into the exam room and carefully boosted Jordan up on the table. The doctor came in and explained to me that it was broken, and she'd need a cast up to almost her shoulder for four to six weeks. When she showed me the x-ray, my eyes immediately got warm and I had to choke back tears. I was figuring maybe a hairline fracture. Nope. This was a good, clean break. I felt terrible. I'm her Mommy, I'm supposed to protect her from things like this.  I mean, I know it wasn't my fault, it wasn't anyone's fault, really. She fell. Kids fall, kids break things. It happens.  Doesn't make me feel any better, nor does it make me blame myself any less.  She shyly picked out purple for her cast color, and sat very still while I held her arm and the nurse casted it. After another x-ray to make sure nothing moved, we were sent on our way with an appointment to return in two weeks for a follow up.

By 4:30 that afternoon, we had picked up Johnny and were on our way home after a whirlwind day. Daddy brought home Jordan's favorite dinner (chicken and french fries from McDonald's!) and by 7 that night she was yawning and ready for bed. As I was tucking her in, I repeated the question I'd been asking her all day:

 "What did we learn today, Jordan?"

  "I can't climb gates."

And she hasn't tried since.

My brave little soldier!


www.pmgpediatrics.com  PMG Pediatrics. If you're a parent seeking care for your child in Plymouth or the surrounding area, I will highly recommend this practice. All the time, every time.

www.pbortho.com   Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates. Good doctors, great staff.

www.jordanhospital.org  Jordan Hospital. They have never failed to impress me, every time I've been there.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Time!

     Okay, so I know I said I was going to be a better blogger. But this time, it wasn't my fault. My computer crapped out on me and I only just got it back last week. I lost precious blogging time through November and December and it totally stinks. So now I have to do the catch up!

     Where to start? Ah yes, Santa Claus. What a difference a year makes. Last Christmas, Jordan was frightened of Santa. We would walk by him in the mall and wave, but when asked if she wanted to sit with him, she would immediately balk and adamantly say:

"No, Mama! No Santa! "

     I'll admit, I was a little disappointed, but when it comes to choosing my battles, that is not one worth fighting. This year, however, we could hardly contain her. Due to my nutty work schedule during the Christmas season, our tree was up the first weekend of November. Jordan was giddy with excitement.

"Santa's coming, Mama! Santa's coming!"

"What does Santa bring you?"


"Do you want your picture with Santa this year?"

"Oh yes, Mom!"

She could hardly wait for Santa to come to the mall. Every day she would come home from school and insist on listening to Christmas music, on WROR of course. ("Boston's Favorite Christmas Songs, Mama!") When he finally arrived after Thanksgiving, we took the kids to see him. I had to stand behind her in line and hold her back so she wouldn't jump the other kids in front of her. When it was their turn, she got a little nervous, but still went up and sat at his feet. She gave us a big smile, despite her brother's sobbing, and we got a fabulous picture!

Jordan was an absolute delight on Christmas Eve at Gammie and Gumpy's house. She was on her best behavior and played wonderfully with her cousins PJ, Malik and Nathaniel. She was absolutely enamored, however, with her cousin Ashleigh! She dutifully followed her Auntie Heather around, wanting to help with everything from wiping Ashleigh's nose (she had a cold) to changing her diaper.  Ashleigh thought Jordan was a riot, giggling, smiling and cooing at her older cousin. Jordan even helped tuck Ashleigh in for her nap, climbing the gate and following my sister and I upstairs to the pack n' play in Mom and Dad's room. She then patiently sat through dinner, mothering her cousins at the kids' table ("Eat your dinner. Finish your milk. Turn around, please, thank you!") and did great opening gifts afterward. We left Gammie and Gumpy's around 8:30 that night and she chattered the whole way home, in contrast to her brother who promptly fell asleep as soon as we pulled out of the driveway. When we got home, she helped us set out cookies and egg nog for Santa and went to bed like a good girl.
Christmas Eve at Gammie and Gumpy's

Auntie Heather, Jordan and Ashleigh!

She actually hopped the gate that morning (another story for another time)  and pulled hers and her brother's presents out while she waited for us to get up. She exclaimed when we opened our bedroom door:

 "Santa came, Mama!"
My crown matches Rapunzel's!

Peek-a-boo in her Princess hut!
Happy to open presents!

We all excitedly opened our presents, her favorites being her bean bag chair and her Rapunzel crown and necklace. We then went to Grammie and Gimpie's house, where we spent another 2.5 hours (not kidding) opening gifts. Johnny gave up after 45 minutes and took a nap, but Jordan perservered. She was showered with more Rapunzel gifts and other various toys,  and so many clothes between her and her brother that we were able to restock their drawers. She had a such a good time playing with her Grammie that by the time we got home, she was so tired she went straight to bed without  a fight.

All in all it was a fabulous holiday, and we hope that everyone enjoyed theirs as much as we enjoyed ours!

Merry Christmas, 2011!!


Jordan's new favorite station, Christmas time and any time!