Monday, June 30, 2008


Elena napped in her pack-n-play in Elias' room yesterday so that we could bring in the big girl bed without her seeing it. We took out the crib, changing table/dresser and her armoire. We then brought in the bed and new dresser/changing table. The bed didn't go where I thought it would (where the crib was), so we had to also move the dresser from where I had planned. Today I did a few more things (took down teacup shelves and hung pictures) and tomorrow I plan to hang the teacups back up over the new dresser on new pink shelves and add birds to her curtains.

When we brought her in, she ran in saying "Big Bed! Big Girl Bed! In!" Then she got distracted when she saw her noise machine under the bed. So she had to go over to it and turn it on the rainforest setting so that she could hear birds. Then she noticed the birds hanging from the ceiling- I think that is her favorite part of the room. I knew there would be something magical about that and am so glad I went ahead and got those!

BEFORE (taken from her door)

BEFORE (taken from her closet)

AFTER (taken from her door)

AFTER (taken from her closet)

AFTER (taken from her window)

Close Up of artwork I did (I used contrasting scrapbook papers and cut out birds- I have close ups of each one if you are really interested in seeing them)

Close Up of mobile hanging above rocking chair

Close Up of bird hanging in the corner near bed

"night night!"

"Look Mommy- I see birds!"

"I love this bed!"

Asleep last night- all we could see was the fuzzy top of her head!

We thought that moving Elena to a big bed would be one of the tests of her personality and compliance. We have a "do not get out of bed rule" in our house. We wondered if Elena would test this rule, and we were ready to fight the battle if need be. So far so good! We put her to bed last night and she went right to sleep and waited for me once she woke up this morning. Same thing at nap today and bedtime tonight. Yeah Elena! :)

Happy Birthday Elena!

Yesterday was the big day- Elena turned 2 years old! I still can't believe that is possible! We had a great family day with egg-free cake. Elena liked the cake, but not enough to dig into it. The really funny part was that she was fascinated and terrified (At the same time!) by the party blower things. Here are some pics and videos. (FYI- we did redecorate her room and put her in the big girl bed- more on that later)

Video: Happy Birthday to You

Video: Party Blower Tickle Madness

Friday, June 27, 2008


When we were pregnant with Elias, we opted to keep his name a secret until he actually arrived. We did things a little different with Elena. Once we decided her nursery theme would be teacups, we offered each friend and family member the opportunity to learn her name early by giving her a teacup for her room. In return, they would get a thank you note signed with her name before she arrived. You would not believe how many teacups she got! Those teacups, along with the notes and words of wisdom that came with them, are some of most precious material possessions in our house. Tonight I was reminded of one of those special cups, and the wonderful family from which it came.
We have crayola bath colors that we use in the bath most nights. Putting the little colored pellet in the water and watching it dissolve is one of the highlights of Elena's evening! I really haven't worked on learning colors with her, but tonight I thought I would ask her what color she wanted. I said "Would you like to have a blue bath?" to which she replied "No thank you". Then I said "How about pink?" Again, "No thank you." Then I tried "Well, do you want yellow?" (there are only those 3 colors of pellets, but sometimes we mix two to make more colors) She thought for a while and then said emphatically, "Orange!" I was a little surprised, because as far as I knew, she doesn't know any color names. (Except for pink- she does ask for "pinky crocs" most days. Still, I thought that was just her name for that pair of crocs rather than that she really understood it was a color.)
As soon as she said "Orange!" I was reminded of this one teacup and the note it came with. I actually dug through the box of notes while Elena was in the bath so that I could reread it. The note was written by the mom, Margaret, but the message is from her daughter, Elaine. Elaine has 3 brothers, so choosing Elena's teacup got to be a special mother/daughter thing. Here is what it says:

Dear Baby Jordan,
What a delight it will be to meet you! This teacup is a gift from Elaine. She chose orange for two reasons. First, orange is her favorite color & she wanted you to know that it is okay to be different. See, most girls choose pink or purple as their favorite color; Elaine has always loved orange! Secondly, Elaine wanted the teacup to remind you to be bold & courageous for the Lord as you grow up. Memorize scripture so that it will help you and the people you meet learn more about God. Joshua 1:9 says. " strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Blessings to you and your family,
Margaret and Elaine

I just tear up every time I read that note! Such wisdom from the mouth of a child. I would guess that Elaine was probably second grade at the time she gave Elena that teacup.
So Elena had her orange bath tonight, and I wanted to post these pics as a tribute to Margaret and Elaine! We love and miss you and are looking forward to your trip to Texas this fall!

She Really IS Smart! (sigh of relief)

I know- I have heard it a thousand times- don't compare your children. That wasn't too terribly hard to do in the beginning because they were so much alike the first few months (i.e. colicky, tummy woes, food allergies, etc). But as Elena began to grow older, we noticed some drastic differences between the two of them. Part of it is that Elena is a girl. Elena was able to verbalize words and then sentences WAY before Elias did (goes to show that God really DID make girls to be more communicative than boys!).
That in her favor, we also noticed that she is not quite the thinker than Elias is. For example, when Elias was about 18 or 20 months old, I had him on the changing table one day when he pointed up to my Texas Tech shirt and said "T-E-X-A-S". WHAT?! I didn't teach you your letters! Where did you learn that? Well, Elias played with lots of toys that said the names of the letters, and so he learned them on his own. Later, when Elias was about 3, he just busted out reading a book to Adaryll and I one night. Thinking he might have it memorized (but neither one of us remembering having read it to him before), I picked up some new books the next day and he read those to us. How long had he been able to read before he decided to let us in on it! By 24 months, you could ask him where any U.S. state was, and he would point to it on the map.
OK, you get my point. Elias is an intellectual.

One day last summer, Adaryll was having the following conversation with our friend and first-grade teacher, Louise:
Louise: You really should think about putting Elias in Kindergarten this year (a year early).
Adaryll: Really? Why?
Louise: He is already reading and he is just so smart. I think he would do really well.
Adaryll: Yeah, he is really smart, isn't he? Elena, on the other hand, she is.... she is....
Louise: NORMAL! Elena is NORMAL!!!

This week, I started to count for Elena. I was thinking that I would say 1, then she would repeat it. Then I would say 2 and she would repeat it. Instead, this is what happened...

Yeah! She really IS smart! I didn't teach her that! I wonder how long she was able to do it before I knew! And I wonder what else is in that little brain that I don't know about!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Birds!

I was able to finish all the birds on the "inside" of the bed last night. All that is left to do now is the "outside" of the two ends and then sealing it all. (I'm not going to do birds on the back of the long side since it will always be against a wall) I am so excited and can't wait to see Elena's reaction Sunday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting Closer

Elena: "When I grow up, I want to live in a beautiful house with a white picket fence."
Mommy: "Ok, well for now you can just have the fence."

Ok, that wasn't an actual conversation. Here is the real one...

Elena: "BIG GIRL BED!!!!!"
Mommy: "Yes!"

Building a bed has turned out to be quite a bit more work than I thought it would be! But we are getting closer and hoping to stay on track for a birthday night in her new bed! Next project: paint birds, grass, flowers, etc and seal the whole thing with polycrylic.


I added a counter to my blog 2 weeks ago and- WOW!- there have been 400+ hits since then. There must be a lot of blogstalking going on our there, because there are certainly nowhere near enough comments to support those kind of numbers. So, for all you silent readers- I am expecting record numbers for Wordless Wednesday comments today! :)

Wordless Wednesday

This week I have a series of pictures for Wordless Wednesday. I post the pics- you leave the caption under comments.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birthday Pictures!

Elena had her birthday picture taken today. We started this tradition when Elias had his first birthday picture. The photographer thought it would be cute to use this red chair in the background. When we went back the next year, we had them use the red chair in the picture again. About the third year, we went in and they had gotten rid of the red chair! We knew it was from Ikea, so we ordered one ourselves. Now we have this red chair on a shelf in the garage and we tote it to the Picture People twice a year for each of their birthday pictures. Not sure how long we will keep this up- I guess as long as they will smile for the camera! As you can see below, that is not a problem yet! (I've included last year's picture so we can all see how much she's grown)

The Apple of My Eye

Elena has several coordinating mix-and-match outfits from Gymboree that have apples on them. They are some of my favorites in the size she is in now, so I wanted to get some pics of her in them and frame them together. They turned out better than I had hoped!

This one will actually just be on her "wall of fame" in the playroom by itself. The next 3 will be framed together with the last one in the middle and the first two on either side.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tha Jackson Seven

Some friends of ours, Matt & Myra (along with kids James, Josiah, Jonathan, Rebecca, and Rachel) are going overseas to be missionaries. They've just sold or given away 90% of their belongings, including their home, to go to London and minister to Muslims. They are an awesome family and you can read their story at We are praying that their transition goes smoothly and that God moves in their lives in ways unimaginable.


I have been having lots of thoughts today about random unrelated things. None of them warrant a whole blog post to themselves, so I am just going to post them all together. Feel free to comment or reply on any/all of these...
* Elena dipped apple slices in ketsup at lunch today. Gross! She seemed to like it just fine and she liked it even more when I called the ketsup "dip". She repeated over and over "Dip!"
* Eat, drink, and be merry is quite literal in the Jordan family. When any of us (including me!) are hungry, we tend to become quite irrational and mean. I tend to just cry about nothing in particular. I was in that situation today and cried several times this morning about something that wasn't really worth crying about. A couple hours and a McDonalds chicken sandwich later, everything looks much brighter!
* Elias asked me the other day if I knew why he likes to kiss and hug Elena so much. He told me it is because she is his sister and he loves her. How sweet is that?!
* I have started to feel like I have lost my mind on a pretty regular basis. I will think "I need to call so and so" and then realize that I did that this morning. Or I will genuinely just not remember if I did it or not. Or I might think I did and it was just a dream.
* I was a little overwhelmed with my kids this morning. There was quite a bit of attitude and argueing with me from the eldest and quite a bit of smiling and doing whatever-I-just-said-to-stop-doing from the younger. They both received various punishments at different points throughout the morning. And I finally said to Elias "Mommy is running really low on patience right now..." As the words came out of my mouth, I realized how often I tell him he needs to be patient. That the Bible says that love is patient. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. And, once again, I realized how short I fall of being the Mother I wish I could be. Thankfully, that chicken sandwich was not too far off...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh, The Sweet Sweetness

I just experienced what I can only describe as sweetness. No, sweet sweetness.
I had been reading and dozing off for about an hour when I finally gave up and got ready for bed. But in the process of getting ready for bed, my mind began to wander. When I am sleepy, my mind tends to wander to places a rested, coherant mind would not necessarily go. That said, I began thinking about how we had been at the Evans' house swimming this evening and how much Elena had gone underwater. Have any of you guys received the email going around about dry drowning? (If not, it is a phenomenon where kids can actually drown in water that got into their lungs hours earlier.) Tired mind + really awful recent email story = enough to need to go in and physically check to make sure Elena was still breathing.
Off to her room I go and she is asleep on her back with her arm bent and hand to her face (if you know her well, you already know that she puts herself to sleep by nursing on her wrist. I know, a little unusual. Ok, a lot unusual. When she had her sleep study a year ago, they commented on never having seen such a thing.) Anyway, her elbow was actually between crib slats. I stood there watching for tummy movement. I saw some, but not enough to convince me she was ok. And who could sleep with their arm stuck in a slat anyway? So I touched her hand. Nothing.
That made me feel like I wasn't going to sleep well unless I actually picked her up and made sure she was ok. So I did. And she just nuzzled into my shoulder and wrapped her legs and arms around me. I sat in her rocker wondering if she could actually still be asleep when she picked up her head and gave me the sweetest melt-my-heart smile. Then she laid it back down and commenced wrist licking.
I sat there rocking and patting her little bootie. I found myself rocking her bootie from side to side like I used to when she was a colicky, egg-allergy-reacting newborn. I used to shake her bottom and then push on her tummy to try to work out her gas. (Side note: tonight she tooted on demand as I rocked her to bed. She said "Goodnight toots" and then proceeded to let one rip. Twice! Such different times these are! LOL)
Anyway, I just rocked and rocked her. I thought maybe I should just hold her all night to be sure she didn't swallow too much water. (ok, I totally would have given that up after like 15 minutes, but it was such a sweet thought!) And then she smiled at me again and I whispered "I love you, Elena" and got a giggly "Wub you" in return. And then I realized she was not going to sleep on me, she was fine, and she needed to go back to bed where she could get her rest.
Still, I couldn't help wondering where all the time has gone. It seems like it could have been last night, or an hour ago for that matter, that I rocked her for hours not knowing what was wrong with her little tummy. And her little bootie could fit in the palm of one hand! And she could curl up with her knees at my belly and her head at my chest. Not that I miss those days- those were some HARD days! I could not have made it through that without our regular 5:30-7pm time outside when my neighbors would take turns holding her (and patting and rubbing the gassy tummy!). Seriously, HOURS and WEEKS of horrible crying before we found out she was allergic to eggs. But tonight made me remember that time and only remember how sweet and cuddly and tiny and innocent she was. And how big and smart and independent she is becoming!
My prayer is not that she would not grow up, or even that time would go by slowly necessarily. But that I would relish and enjoy and love every single moment. That I would spent time with them both instead of just doing jobs that need to be done. I don't want to be so caught up in feeding mouths and wiping bottoms that I miss a moment of memories. I want to file it all away in my mind so that 2 years from now I can remember this time and how blessed I am. Ahh, such sweet sweetness!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The God of This City

This is a link to a video that our tech team put together to the Passion song "God of this City". This was shown during Sunday morning worship sometime in March or April. It is just such a great song, and the video really displays the heart to HCBC- to reach every man, woman, and child in the greater Austin area with the life changing reality of Jesus Christ.
Hope you enjoy the sites of Austin! (FYI, our pastor is finishing up a sermon at the beginning of the video and the music actually begins about 2:15 into it)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?!

We were driving in the car the other day (I am beginning to feel like I could begin 90% of my blog posts this way, so many funny things have happened in the car lately!) when Elias noticed the digital temperature readout. He exlaimed loudly, all the way from the third row seat, "Are you kidding me?! Is it REALLY that hot?! It's hot enough to go swimming!!" I took some pics to show everyone that he was right!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesdays have turned out to be some of my favorite blog posts because of the responses you guys leave! So, here is this week's picture. I look forward to reading your captions in the comments section. (that wasn't really Wordless, was it?)


I was buckling Elena's seatbelt the other day and noticed that it needs to be loosened... again. (Seriously- would these kids just stop growing for one minute?!) In front of Elias, I made a comment something like "Wow, Elena, your seatbelt sure is getting tight!" Several hours later, as Elias was getting out of the bath, the following conversation occurred...
Elias: Mommy, I know why Elena's seatbelt is getting tighter.
Mommy: Oh yeah? Why is that?
Elias: Because she is getting wider.
Mommy: What?
Elias: Girls get wider so that they can have babies.
Mommy: Reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaally?
Elias: Yep.
Mommy: Where did you learn that?
Elias: I read it in my First Encyclopedia of the Body book.
Mommy: Well, I guess that's right. Because the baby has to be able to fit in the girl's tummy.
Elias: Yep.
Mommy: Ooooookay. Let's go get your pajamas on.

Wordless Wednesday picture to be posted by the end of the day...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jesus... On A Stick

Elias brought home a Jesus on a stick from church yesterday. (see picture below)

Actually, Elias just informed me that it isn't Jesus, but when I asked him who it was he said, "I think either Elijah or John the Baptist".
Regardless, Elena saw it on the floor of the car when we got in to go somewhere to night and started exclaiming "Jesus, Jesus!" as I buckled her seatbelt. When I finally saw what she was pointing to and gave it to her, she proceeded to sing her own improvisational song about Jesus. I tried to get her to sing it again when we got home...

$40 Masterpiece!

This is the dresser I got off Craiglist ($40!) for Elena's new room. I didn't take a real "before" pic- I had already painted the main part white when I took this picture. But you can see from the drawers what kind of shape it was in originally. It's all done except that I might go back and add little birds and polkadots to the knobs.

Drawers- original finish

Main part painted white

All done!

This is the sham to her "big birl" bedding so you can see the colors...