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Thursday
File under: Noelle Jordan
Andy leaves on Thursdays at 5:45 AM to go to Men's Fraternity at our church, so it's all me those days when Noelle gets up.

This morning I woke up at 5:57 and heard Noelle at her door (the gate was latched) saying cheerfully, "I'm not tired!" Ugh. I reluctantly went and got her, and she said, "I'd LOVE some breakfast!" before I said anything to her. I told her it was still time for sleeping and brought her into bed with me.

I thought it was working, because she was quiet for about 10 minutes, but at 6:11 she whispered, "Mommy, I want Noelle's pillow." When I told her daddy's was fine and to go to sleep, she said, "Do you want some breakfast? Come on! It be fun!" No, my child, mommy thinks sleeping would be fun. I was about to tell her so, when she told me she was poopy. I guess it was time to get up then! What a lovely start to the day. At least she has school today.

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Sleep Issues
File under: Noelle Jordan
Noelle is currently going through some terrible phase (I hope) where she wants one of us to sleep in her room with her for all naps and bedtimes. She's also waking up multiple times a night, not just the one time in the evening that we've come to expect. I've already done this "laying on her bed until she falls asleep" thing once before, when she finally started sleeping through the night at 13 months. I don't want to go back there.

It drives me insane, but it's either lay down with her for 15 minutes until she falls asleep, or put her in the crib and leave, then come back a zillion times because she's crying or has climbed out of the crib or both, THEN lay with her for 15 minutes. And neither is as bad as her not napping at all.

Just now I was laying with her, and she started messing around with her pillow. She would turn it this way and that way, put her head under it, etc., and finally she sat up. The rule is that I will stay with her as long as she's laying down, so I told her to lay back down. But she said, "I don't know what my pillow is doing!!!" So I laughed, went and fixed it, and she was asleep just moments later. Goof.

Welcome to life with a two-year-old! :( Katrina went through this in July, when she was 26 months (about Noelle's age now, right?). She would try everything to get out of bedtime and naptime, including vomiting. Ugh. A coworker and our babysitter both told me that their kids went through it at two, too, and that it passes in 2 - 3 weeks. And it did! A trick Ryan's mom taught us that really worked for us: take a dining room chair in her room and sit there, but facing away. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle, whatever, just avoid direct eye contact and use a firm but reassuring voice that you are there and that she needs to rest. Good luck! I hope this passes soon.

Lexa - January 30, 2008 05:16 pm

This isn't scripture, but it should be, "And this too shall pass!". That means the good times and the bad, so enjoy each moment even when it means getting up at 5:45 with your two year old. She will be 12 before you know it and you wish these days back again. Kiss her for me and tell her Grammy loves her.

Grammy - January 31, 2008 06:08 am

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"Customer Service"
File under: General
I don't know if I'll ever stop being surprised by terrible customer service. I've had two instances this week, both of which were more inefficiency and stupidity than the typical rudeness and unhelpfulness that happens on a pretty regular basis.

The first experience was for a magazine that we've received sporadically since we moved in, addressed to the former owner. He had a recording studio, so I guessed that it was a complimentary copy that he just failed to stop. My original e-mail to them included his name, address, and every last digit on the mailing label. They wrote back: We are unable to locate the account with the information provided. Please resend your inquiry including publication name and the address information as it appears on the mailing label. If possible, also include the account number listed directly above the name and address.

I sent it again, adding that I wasn't sure how much clearer I could write it out. Then they wrote: We appreciate your inquiry and welcome the opportunity to serve your needs. To comply with your request please contact our main switchboard number at 212-767-6000. I called, and was told that I needed to call the number for subscriptions. I called. Then I was told I needed to call the number for COMPLIMENTARY subscriptions. Finally after 2 e-mails and 3 phone calls, I'm off the list.

The other experience was with Proctor & Gamble. I wrote to them about a product that I've been buying for a long time and for the first time ever I'm having an issue with it. I figured that I might get a coupon, or a rebate, or something along those lines. Instead, today I got this e-mail: I'm sorry you're disappointed with our product. We have many checkpoints along our manufacturing lines to ensure the quality of our products, so we'd like to get yours back to better understand what happened. I'm following up with mailing materials so you can return the product to us, postage paid. Look for these within 2-3 weeks.

And I wrote back: Unless you're also going to follow up with a free product, I won't be sending this back to you. It doesn't work perfectly, but I paid for it and won't pay to replace it.

I mean, really? They want me to just ship it back to them with no offer to replace it? Thanks for offering to pay the shipping, guys! I'm glad to pay $6 for an inferior product, then ship it to you so you can figure out what went wrong! Ridiculous.

Boy, do I agree with you on the acute lack of good customer service now days. There is nothing that irks me more that getting the run-around....call here, no you have to call there, no actually you must call over there......AUGGHHHHH It is enough to make you want to reach through the phone and throttle someone, anyone!!

Carol - January 31, 2008 06:11 am

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From a parrot...
...to a MONKEY. Within the last few weeks Noelle has learned to climb out of her crib, and does so at least once every pre-nap time and sometimes before falling asleep at night. Last night she got quiet pretty fast after we put her to bed, and Andy commented on how she must have been tired. I said, "Or, she got ou..." and looked toward her room, and there in the hallway was Noelle. As much as she loves climbing, I guess it was just a matter of time before she conquered the crib.

This morning, I woke up at 6:45 to see a little girl standing in my doorway. She insisted that she did NOT climb out of her crib, but evidence suggests otherwise. She told me that, "I was reading a story with Nacho!" Thankfully she didn't wander throughout the rest of the house! I pulled her into bed with us for a few minutes, although she wouldn't really lay down, but it was a sweet glimpse of times to come. I know this is just the first of many times we wake to find her in our room. I think we'll hold it off a little while by latching the gate to her bedroom, though!

So this afternoon we're heading to the store to buy a bed rail for the day bed that's already in Noelle's room. We will give her a few days trial on that before taking down the crib for storage. My mom tells a story of me having a rough night on a big girl bed and her threatening to bring my crib back in, to which I cried, "Okay!" I can't see Noelle having that kind of attachment to the crib, but we'll leave it just in case.

It's very bittersweet to think about taking down the crib. Noelle is getting too big, too fast, for one. Also, that crib was meant to hold Charlotte, and taking it down is just the last piece of that dream for us. But we won't need it for at least 9 months, so it just makes sense. And finally, I'm sure that keeping Noelle in that daybed isn't going to be much of a picnic either. Should be fun! My crazy little monkey is about to get a big girl bed.

it was good talking to you today! I am sure that you miss Charlotte every day and taking down the crib will be tough...but know that you're in our prayers...and i'm sure you'll have use for that crib again someday!!

*sara* - January 28, 2008 06:14 pm

Ah, your little girl is growing up. Be glad that she didn't start this as young as her daddy did. I never thought about what the impact would be on you and Andy putting away the crib & putting away your dreams of/for Charlotte. That such a mundane task should have such a effect is something most of us would not even consider. You will be in our prayers as you prepare to move into this new phase. I will also continue to pray that God will bless you and Andy soon with more children. Love and hugs.

Grammy - January 31, 2008 06:18 am

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Noelle isn't just a parrot...
File under: Noelle Jordan, Andy
And hasn't been for quite a while. But just because she can speak well, doesn't mean that she can carry on a conversation. Or at least that's what I thought until I talked with her on the phone last week. I got a call from Jaime early one afternoon, "There's a little girl here who would like to talk to her Daddy."

So Noelle gets the phone and we proceed to have a real conversation...for real. I asked her a few questions bout what she had done that day. "Did you go to school Noelle? Yes. What did you do at school? I saw Lola. Did you eat lunch today? Yes. What did you eat? I had pickles...and...carrots...and hot dog...and pears."

At that point I started laughing, but only to cover up my amazement. I've known that Noelle's verbal skills were far in advance of many other kids her age. but up until that day I had really treated Noelle as more of a talking parrot. I'd ask her to repeat words that I said, I'd ask her basic questions, and I'd try to get her to tell me what things were on flash cards, or in books. But now I realize that my little girl really is growing up. She's not only carrying on conversations, she makes up stuff on her own. She's using logic, she's saying funny things, and she's even lying.

Anyway...I just wanted to brag on my little girl. She might not have as much hair as other kids her age, or even HALF her age, but she can talk circles around them...and she's MUCH cuter.

You know, Noelle is pretty cute, although I think that mine is just as cute. I was thinking that it will be weird when Noelle has a lot of hair and gets ponytails, etc. I can't even picture it! Someday, though....

Heather - January 24, 2008 07:38 pm

I can remember a few years back, yes a few year and I can remember that far back, a little boy was doing about the same thing and boy what a proud Dad I was, so I know exactly what you are going through now. I love you all 4.

Pappaw - January 25, 2008 11:56 am

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Too Smart
File under: Noelle Jordan
Waking up from her nap today, Noelle and I had this conversation:

N: Can you take me to the playground?
Me: Oh, but it's so COLD outside!
N: Can't we wear our hats?

Little booger. And no, I still didn't take her, but that's because it's 5:00 and getting dark outside. Why is she waking up from a nap at 5 PM? Because she took 2 hours to fall asleep and then slept for 2.

You are right, she is too smart, you will have to be on your toes every day for that little scooter. LUVU

Mom M. - January 24, 2008 06:12 am

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Holding on to Hope
File under: General, Charlotte Mae
Excerpts from "Holding on to Hope" by Nancy Guthrie

So many people are afraid to bring up my loss. They don't want to upset me. But my tears are the only way I have to release the deep sorrow I feel. I tell people, "Don't worry about crying in front of me, and don't be afraid that you will make me cry! Your tears tell me you care, and my tears tell you that you've touched me in a place that is meaningful to me - and I will never forget your willingness to share my grief."

When others shed their tears with me, it is as if they are taking a bucketful of sadness and carrying it for me. It is, perhaps, the most meaningful thing anyone can do for me.

Even now I can't say I'm healed. Part of my heart is no longer mine. I gave it to Hope and she took it with her, and I will forever feel that amputation.

Before losing Hope, I never really understood why people found such comfort in knowing their loved one is in heaven, but I do now. When you lose someone you love, heaven becomes much more of a reality, much more than a theological concept or theatrical cliche. I have come to the place where I believe a yearning for heaven is one of the purposes and one of the privileges of suffering and of losing someone you love. You see, a piece of me is there. I now see in a much fuller way that this life is just a shadow of our real life - of eternal life in the presence of God.




I read through this book yesterday while I was organizing the office. It was given to me after Charlotte died, along with several other books about loss and infant death, but for a long time I was unable to read any of them. We are having a difficult time waiting to become pregnant with baby #3, and I feel like I'm grieving all over again. Or I never stopped. The author of this book lost a daughter and then a son, both only lived about 6 months due to a genetic disease. Put Charlotte's name in place of Hope's and you will know exactly how I feel.

I have had several friends and acquaintances completely stop talking to me since Charlotte died, and some that will talk to me, but not about Charlotte. It hurts. I don't blame them. Before I lost Charlotte, I don't think I could have very easily gone there with a friend either. I just wish that everyone knew that it's okay to cry, or to make me cry. I wish that people didn't look at me so strangely when I say I have one daughter here and one in heaven. Why is it so difficult for us to carry each other's burdens when it comes to death and loss? Are we just so scared of it happening to us that we don't want to think about it?

The last paragraph I quoted from the book is really true for me. I didn't think about heaven much at all until Charlotte died, and now even though I love my life here and want to have 3 more children to love and raise on this earth, I see that my life will never be just as I want it to be until I get to heaven. My family will never be complete as long as Charlotte is separate from us. Even if I live another 70 years, my life here is just a blip compared to eternity in heaven.

I will continue to tell people about my daughter in heaven, even if it makes them squirm, because maybe if all of us who have lost babies before they breathed on this earth would claim them as our children, people would start to value life at conception like they should. Maybe if I remind them of heaven and that our loved ones are there, they will start to develop a deeper view of what God has in store for his children. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Charlotte helped me understand how true that is.

Maybe, just maybe, that's the reason that the Lord took Charlotte from us Jaimes. Maybe he realized that this was a subject many people, including the two of us, are very uncomfortable with.

These days, no one wants to talk about death because it's not as common as it used to be. even as near as 50 years ago, infants died more often than they do now. People lost babies more than they do now. But people also talked to each other more...friendships and family ties went deeper.

Here's to hoping we can use Charlotte's passing to grow closer to our own friends and family.

Andy Matthews - January 10, 2008 09:31 am

I don't believe the Lord took Charlotte from you, but I do believe He can/will and is in the process of redeeming the darkness you have felt because of it. Life happens... medical flukes happen... evil is out there. Although I know He could if He wanted to, I will never believe that the God I serve chooses to take children or purposely cause tragedies. Why He doesn't prevent loss from happening is another question, but I do know that He is faithful, His promises are true and He WILL REDEEM these dark days of grief. We love you and are praying for another niece or nephew soon!

Melinda Bartling - January 10, 2008 09:12 pm

Thanks for sharing your heart. I'm so glad that there are books out there that have been written out of someone else's pain that help. I agree with Mindy that God didn't cause this to happen. The amazing thing is that there is no waste in God's economy. He has promised to take the very worst things that have happened to us and turn them into good if we let Him. Not that there is anything good about losing Charlotte...but good has already come out of the author's experience in losing Hope. You read it, you identified with it, it gave you a voice to share your experience. We love you guys...and we miss Charlotte too. Wish I could be there to hug you!!

Mom B - January 11, 2008 08:01 am

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2 Year Check-up
File under: Noelle Jordan
Noelle had her 2 year check up today with her pediatrician, and she's still perfect! And big!

Weight: 30 lbs, 10 oz (80th percentile)
Height: 36 inches (93rd percentile)
Head: 49.5 cm (90th percentile)

They say that a good estimate of adult height is a child's height at age 2 multiplied by 2. That puts my daughter at 6' even. I guess I should start serving her coffee!

I was happy to be able to answer all the questions positively. Does she eat a good variety of foods? Do you limit juice and sweets? Is she putting together at least 2-3 word sentences? Are you brushing her teeth? Noelle helped answer that one by saying "Daddy brush my teeth!"

The only question I didn't have the perfect answer to was "is she sleeping well at night and during naps?", and my answer was yes, for her. We still have to go in about once a night for a blanket check, and her naps are usually good but still hit and miss. But considering where we've come from, I'm okay with that.

Our pediatrician brought in a student that was observing today, and as they walked out, she said to the student, "Did you hear how well she was talking? That's the exception." We already knew that, of course, but it's nice to hear it from a professional! We're very proud of our little girl.

Atta girl Noelle!!! Wow, looks like she will be a girl to look up to!! Oh, wait I have to look to most people!! :")

FL Mom - January 08, 2008 07:05 am

Yeah, Noelle! We have such big girls. Maybe we'll eventually live close to one another, then they can have someone else tall like they are. It's too bad you and Andy aren't into sports, with Noelle's height, she would make a great basketball or volleyball player :)

Heather - January 08, 2008 08:15 am

We knew she was an exceptional child!! We're very proud of her too!

Mom B - January 08, 2008 11:51 am

What a wonderful child you have, but then again with two parents like the two of you what else could we expect. Sorry you had such a hard time in traveling up and down from Nashville, but WE both enjoyed having you here. I cann't thank each of you for your sacifice. Dad

Pappaw - January 08, 2008 12:28 pm

I don't have a problem encouraging her to play sports...if that's what she wants to do. She could also be a supermodel at that height. She sure is beautiful enough. :)

andy matthews - January 08, 2008 01:01 pm

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The Pros and Cons of Traveling in the Night
File under: General
Better late than never. We traveled to Brandon, Florida for Christmas this year. Google says it is a 10 hr, 50 min drive. That's of course without a toddler, two dogs, and a husband with a small bladder and a knee that acts up if he sits still for too long. So, knowing it would take us closer to 13 hours to make the trip, we decided to leave in the middle of the night. That way the roads would be a little clearer for a while, we'd get there much earlier in the day, and Noelle would sleep more of the time. Right? Well, two out of three of those thoughts were true.

On the way there, we left at 3:15 AM. Noelle didn't go back to sleep until 5:15 AM. Then at 6 AM, Andy had to get out and stretch (remember that knee I mentioned?), thus ending the "nap" Noelle and I were taking. Noelle did not fall back asleep for even one minute for the rest of our 13.75 hour trip. She did fairly well, though. She always does okay in the car, only complaining when she's super bored or hungry. We arrived in Brandon at 5 PM central time. I felt so disgusting the whole time. I had forgotten to leave my hairbrush out, so I didn't get to brush my hair before we left at 3. I also didn't brush my teeth or wash my face. But, we made it.

The way back, I remedied some of the mistakes I had made the first time. I brushed my teeth and hair, washed my face, and felt much better. We left at 4:15 AM this time, since we'd be gaining an hour. This time, Noelle fell back asleep within 15 minutes. I'm sure it helped that she was sick and hadn't slept well the whole time we were in Brandon. The down side to that - we hadn't slept well either, since we shared a room with a coughing baby, so driving in the middle of the night was not as easy. We had stopped 3 times already before 8 AM. At one point, we stopped at a rest area, put in a DVD for Noelle, and tried to nap for 30 minutes. It really didn't help enough. We made it home by 4:30, so we beat our trip down, but it was the worst 13.5 hours of our lives. Thankfully we were kind of slaphappy for part of it, which at least made it sort of fun.

So, if you're going to drive in the middle of the night, make sure you get some good nights of sleep leading up to the trip. Bring lots of snacks, a DVD player, some good music, ibuprofen for that knee, and leave the dogs at home. I think we'll fly next time.

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We're getting the band back together!
File under: General, Andy, Friends
Yes, yes, I know it's been a long time since we made a post. Yes, I also know that we skipped right over Christmas in Florida with the Matthew's family, Noelle's birthday, and the grueling 13+ hour drives to and from Tampa.

We'll get to those, never fear. I'm coming to you with a story of a scrappy rock band named "Assh@t" that was founded this evening deep in Old Hickory, Tennessee. What's that you say? "What" hat? Founded where? I'm talking about Rock Band, the video game for the XBOX 360 which allows up to 4 people to play "musical instruments" simultaneously. Assh@t? That was our band name.

Maybe I should start at the beginning. Today my boss mentioned that he was going over to the house of a mutual friend of ours to hang out and play Rock Band. Now I've been reading lots about this game, and it's parent, the monster hit Guitar Hero, but I've never had the chance to play either. When I mentioned this to Aaron, he invited me to come over. I double checked with "the home office", got the necessary requisition forms and I was off.

It's quite enjoyable actually, but pretty tough. There are 4 available instruments: guitar, drums, bass, and surprisingly the microphone. Each instrument has it's own settings, difficulty level, and buttons (except for the mike). When a song starts up, you're presented with a train track looking thing. This represents the notes you'll have to play. On each instrument (again excepting the mike), are 5 notes, or in the case of the drums 5 drum pads. As the song progresses, notes scroll towards you in the column representing the note you need to play on the instrument.

Never fear, this isn't a note for note representation, nor could it be with only 5 notes to play. BUT it is enough to give you a real feel for the song. And it's freaking awesome to play. I was able to cycle through all of the instruments tonight and liked each of them. The drums were the hardest due to the setup and the angle they were at, plus I've never played drums. I have played guitar, bass, and I sing so that's not too bad. Out of all of them I had the most fun with the guitar and the bass. They actually make Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii and I'd like to pick that up after I finish off 2 games I'm playing now.

So, until the Assh@t reunion tour, I'll see you guys later. I'll leave you with this screenshot of Rock Band in action.

I recieved Guitar Hero for Christmas from my husband. When we held the Christmas staff party for his company someone brought it. I played it, loved it, and wondered why we didnt own it. I can't wait to try rock band. Love your site.

Zoe - January 02, 2008 05:17 am

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