The Tan Man

The Tan Man

Welcome to Thankful 4 Tanner

Hello all! And thank you for visiting our blog about our family and precious baby Tanner. Here you will always find up to date information about Tanner. I know sometimes it's hard to get ahold of us when you are wondering how Tanner is doing. So here we will post information we recieve at his doctor's appointments. We will always post Tanner's biweekly weight checks and overall growth. We'll post all of his accomplishments that seem to be coming daily. He's always trying something new. Thanks again for visiting and caring about our precious gift from God.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things have been busy as always. Tanner came down with a cold last Monday and it is still lingering. Then one by one each member of our household was taken hostage by an evil villian known as the stomache bug. Everybody had atleast one day of being bed ridden other than runs to the bathroom to toss everything up. Yikes!!! I'm glad that's over. Although it's not over for everyone. It seems anyone we had any contact with like, grandmas, aunts, and cousins have all come down with it too. I swear it was airborne. There are still some coughs and sniffles lingering here with Carter and Taner but hopefully that will clear up soon. Tanner has a ton of appointments coming up the next 2 months. I'll get more detailed as they get closer.
When Tanner was first diagnosed with WHS the doctors said that the chances of having a child with WHS is 1 in 50,000. That seemed so rare to us that we didn't even think that we would meet any other families in our situation. As you can see from my previous post we were very wrong. It is a small world and we are blessed to be close to so many families that we have connected with. Recently, myself and our small WHS community have met another mother that just had a little girl with WHS. She is in a place where I once was almost a year ago. There's obviously a lot of different emotions to deal with during a time like this. A time you've been preparing for for 9 months or longer quickly turns into, what you may think, is your worst nightmare. This is a time that we're supposed to cherish for the rest of your life...a time that is supposed to be full of celebration and joy. I remember feeling robbed of that moment. From the moment Tanner was placed on my chest I knew something wasn't quite right and I did not celebrate like the others in the room. I zoned out.....staring at nothing. Could this be happening? Every expecting woman's worst nightmare is delevering a less than perfect baby. Some may not speak of it but every woman hopes and prays for a healthy, thriving child during their pregnancy. That's nothing to be ashamed of.......I guess after having Tanner I feel some guilt saying so. Anyway, my whole point that I wanted to share with you here is that during our new friend's search for answers, acceptance, and words of encouragement she came across a poem that I found quite touching. Sometimes I wonder why God chose ME to raise a special baby like Tanner. What made him think I could handle something like this??? Ask anybody that grew up with me, went to high school with me, or that met me around the time I turned 21 and I would bet money that all of them would say I would not be their first choice for this job. This piece kind of tries to explain God's reasoning and it brought me to tears.

Ode to Special Moms

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social
pressures and a couple by habit.

This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for
propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs
his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter,
patron saint, Cecilia.

"Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint, give her Gerard. He's used to

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," says God. "Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does
not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of
self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll
handle it.

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is
so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give
her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not
going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just
enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child
less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a 'spoken word.' She will never consider a
'step' ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will
be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset
to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see . . . ignorance,
cruelty, prejudice . . . and allow her to rise above them. She will never
be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life,
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, pen poised midair.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

- Erma Bombeck, May, 1980

Sniffle, sniffle...that is just so powerful. When I read this I hope this is how it all DOES happen. It makes me feel honored that God would trust me with one of his most delicate creations.

Now, I would LOVE to share with you some of the wonderful things (other than diarhea and throw up:) that have been going on in our house. When I play with Tanner we have all kinds of little things that we do. Sometimes I have him straddle my thigh, I hold his hands, and we do little bounces. Well, well, well...that just wasn't enough for mister Tanner. He just planted his little feet, held tight to mommy's hands and popped himself right up to a stand. And then he sat, and stood, and sat, and stood with the smiles of all smiles on his face. I was totally not expecting this and have been celebrating for about a week now. I'm just so proud of him and he is proud of himself. We had been working on putting weight on his legs but this is a huge step for him to initiate it!!! He's also been chillin in the excersaucer quite a bit. I had to apply some velcro to it like I did with the bumbo seat so that I can attach the support pillow into the seat of the excersaucer. I want him to use the saucer to get the sensation on the bottome of his feet for standing and for trunk control. Giving him the added support probably doesn't do much for trunk control but I've really been focusing on getting him in a an independent situation other than laying down in a boppy or a swing. So, I'm loving this excersaucer.

I also took a precious picture of Carterbug and Tanner. Carter is really starting to embrace his role as a big brother. He's been asking to hold Tanner and then when I go to lift Tanner away from him he wraps his arms around Tanner's waist and says "my baby brudder". Haha, he's so cute.

Here's a Carter line for you:
While he was in the bathtub last week he reached out and placed a wet hand print on my grey shirt and said "Look Mommy! It's a clue!" He loves Blue's Clues obviously.
With everybody being sick I been slacking in the picture department so I don't have any of Tyty this time. But he's been a good boy and is doing very well in kindergarten. I hope everyone is well. Much love to you all.


Hannah said...

Jess, What a beautiful poem, I have a lump in my throat right now. This is a very difficult road that has been laid down before us, but reading this is an amazing reminder that we were chosen, so we can handle all the bumps, potholes, whatever comes our way. Do you mind if I post it? Everyone needs to read this. Glad everyone in your house is feeling better. Looks like Tanner is doing great. Nice work, mom!

nona said...


Lauren said...

Yea - I love that poem too! I definitely teared up toward the end. ARgg. Way better than Holland.

Tanner is doing so well! I love that he is pushing to stand. Yippee! So sorry that you were all sick. That bug really does seem to be going around. Love ya!

Anna said...

Great post! I love that poem too. I always tear up.
How exciting that Tanner is pulling to stand!!

Kim said...

so beautiful jess, we love you guys!!

mimi said...

What a beautiful poem, beautiful just like our baby Tanner. Jess and Justin, you were both chosen to have Tanner, because God doesn't give you anythin you cannot handle. The care you both give Tanner shows so much in him. He is definitley a gift.

Randi said...

That poem is very beautiful and i truly believe that god will only choose people that can give all the love in the world,... you are truly blessed...

Kristy said...

What a wonderful poem, I have tears in my eyes. It has been very difficult for me but I know now that Dylan was given to us for a reason and we feel so blessed to have him in our lives. I also feel blessed to have met such wonderful families because of Dylan's WHS diagnosis. My life has definately taken a different path but it is a good one.