So, I have been meaning to write THIS blog post for a long time now. I know that this is Tanner's blog but tonight I want to brag about his big brothers....and then I'll give Tanner updates at the end. I've often wondered how Tanner's diagnosis will effect them. My first thought is that the will be very compassionate individuals. I think as they get older they will take less for granted than most kids do. A little tiny piece of me fears resentment. I don't know how things will turn out....but I fear missing baseball and soccer games (or whatever activity they decide to get into) because of appointments or illnesses regarding Tanner. I just never want them to feel less important to me. Sometimes kids don't understand. All they see is me giving way more attention to Tanner. I already feel guilty numerous times a day when Carter asks me to play with him and I have to let him down because I'm feeding Tanner, doing therapy, bathing, breathing treatment,......all for Tanner. I know that someday they will understand....it's just getting there that makes me worry. Anyway, I don't think I will have to worry too much about that but that's how I am.....I look at every angle and every possibility. I drive myself crazy!!
I'll start with Tyler since he's the oldest. He turned 6 two days before Tanner turned 1. I call Tyler the one liner king. He comes out with these one liners that are hilarious and so mature!!! He is also the king of putting the letter "L" into words where they don't belong. Like when he wore his spider man mask and Tanner didn't "reclonize" him. Or when he asks us to "plause" the movie so he can go to the bathroom. He's a funny kid.
Tanner LOVES Tyler. He's a gentle little soul (except when he's running around the house pretending to be a transformer). Seriously though....he's always playing with Tanner and talking to him and Tanner loves it. He just lights up when he hears Tyty's voice. He's also my little helper. He talks to Tanner to calm him when he's hungry and waiting for mommy to warm his bottle. He often wants to hold him and takes time away from his cartoons to walk over to Tanner's swing and give him a kiss. He loves pushing him in the stroller with Justin and I right by his side of course. He's actually pulling Tanner in a wagon for our wedding in August so he's been enjoying practicing that. Tyler already shows a very compassionate side even though I don't think he fully understands what we mean when we say that Tanner's "special"....but he does get some of it. His teacher has reported to Danielle (Tyler's Mommy) that he often reaches out to help a little girl with Down Syndrome in his class. Rather than wondering why she's different like most kids his age would he realizes that she just needs help sometimes. That's really refreshing and warms my heart. I know that Tyler will always look out for his baby brother.
Carter is hilarious as well. Just in the last 3 weeks or so he's grown out of his whining phase (which lasted about a year) and has been a joy to be around. I get lots of hugs and kisses throughout the day and he wants to cuddle a lot too. He's at that repeating age so I often hear him say things like "Mommy, give me a break" or "Olivia, you're going to get a time out". Another funny thing he does is when you ask him his name he says "I am Carter. I am three years old, December 26th (his birthday), and my favorite color is yellow." I think Carter is very smart for 3. He counts into his 30's, knows his ABC's, knows words to look at them (like apple, banana, caterpillar, cat, dog...a bunch just from flash cards and seeing the word with the image). I also just taught him our address last week and he's got it. I'm so proud. He starts a preschool program next year and I really think he's going to do well. I'm excited for him to get the social skills that he'll get there. he should do fine though. He's a little social butterfly and will start a conversation with anyone. His conversations usually revolve around some sort of bug. He's obsessed!!!!! He knows so many different kinds of bugs and beetles. It's pretty impressive actually. Here he's catching bugs for his bug house. I've always called him Carterbug since he was baby so it's fitting quite nicely:)
Carter's only 3 so he doesn't even know that Tanner's a little different. Here and there I take a minute and tell him that Tanner's a special baby and is going to extra help from his big brothers. He looks at me and says "ok mommy".....but later on I'll see him holding his kitten, Olivia, up in the air like a baby saying "Awww, Olivia. You're such a special kitty". So, he still needs some time:) It's taken Carter much longer than Tyler to warm up to Tanner. He has become so much more involved with Tanner in the last 2 months though. He asks to hold him and wants to help me with diapers. He congratulates Tanner when he poops and when he finishes a bottle:) Before a few months ago he would often say "go away Tanner" so this is a big improvement. I think he was just a little jealous that we couldn't play together as much as we could before. I'm confident that Carter will be a gentle little guy like Tyler.
I'm very proud of our boys. They are both good kids and add so much to our family. I'm anxious to see what wonderful people they grow up to be.....well not too anxious. Time's already going fast enough but you know what I mean.
Tanner, this little bugger. Pretty much since my last blog post Tanner has been doing AMAZING in all areas. I swear he hears G-Tube and thinks "ooohhh I better shape up". Because he's been packing the solids away as well as finishing all 6 ounces of his bottles in about 20-30 minutes. We have not had a weight check since the last but I'm not actually too worried about his next one. Tanner is pretty much know for being an inconsistent eater but I really think this is his longest stretch of eating really well...(knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood!!) my wish for Tanner's eating is for him to just make up his mind. Best case of course being that he eats well all of the time. When he stops eating or slows down for a couple of weeks it's tough though. I finally really start really thinking about the G-tube and then he starts eating again which makes the decision that much harder because I know he's capable of eating. So, i wish he would just eat......or don't so that I can make a decision that makes TOTAL sense.
Tanner now has 4 teeth which I think had something to do his feeding issues a few weeks ago. Two molars (one in each upper quadrant) and his other little front bottom tooth all broke through the skin just days apart. I've had a very hard time finding a teether that fits in his mouth and that's he's interested in. He just wants to suck and gnaw on his hands which is becoming a problem. He's getting blisters on his fingers from sucking so much. I often hold things for him to chew on or massage his gums but obviously I can't do it all day. I need to find a solution for this. These blisters have made a suspicion of mine more apparent and I don't know if I've ever heard of any WHS children with this problem or not....but I don't think Tanner feels pain unless it's really bothersome. He doesn't mind when the blisters pop, didn't cry for his last shot, didn't cry when my ring left a 2 inch scratch up his thigh (mommy's sorry), and some other things that I would think a baby would cry about. It's not that I want him to feel pain but that's how I know when he's uncomfortable and I'm sure that's going to playa big part in equipment usage as he gets older. It's just another thing I'd like to look into. Anyway, we've just been doing lots of therapy (so close to sitting) and wedding planning. Tanner has a post op appointment with his Urologist Monday and the nutritionist on Tuesday as well as the usual therapy appointments. He has a weight check the following week so keep those fingers crossed:)
Here's Tanner in his pretty wedding wagon that I made.