*More pictures of Tanner have been posted in the June Photo Album.
Tanner has been four for almost a month and we still have not had his birthday party! Ty has been 1 for 5 months and he still has not had his official party. Due to general extended family busy-ness and our DC trip, the date kept getting pushed. It is high time we get that Shear Shactor party going though so I am going to try to choose the date with family tonight!
Tanner and the Triops
Aunt Heidi bought Tanner a birthday present that served as a wonderful educational tool for me! Go Heidi! When we opened the package there was a pet carrier with something inside. I was pretty concerned. What could she have possibly sent? Oh Lord please don’t let their be a dead animal that died in the Phoenix heat in here. Not very rational of me, I admit…but there was a strange odor and mother’s of boys do get nervous to see pet carriers.
We opened the carrier and inside was a package. It was Triops! The package had dinosaurs on it and explained that triops are “from the age of dinosaurs” (whatever that means). Inside the package were living triop eggs. According to the directions, if we place these eggs in water, they will hatch within 24 hours. These little creatures will live for up to 70 days. I must admit, they do look somewhat prehistoric. While studying this package, a light bulb goes off in my head!
“Tanner! Guess what! You are an adoptive parent now! You just adopted embryos. Remember how I told you that when you were teeny tiny you were mailed to us in a black cryopreservation tank and how we put you in mommy’s tummy so you could grow? Well Triops don’t grow in their mommy’s tummies, they grow in water but you got to adopt them when they were teeny tiny and give them a place to grow too. Isn’t that cool?” I said. This is a lesson that DID make sense to my 4 year old.
So to all my fellow Snowsisters…you may consider a Triop Adoption when teaching your kids about the miracle of their life. I think a Triop is a real miracle too. We haven’t put them in the tank yet because we need to go get distilled water. Pretty cool adoption story though isn’t it? (Until they eat one another. The package warns that the siblings tend to be canniballs. I will be sure to distract from that point ).
Mr. Tender Conscience
Lately I have felt very humbled. I have always believed that I have a very sensitive conscience but Tanner puts me to shame. I have stared at him several times this week thinking “can he be real?” How many times have I tiptoed silently to the room he was in to take a peek expecting that surely he is disobeying what I just asked. Nope. He sits quietly doing exactly what he was supposed to. Lately, when he sees me peeking he smiles and say’s “Are you checkin’ on me?” :). Too cute.
A couple of weeks ago, Tanner got up very early one morning and Jim sent him back to bed. About 45 minutes later I was walking down the hall and I see Tanner wide awake sitting quietly on his bed. I said “Tanner, you can get up now”. (It was pretty obvious that he had been sitting there quietly since daddy left). His response? “I fink my daddy said it’s too ooohreee (early)”. I stood in amazement. Not only had he continued to sit there quietly for 45 minutes, even after daddy was gone and I was still asleep (as in no one would have known otherwise), but then he still defended his daddy’s authority when I told him he could get up. We have taught him that if daddy say’s no he can’t ask mommy and vice versa but still his consistency to our family rules is pretty inspiring sometimes. Especially when my little wicked heart wonders if I would have done the same in his situation at 4. My mother would probably say “doubtful”.
On Sunday we took Tanner to see Star Wars III while Darin and Jodi babysat Ty. We are sci-fi fanatics in this family and seeing SW3 at the theatre was a MUST. (I wouldn’t recomment SW3 for most 4 year olds – pretty dark. Tanner is a die hard though and loved it).
Half way through the movie I attempted to hand Tanner more gummy bears. He looks up at me in complete sincerity and say’s “I fink daddy said no too much”. Refusing candy that mommy offered!!!! Amazing! (And yes Jim did tell Tanner to be careful not to each too much).
This past weekend Tanner was going somewhere with Jim. Before he went out the door he ran back to me to make sure that I knew that daddy gave him permission to leave without shoes. I always insist he has put his shoes on before we leave the house (like any good mother ) and Jim had apparently told him shoes were unnecessary for their trip. Tanner couldn’t leave without making sure that I knew Daddy had given him permission to be shoeless. Wow. Sometimes I hardly know how to respond.
A couple of days ago, I was frustrated with the kid mess and asked Tanner to help me clean stuff up. While we were working I was venting my frustrations about how much work is involved for mother’s having to do everything all the time (you know that speech I am sure ). After Tanner finished his clean up portion I said “Tanner thank you for helping me work.”
He said “Ya. Little kids hard work“. Then he added, “I like it when you say dat.” (Meaning he likes it when I say thank you). Don’t you just want to squeeze him?
Spider Man Journal
Jim and Tanner have started a writing project. Jim tells stories to Tanner each night and they decided that they need to save their stories for Ty so they bought a spider man journal and they are writing stories down at night leaving little boxes for Jim to animate later. (Jim is an awesome artist). Here is the very first story in their book:
Jenny the Chimpanzee on Her Motorcycle
Today started off unusual. When Jenny got ready to go to school she got to her motorcycle and it had a flat tire. How is she going to get to school? Does she get a tire pump and pump the tire back up? Yes!!! After pumping up the tire Jenny was able to ride to school. Jenny likes school and has fun there. Jenny has many friends at school. For lunch the school fed Jenny and her friends bannans and termites. No potato chips for them. After lunch Jenny got back on her motorcycle and rode back home. The End.
Okay…I can’t resist…one more (Jim has no idea I am sharing these – serves him right for not reading my journals ).
Larry the T-Rex With Blue Eyes
(I am assuming Tanner is contributing to these stories )
He is not getting on Noah’s Ark. He is not flying around in spaceships shooting other dinosaurs. He is not going to the beach. He is not going to a friends house. He is not going to the zoo to eat the other animals. He is not sleeping in Tanner’s bed. He is not going to the Doctors. He is not going to the store to get toys. He is not brushing his teeth. He is not at McDonald’s eating cheeseburgers. He is not surfing on a surfboard on the ocean.
(So what IS Larry doing? I don’t know. Tanner and Jim haven’t finished this story. I am curious though how it will end ).
Good news: “Shunny” is finally “Funny”. Bad news: “Sandwich” is now “Famwhich”. LOL. Figures.
And when he is not happy with his brother I hear “See what you done!!!” or “GRRRREEEAAAT!”. This “great” is said in that “look what you did – that is just GREAT” tone. I can’t help but grin at this because my little tiny monkey is not the least intimidated by his big brother. How did I manage to get two first born personalities? This is going to get interesting. I have an example of a sibling fight last night on video. In this example, Tanner was purposefully pestering Ty because he knew we were capturing Ty’s response on video. This is an everyday occurence though (and no, Tanner does not get permission to pester his brother like this but I did make one small exception for the purpose of capturing it on film LOL. NOW if you want to call me a hypocrite I think it would probably be fair ). To see these short clips, click on the Video link in the left column.
And to Aunt Heidi – you have been renamed “Ann Hi”. After his birthday present came in the mail, he has been wanting to check to see if “Ann Hi” sent anything else LOL :). Between you and Jennifer and Grandma Longo, Tanner thinks everyday is his birthday .
All In A Day
This story could have been included under my MADD topic. Before going to DC, I took Tanner on a shopping trip to buy him a few things for the trip. I was in a rush (like always) and my brain was centered on the many tasks at hand. While we were walking through Target, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were staring at Tanner. Quite honestly, this happens all the time. That red hair is eye catching. This particular trip was unusual though. Not only were they staring but they were whispering, giggling, and some even followed us a bit. Weird. I looked at Tanner and said “Boy – people sure like your hair today don’t they?” He said “Yep” and we went on our merry way.
When we were in the check out lane the glances and giggles continued. I was puzzled but as I think people should stop in awe staring at my kids (just like any good mom ), I was not particularly surprised.
At the counter, the cashier began a conversation. Here was our conversation:
C: “How hold is your son?”
C: “I bet he is just at that age where he wants to do everything himself isn’t he?”
C: “Dressing himself now?”
Wait a minute. I feel like she has a point here. I glance down and finally see what was causing all the attention. His shirt is backward. His pants are backwards. His shoes are on the wrong feet. I am not ABOUT to admit that I never noticed this. Not any of it. So I say:
D: “Ya, sometimes as a mom you just have to pick your battles”. Then I smile sweetly.
C: “I had 4 kids. I know just what you mean.”
I left the store so grateful that I delivered that line with ease and grace. Now to my friends, I will confess. I was kind of lying. Shame on me. SOMETIMES I do pick my battles on the dressing issue. On that specific day though, I simply never noticed. I would like to believe it is because he dresses backwards so often that it just doesn’t catch my attention but I am afraid that the real problem was yet again…MADD.
Tanner and Miss Pattycake
Speaking of the birthday present from Ann Hi…
Heidi mailed “Miss Pattycake and the Hullaballoo Zoo” to Ty for his birthday. Ty has a pretty short attention span still but he does love at least the first song and will sit and clap clap clap. The first time I watched this with Ty, Tanner sat in the corner of the couch not saying a word. The next day, Tanner said Ty wanted to watch it again. Hmmmm. Okay. Ty and I sat down to watch it and Tanner found his corner of the couch. On Day 3, same thing occured but Tanner sat beside me on the floor. On Day 4, he was in my lap clapping and trying to sing. Miss Pattycake wormed her way into my shy boy’s heart and I think he is falling in love. Everyday is a Pattycake Praise day you now .
I LOVE this DVD and I have the songs nearly memorized myself. It is precious. My favorite song though is Psalm 39:14. I have decided that this is the first verse I will work on teaching Tanner. He is trying but he thinks it is too hard at the moment. We’ll keep working on it though and he’ll get it eventually. Either way, it has been firmly rooted in my heart and has beautiful application to both my children that I was priveledged to hold before they were deemed “viable”.
Psalm 39:14 I praise you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
These were just a few little “Tanner moments” that didn’t get mentioned in my DC journals. Before we left I was talking about flying on the plane. I was trying to generate some excitement because I didn’t know if Tanner would be scared. I told him we were going to fly real high in the sky. He said “Mommy. Can plane fly low?” LOL.
He also kept having gift ideas for the President. First he wanted to know if he could bring his snake (that Aunt Christine bought) to scare the President. I said no. Then he wanted to know if he could give one of his eyeball gummies to the President. I said no. Jennifer Cowart would have said “Yes” :). Because she isn’t his mother and she wouldn’t have to stand by in horror while the secret service apprehended one small red head. All is fun and games when it isn’t happening to you! (And Jennifer, I have been sooo remiss in telling you thank you for the frogs. Tanner LOVED them but Ty keeps trying to dismember and eat them and that causes many fights in our home. Being a mother of boy’s yourself – you knew exactly what you were doing to my peaceful little home. No excuses. LOL! Love ya)
On a sad note, and I would appreciate your prayers for this…Tanner has overheard things on the ESCR issue that a four year old cannot process or understand. Jim and I were talking about the ESCR issue in the car one day and from the back seat Tanner asks “Mommy? Do people want to kill me?” I almost cried. First for not being more careful about what he might hear/understand. Second – the impact of the question itself. I used that as an opportunity to say “No! Not you! Your genetic family loved you very much and protected you.” I showed him his first picture as a 2 PN embryo later and explained that we were going to Washington to protect the embryos. While we were in DC, I was trying to get him settled before a press conference and I said “Honey remember why we are here?” I didn’t expect him to answer. He did. He said “For the embryos”. He understands enough.