It’s a tradition. Put up the Christmas Tree, play Christmas music, bake gingerbread cookies, and drink egg nog laced with ginger ale. Yesterday was fun! True, my tree is a bit ornament lopsided thanks to the boys decorating but I like it that way because it gives evidence of the little hands that sweetly arranged it. My nativity set looks just like last year – Tanner moves all the buildings, people, and animals in real close to Jesus so they can all look at him. Brought tears to my eyes to see it again this year. I wondered if at six he would still think to position it this way.
And I must brag for a moment and tell you that I made the best gingerbread cookies EVER. I LOVE gingerbread cookies and have a great recipe for them. Jim wasn’t too pleased that I only made ONE batch however so I may have to remedy that quickly. My list of “cute stuff” for the boys has been steadily growing but I have been waiting for some quiet time to write about them. Not much quiet time available lately. Amazing how hectic life can get and with the Christmas season in full swing, it only stands to get worse. I ordered most of my gifts online this year but I still have more shopping to do. That will be fun with two little boys. LOL.
My Tanner James
One day while reading, The Cat in the Hat, I told Tanner that every kid really should at least try “Green Eggs”. Turns out, like Sam I am, Tanner LIKES them. Tanner begged me to make them for dinner and Jim’s face turned about as green as the eggs just to look at them. Tough to convince a person they taste the same but THEY DO!
Tanner is doing quite well with his schoolwork I think. We are having to really work on phonics because he “gets” whole word recognition better than blends. Aunt Karen (who is a Kindergarten teacher) suggested that I teach him a simple vowel rule that would help with phonics. She told me to have him locate all the vowels in a word and count them. If there is one vowel, the vowel will say its sound. If there are two vowels, the first vowel will shout its name and the other vowel will be quiet. Even though reading may be the most challenging for Tanner (in the sense that he gets most frustrated with this activity), he also prioritizes it as his favorite part of school right now. I am soooo thankful for that. I had him watch the Leap Frog Storybook Factory again recently and when it was over he said “This show just makes me want to get out pencil and paper and just write some words!” LOL. Now that’s motivation for you. I really need to write those people a letter of appreciation.
Math is going along pretty well too but Singapore math really is getting hard. To be barely out of the first quarter of first grade and already be subtracting 2 digit figures (example 18 – 6), seems a bit much to me but maybe I don’t have a great global perspective on that. At any rate, Tanner is handling it pretty well. I taught him the hungry bug 9 rule and was amazed at how quickly he gets base 10 math. (Example: He has to add 7 plus 9. I told him that 9 needs to eat one number to become 10. Therefore, if he eats one of 7, 7 becomes 6 and nine becomes 10. Answer is 16.) Tanner can do base 10 like this in his head rather quickly without manipulative’s. I was pretty surprised that he caught on to that immediately especially considering I have to explain it several times to adults LOL. When he demonstrated a couple of weeks ago that he knew all of his 10’s and that was easy for him, it seemed to make sense to teach him to convert everything to base 10 addition. What do you know…it worked:).
Tanner is also very good at memorization. We work on scriptural memory verses everyday and also the Westminster Catechism for young children. I was not raised in a denomination that practiced catechisms but in the case of the Westminster, it is full of fundamental theology and I thought it would be a wonderful tool for teaching my kids foundational truths. We are through the first 20 questions and Tanner whizzes through them like a pro. I don’t work with Ty on this yet but he knows quite a bit of it just from listening to us. (There are 172 questions so it will take us until the third grade to finish this I think:)
While I am on the subject of what he excels at, holy cow you should watch him play Halo 3. For awhile I thought everyone was just commenting on how good Tanner is…FOR SIX YEARS OF AGE. Now I realize that he is very fair competition for his daddy and uncles. Jim allows him to play live but only because Tanner has a family account setting and can only interact with people that Jim chooses (who are of course only a short list of friends and Tanner’s Uncles). It is pretty funny for me to get phone calls from my brothers asking if Tanner can come out and play. LOL. He must have great hand eye coordination but according to Jim, he is also a good strategist.
My one complaint about Tanner as of late is that he is NOT a snuggler. It’s killing me! I just stare at him and try to hold myself back from smothering (and then he sees me and does the “aw mom” thing and giggles). Those incredible kissable lips just drive me crazy. I get to the point of not being able to take it anymore and then I pounce him and just cover him. Can’t help myself. At least he KNOWS he is loved.
Most Common Words Out of Tanner’s Mouth
“TY your NOT posed to do that”!
“That’s it! I am telling! RIGHT NOW!” (The background noise to this is “I am sorry Tanner. I am sorry! I said I am sorry!)
My Ty Jordan
The list gets lengthy when I start writing about Ty because he is three. Three year olds have a plethora of wisdom to impart and trouble to brew. Where to even start?
Catechism – As I mentioned earlier, Ty also knows a good percentage of the Westminster Cat. One of the questions pertains to the trinity and the answer is “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” I get such a kick out of letting Ty answer this one because he says “The Father, the Son, and the HARRY Spirit”. LOL
Cerebral Palsy – More and more I notice the subtle traces of Ty’s CP. I think as he grows, certain aspects draw a tad more attention. Still, we are so grateful that he really isn’t limited by CP. I am not planning on putting him on the top bunk bed anytime soon but most things he handles just fine. Jim and I have had an ongoing debate the last few years as to how his CP impacts him. Every time Ty is out with us and we are walking for any extended length, he will tell us that walking is too hard and he is too tired and needs to be carried. Usually we say NO. I have to wonder though if his CP does in fact make him fatigue earlier than others (and I strongly suspect that I am right). Daddy on the other hand, believes that Ty knows how to work a deal. Probably a little bit of both. I love it when he says “Mommy I am hard at walking”. He never gets that grammatically correct. Recently we were going somewhere and Ty says “That is going to take TOEVER to get there!” I liked that one too.
Brothers – Definite sibling rivalry going on around here. Some days it is funny and other days it isn’t. This was a funny one. Ty was planning what he would have for breakfast the next morning before bed and was very worried that Tanner was going to wake up first and get the last pop tart. He said “Mommy when Tanner wakes up he is going to rip my pop tart off!!” Ty has also started to notice that Tanner has been getting special time with Daddy at night and he has been left out. Jim has told bedtime stories to Tanner since Tanner was tiny BUT Tanner has a LONG attention span and could listen. It has taken Ty a long time to get to the point of being able to sit still for this. A couple of weeks ago, I was tucking Ty in and he started interrogating me on this topic. “Mommy what is Daddy doing in Tanner’s bedroom? Is he telling him a story? I want a story! What is daddy doing in there with Tanner? Is he tickling him? I want him to come tickle me!” Needless to say, Ty is now participating in nightly story time with Dad.
General Funny Stuff –
“Don’t mess up my hair cut” – if you have noticed Ty’s hair lately, it is nearly buzzed. How on earth could I mess up his haircut?
“Tummy in my soup” – Don’t ask me what that means but when he is being silly he says it often.
Ty woke up one morning last week (actually was awakened) and was clearly not quite ready to be up. His first question when I went in to get him was “HOW COME I AM UP?”
In the car one day, I asked the boys if they wanted to drive over to Sweetie’s and show her our Dear Birthparent letter (they have no idea what that means by the way). Ty’s response was “Well of course we should!” Alrighty then – and off to Sweetie’s we went.
Ty has been asking me if he is getting “Presidents” for Christmas. LOL. Should I be worried that my child confuses presidents and presents? Only my kid huh? LOL
Ty kept asking me for Daddy’s “galera” for breakfast and I finally figured it out. “Granola”.
Cuddle Bug – While Ty lacks the attention span for long cuddling, he is by far more cuddly than Tanner. Every morning he insists on cuddle time (which lasts 15.7 seconds) and more and more, he likes cuddle time at night. He also has learned that mommy can massage and softly tickle his extremities during tickle time and is now begging me to tickle his back, and his arm, then his other arm, this his foot….etc. Daddy gets jealous. I told Jim though that Ty always says “Oh that feels sooooooooooo nice.” Jim is trying that out but he doesn’t emphasize all the words quite as well as Ty. As Jim says, Ty DOES know how to work it. The one thing that I find aggravating though is that often times Ty climbs into Daddy’s lap, THEN puts his feet in my lap so I can tickle. Nice. Ty also has decided that he loves me to put baby powder on his feet at night and tells me how niiiiiicccccceeeee it feels. One evening when I got him ready for bed he surprised me with “These jammies are sooooo cozy. They make me feel snug as a bug in a rug.”
Potty Training – Nope. Yes Ty will be four in January (but remember May would have been the true date). He is totally disinterested. We were at the library a week ago and Tanner was complaining about a smelly diaper. I took Ty out to the car to change him and Tanner said “Ty! When you feel it you need to go to the restroom!” Ty’s answer sums up my reason for waiting. He looked at Tanner and said, “Ya right!”
Smart Stuff – Ty has known his letter sounds since he was two but lately I have noticed him walking around the house saying things like “B. B. B say’s bbbbbbbbbbb. Bbbbb as in “BBBrinkman”. In the family, we tease and say that Ty can read because his recognition is so great (just like Tanner ironically). Yesterday I watched in amazement and was nearly convinced that he can indeed read. He asked me if he could watch the Upside Down Show. I said he could but before I could get to the remote and find the recorded program on our DVR, Ty had already grabbed it. I watched in utter fascination as he took all of about 7 seconds to (a) press guide (b) choose the right option for recorded list (c) scroll through a lengthy list of text names and select the Upside Down Show (d) hit the play button. I had NO idea he could do that especially since I never let him have that remote. Does he wake up during the night and practice or what? How could he have done this so proficiently and how did he know which program in the list said “Upside Down Show”?????? Scary.
Those two make me giggle every day.
Off to decorate the Church for the annual Christmas party soon.